Monday, September 05, 2005

 

LazyTown? What the...?

Allison and I have watched all sorts of strange kids' programming the last year and a half, and have managed to develop a fair amount of affection for things as odd as Teletubbies and Booba (the latter of which makes the former seem almost like a bit of Dogma 95 verite by comparison), but neither of us has any sort of conceptual handle on LazyTown. In addition to a group of pretty damned creepy puppets (whose inflexible features leave them completely unable to emote), there are three "human" characters, live actors so heavily laden with wigs and prosthetics and such that they might just as well be puppets. One of them is a "superhero" of sorts--whose only power appears to be gymnastics and a cheek-hugging pair of sweatpants--though why the decision was made to equip him with a Snidley Whiplash mustache is complely beyond me. There's something deeply unsettling about the way the program is made, though whether it is the music, or the colors, or the costumes, or the sound effects, or some combination of of the above, we're not able to say.

We've only just learned that LazyTown comes to us from Iceland. Taking this and Bjork as our only two datapoints, I have to conclude that something really odd is going on up there in Iceland.

(At this point, though, anything that gives us a few minutes respite from the 24hr coverage of the ongoing horribleness is pretty welcome.)

Comments:
Calista is a big fan of Lazy Town. I find it a manic, neon-hued bundle of sensory overload. The mutant puppets remind me a good deal of Outerscope 1. A hopped-up on speed and LSD Outerscope 1, but Outerscope 1 nonetheless.
 
It just plain freaks me out. I suspect that it has something to do with the way it's shot. The camera setups are almost like a bubblegum pop music video, with the closeups too close up, and the medium shots at weird angles, and everything cut together at a strangely kinetic pace. This may be one of those instances of a generational shift, and I may be one of the old codgers left behind as the future arrives, but if LazyTown is the future, I may just opt to stick with the past and hang out on Sesame Street, where at least I understand what's going on!
 
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