Day sixteen, your guilty pleasure show. I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If I like something, I don't feel guilty about it. Why would I? There are a fair few things that other people probably think I'm daft for watching, though, so we'll go with one of them. The one that jumps immediately to mind is Thunder In Paradise, but I've talked about that at some length before. It's the epitomy of daft, which is probably being charitable, but it's a genial sort of show. Two ex-Navy SEALs, living together in a cottage by the sea with their adopted daughter, fighting evil in their super-powered speed boat. The episode when Bru kills an invisible alien from outer space by twanging his ukelele at it ranks as one of the most gloriously silly episodes of anything. But I'm not choosing Thunder In Paradise this time. Instead I've decided to go with Bod.

Bod isn't silly, but it's very much not the sort of show I'd usually watch of an evening. It dates from 1975, and was created by a husband and wife team who were Taoists, and wanted to share their philosophy with children. So, using simple, barely animated line drawings, they created a series of five minute cartoons for the BBC's pre-school strand. Bod is a boy in a yellow dress, who wanders through life discovering things with his four adult friends, Aunt Flo, Farmer Barleymow, PC Copper and Postman Frank. I bought the show when it came out on DVD a few years back, because I loved it as a very small child, and was interested to see it again. It remains extremely watchable. Something about Bod's adventures, and the very simple format, works brilliantly. I also find it extraordinarily relaxing, for some reason.

When it first aired, Bod was twinned with another short, Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band, in which the titular Albert and his band help out fellow animals in exchange for a milkshake. There'd be Bod, then a game of Snap featuring the characters, and then we'd have to help Alberto Frog choose a milkshake flavour. The BBC, in its wisdom, went into a frenzy of deletion in the early nineties, precisely when it was beginning to realise just how stupid its earlier frenzy of deleting had been. This time it was children's shows that suffered, and only a handful of Alberto Frog episodes remain. It was a bit repetitive, and not as engaging as Bod and his stealth-Taoist teachings, but that's still rather sad.

So that's my choice for not-guilty viewing. I could only find two complete episodes on YouTube, and neither's got the Snap game, nor Alberto Frog and his desperate milkshake dilemma, but they're still a nice way to spend four and a half minutes. Or at least, I think they are. I suspect there may be other opinions available.

Bod And The Cherry Tree & Bod And The Apple



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