Chatterbox #175 – Nostalgic Canadian kids’ TV

In this episode, we are going to teach you about a part of Canadian culture you may never have experienced before—nostalgic kids’ TV! Canada produced some wacky and amazing TV shows during the ’90s, and today our hosts will share their favourites with you.Don’t be out of the loop, join Andrew and Morag for this episode and learn more about what it was like to grow up in Canada during the ’90s.

Fun factcankidstv

Today, almost every animated TV show is made using computer graphics, even when they look like the animation is hand-drawn. But did you know that ReBoot, a Canadian children’s science-fiction show that aired from 1994 to 2002, was the very first half-hour, completely computer animated TV program?

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • A trip/walk/stroll down memory lane
  • Wacky
  • Messed up
  • In the swing of things
  • To be in/out of the loop
  • Meta

Sample transcript

Andrew: And I guess I should catch everybody up with what this episode will be about
today. We’re going to do a Chatterbox episode. And this is where we have a
natural conversation. We use 100% natural English, just like we would in our
everyday lives, but we speak just a touch slower and we are conscious of the
fact that you are English learners. We keep that in mind to make our
conversation a little easier to understand than maybe a conversation on the
street, for example. But our topic today is nostalgic Canadian kids’ TV.

Morag: I’m so excited.

Andrew: Yeah, so I guess a little background: The other day I was hanging out with
some of my Korean friends and we were speaking in Korean, and the topic
of TV came up. We were talking about TV and I know a little bit about current
Korean TV, some of the popular celebrity talk shows that are on the air now.

But my friends started talking about TV shows that are now off the air and I
had no idea what they were talking about. I wasn’t able to participate in the
conversation. And it struck me that, you know, cultural knowledge, knowing
about the pop culture of the language you’re trying to learn, is very important.

And so this made me realize, whoa, there is a lot of really weird Canadian
TV, especially from the 80s and 90s that our generation grew up with, that if
you’re not aware of it, you might find yourself in a situation that is similar to
the one that I was in.
So here we have it today, nostalgic Canadian kids’ TV.

Morag: I don’t know, Andrew, though, I think you’re really right about cultural
knowledge being incredibly important for communicating with other people.
When I was a kid, I was sort of not allowed to watch TV, but my parents knew
that if I had no idea what the other kids were watching, I wouldn’t be able to
make friends the same way or have the same shared experience, so I did get
to watch a little.

Andrew: OK, so that is very interesting. And what we’ll do to start this episode is we’ll
talk about some of our TV-watching habits when we were kids. So, yeah,
that’s interesting. You said that your parents didn’t really let you watch TV.
Could you talk a little bit more about that?

Morag: Sure. Let’s put it this way: I did not have access to unregulated, unsupervised
television, and for a long time I wasn’t even aware that there were kids’
shows. I was allowed to watch some movies or some things that were prerecorded,
or I was allowed to watch things with my parents.

But the reason for that was actually they were worried about advertising and
me being literate in the sense of understanding what marketing was and, you
know, how some things can be taking advantage of you, or presenting
something that’s kind of messed up, you know? So I had somebody, usually
my mom, sitting with me and sort of asking me questions about—even when
I was a really little kid—asking me questions about what I was watching, and
seeing if I was thinking critically about it.

Andrew: Mmhmm.

Morag: It’s a pretty cool way to go about it, honestly. Like, I’m quite thankful for it
now. But my favourite stuff and the stuff that I really remember, I was just
enjoying, like kids do, you know?

english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips, Photo: Shutterstock