An ad for a new touring musical popped up on my Facebook feed.
I’m always up for something fresh and intriguing, arts-wise, so I clicked on it.
The new work in question was “Blippi the Musical.” It took me a minute to realize it wasn’t an IKEA parody. (“Grant and Sarah try building a Blippi bookcase together — can their marriage withstand the pressure? Watch the DIY hijinks ensue!”)
Blippi is apparently some new kid thing. The ad featured a bespectacled, bow-tied cartoon boy and a row of cartoon vehicles — a train engine, a tractor, a police car and a monster truck. And a pterodactyl zooming overhead.
(It’s like a bunch of writers in the pitch room said, “What do little boys like?” and the answer was “They like cars! And trucks! And dinosaurs!” and they built the Blippi brand around that.)
Of course, I have no idea. (Well, I have some idea, because I know how to use Google, and it turns out Blippi was originally a YouTube character portrayed by a human being, not a cartoon.)
Still. I realized I have crossed a great divide. I’m completely clueless about what’s trending with the small fry these days.
My husband and I are in the post-children, pre-grandchildren no-man’s-land of kids’ entertainment. When I passed out Halloween candy this year, I had no idea what most costumes were.
“Who are you supposed to be, sweetie?” I asked a tot dressed in a policeman’s uniform.
I got a scornful look. “Paw Patrol. Can I take two lollipops?”
My last cultural touchstone in this age group was “Frozen,” so I did recognize the straggling Elsas and Annas who came along that night. I have a vague awareness of Peppa Pig, who charms parents into submission with a cute British accent. I know a few years ago there was some sort of plague called “Baby Shark” driving adults insane.
But I would not recognize these characters, or their sidekicks. I’m stuck in the early 2000s, when my son was obsessed with “Bob the Builder” and both my older kids could re-enact just about any “Arthur” or “Berenstain Bears” episode they could find on VHS.
The glory days of PBS, for our family, held memories of “Zoboomafoo,” “Wishbone,” and “The Magic School Bus”. A couple of years later, our youngest child lived and breathed The Wiggles, and we bought into it completely, taking her to see the Aussie group live when she was only 2, spending a silly amount of money on the T-shirt and the program and Jeff’s drumsticks and who knows what else that she promptly forgot.
And that’s why I feel for you parents who are taking your kids to “Blippi the Musical.” Not because of the pricey parking or the unhealthy snacks or the nap-deprived preschooler who has a meltdown before the show even starts.
No, it’s because in 20 years or so, you’re actually going to be nostalgic for this stuff.
Charlotte is a columnist for The Times. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Latvala: Who will be nostalgic for Blippi and Paw Patrol?