It’s like The Voice. But for kids.
The Voice Kids. Where to begin. I’m going to start before the beginning and tell you a little bit about Australian TV networks, particularly the big channels. They start advertising their major shows months in advance and they’re phenomenally vague about scheduling. A typical trailer will end with words along the lines of ‘Coming soon, after the tennis’ or ‘Starts after the Games’. No indication of how soon after the Games. Or which tennis tournament. Let’s not be pedantic, now.
As the monumental televisual spectacular nears its shrouded-in-mystery broadcast date, they show ‘sneak peeks’. These are essentially very, very long adverts covering around half the series’ content in one fell swoop.
The sneak peeks often pop up in the middle of other shows. It’s mildly disorienting, especially if you’re only half-watching, or you go to make a cup of tea. You look back at the TV only to find you are seemingly watching another programme.
So when the programme – let’s say The Voice Kids – actually begins, you have already heard half the auditions and seen the finalists (the sneak peeks are not subtle).
But that’s no reason not to watch it.
No. The reason you should not watch it is because they’re kids. And they’re singing. And you know everyone is going to be told they’re wonderful, whether they are or not.
Not watching it. Not watching it.
Oh, The Voice Kids starts tonight...
That was last month, and I am sorry to say I caught more shows than I missed.
Pros of The Voice Kids
- They weren’t all singing Disney songs.
Cons of The Voice Kids
- There were a lot of Disney songs.
- Kids’ voices all essentially sound the same: a bit high, a bit whiny. This doesn’t change when they sing.
- It’s so relentlessly upbeat. I was worried about the children and the rejection and the coaches trying to make a show by saying things for soundbites. In the end, though, everyone was so bloody positive and magnanimous that it made me a bit sick. And the kids were the worst! Far too grown-up and gracious for their own good. And they knew what an octave was. Or at least they nodded knowingly.
Talent shows for children. I don’t think I can agree with them. Parents saying ‘Oh, she’s amazing’, when she’s not, isn’t a good thing. I worry it could lead to bullying when the kid goes back to school and classmates say, er, you’re not amazing. Not to mention the millions of viewers saying the same thing. If your child wants to sing, couldn’t they just sing? Could they go to a singing group? Do they have to go on television and find out they’re not good singers from people who don’t care about them? If I was a crap TV presenter, I wouldn’t just be given a show to present anyway. If I was a bad accountant, people wouldn’t just hand me their accounts to manage regardless. So why do parents support their child going onto a singing show when their voices are not pleasing to the ear?
The above notwithstanding, I did find some of the performances fun and some contestants mildly endearing. But reality TV’s a rather manky thing all round. At least the adults who go on these things are making a semi-informed choice. Pretty sure we’re responsible for the children, though.
I missed the final, by the way: does anyone know who won?