Follow up: Firefighter Bubble Guppies and a few notes on Fireman Sam
Did I call it or what?
Bubble Puppy got stuck up a tree and the Fire Department came to get him down. And Gill climbed up there (why didn’t he swim??) to be with him, looking all scared of heights. Well, Gill, why couldn’t you just swim down yourself, without using undersea taxpayer resources?
The most realistic detail of the firefighter-themed Bubble Guppies was the awesome grey mustache on the crab/fire chief. Fire chiefs must have awesome grey mustaches. Just look at a firefighter-themed show that does justice to the profession: Fireman Sam. The blowhard, yet loveable, Station Officer Steele has an incredible mustache.
This is a show for young children, but things get real in Pontypandy, Wales – just off the top of my head, say, Fireman Sam and his crew deal with: a school bus full of children teetering on a cliff; a child trapped under falling rocks on a beach; several people marooned at sea; heads stuck in railings (one of them was Station Officer Steele); road accidents, people lost in the wilderness without cell phones and, oh yeah, ACTUAL FIRES (at least Bubble Guppies didn’t have the nerve to set a fire under the sea…but then again I wasn’t watching that closely). All this was handled capably by Fireman Sam, sometimes on his day off. And all of it taught children that though the world can be dangerous, there are good people in your communities able to help you, and also, safety and common sense are important.
Fireman Sam is a pretty good show, albeit it ten minutes long (or maybe because it’s ten minutes long), but I think for an American audience it benefits from that inevitable sheen of class gained from British accents and quaint landscapes. In a sad way, I kind of like being immersed in this small town. I feel like I know the hippy Bronwyn, the dotty Dilys, the impish Norman Price, which gave me the time to wonder (next para for adults only, for you millions of kids reading this blog):
…I know Norman Price is a pain who deserves his constant comeuppance for causing all sorts of problems for Fireman Sam to solve, but don’t you think Sam is a little hard on him? He assumes the worst on sight. He deeply resents him…because…he is Sam’s own love child with the grocer Dilys. It all makes sense; think about it! Spend valuable brain cells thinking about this: Norman’s father? We don’t know who he is, we never see him. Dilys gets all moony and lovelorn around Sam, always thinking of reasons to get him into her shop. And Norman and Sam? The only redheads in the town…
And now I have to go Fireman-Sam the baby off the stairs…