Down Under

A few years ago, Captain Jelly Belly and Gal Smiley were really into this children’s show called Hi-5. It features five ethnically-diverse, fresh-faced young Americans, singing and dancing and performing little skits. We watched this show every day, usually more than once. We had the CD. We had their Christmas CD, too. We played them both every day, all year long.

And I admit it, I was just as much of a fan-girl as the kids. Oh yes, I had a favourite Hi-5 member. I knew all the words AND the actions to every song. I blogged about the outfits the girls wore a little too often for a grown woman (summary: season 1, cute; season 2, shield your eyes). I often found myself humming the Hi-5 tunes around the house. Or at the grocery store. Or during girls’ poker night.

Little Miss Sunshine has never been much into television, but I’ve been showing her Hi-5 for a couple of months now, hoping to hook her. It probably seems like bad parenting to try to get your kid to watch more TV, but the Little Miss is at a very busy age and sometimes it would be nice to make dinner without someone hanging off my leg, or you know, spend three or four minutes with the other kids.

And you know, it worked! Suddenly, about four weeks ago, she noticed that Hi-5 was cool. It was interesting. It was groovy. I made dinner in freedom.

And then, about three weeks ago, TLC stopped showing it. BARBARIANS! They moved it over to their Discovery Kids channel in the States, but for some reason, the Canadian version of DiscKids didn’t pick it up. And now we are having a Hi-5 CRISIS.

TV Ontario used to show Hi-5 too, but at the same time that TLC dumped it, TVO stopped showing it too. Now TVO shows something else in its place…Australian Hi-5.

Hi-5 was originally an Australian show, but for some reason TLC felt that it wasn’t appropriate for American audiences as-is (maybe they feared a whole generation of American children growing up with unusually long vowel sounds?). So they re-filmed every single episode, word for word, with an American cast.

The first time we saw the original Australian cast on TVO, my older two kids had some minor distress. Who are those people pretending to be Hi-5? Where are the real Hi-5? Why do they talk funny? Who is that guy? Who is that girl?

They did NOT like it. And I agreed. I don’t like change. And I missed my favourites.

But I’m warming to it…because Little Miss Sunshine loves them. We watch it every day now. And it is interesting seeing that the Australian version is literally, no different than the American one — why they bothered to refilm it, I do not know.

Plus, there were only two seasons of the American version — meaning, I saw every single episode like, 100 times each — but there are a whopping ten seasons of the Australian version, meaning I could be looking at new content every day for a year, at least. Which seems kind of nice.

And that Nathan — he’s a real find. He has the snap, I tell you. In fact, I propose a Hi-5 dream team of Nathan and Kelli from Australia, Karla and Curtis from America, and…well, take your pick between Sun and Kimee. Actually, I’ll go with Sun. Whoo hoo, dream team!

So I just learned that the entire first season of the American version is coming out on DVD on December 2nd, and Little Miss Sunshine is getting that set for Christmas this year. By then she’ll probably be telling me to throw another shrimp on the barby, and wondering who the heck these Hi-5 impostors are with the odd American accents. G’day!

5 thoughts on “Down Under

  1. I had no idea it was originally Australian. Huh! Hana used to be really into Hi-5 about a year ago, but she’s lost interest. Nowadays, she only has eyes for Scooby-Doo.

  2. Wow. I had no idea it was a SHOW. I was Christmas shopping last year and I liked the Christmas music playing so much that I bought the Christmas CD. It was Hi-5. Who knew? Please don’t tell my kids, or they won’t think it’s cool and won’t play it any more and I LIKE it!

  3. ohhh my hubs dislikes hi 5 sooooo much! when it’s on he can’t stop watching and gets a scowl on his face! hmmm i guess it really wasn’t meant for thirty something men now was it.
    ps-you are doing an exceptional job at blogging each day! good for you!

  4. Mary Lynn — My older two are totally back into Hi-5, now that the youngest is watching it (and because the Australian episodes are new to them). Try it again next year — Hana will probably love it!

    Leanne — There’s no shame in liking the Hi-5 Christmas CD — I think it’s great! Just the right mix of favourites and new tunes, all set to a catchy, family-friendly beat. I’ve heard it at least a thousand times now and I’m still not tired of it.

    Porter — My husband doesn’t like Hi-5 either– that’s because the songs get stuck in his head and he can’t stop singing them, either! Guess they’re too addictive for their own good :).

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