The Santa Fe New Mexican from Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 30, 2001 · 53
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The Santa Fe New Mexican from Santa Fe, New Mexico · 53

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Sunday, September 30, 2001
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53
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Sunday, September 30, 2001 THE NEW MEXICAN G-5 b Jzi o Cl V The new By AMANDA ROGERS Fort Worth Star-Telegram aving watched hour upon hour of fall offerings in the world of chil- drens television (the good, the bad and the ugly), Ive figured out that with some of the shows, the most childish thing may be the creators concepts. Some shows, for example, seem like clear attempts to produce something with merchandise tie-ins. For example, Burger King had toys for Cubix, a new sci-fi robot show, as soon as the show hit the airwaves. Other shows mimic the not-so-clever-anymore trends in grown-up TV, such as teen reality show Moolah Beach on Fox Family and Disneys The Proud Family, which is no better than a dopey prime-time sitcom. Another snag in the fall TV lineup is that much of the best of childrens television's now found on cable channels Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney that roll out new shows according to their schedule, leaving the traditional back-to-school, back-to-TV options rather thin. Nevertheless, after slogging through many new shows, I found some worth watching with your kids. Theyve all made their premieres this month, so settle in on the couch and enjoy the view. Stanley Stanley is a sweet little guy whose best friend is Dennis, his witty goldfish with an English accent. Stanley loves animals and has a Great Big Book of Everything, from which he can pull out real animals. A goofy dog and cat break into catchy song ev.ery time the Great Big Book of Everything comes out. The show has a subtle focus on letters, sizes and animal facts and features very cute Peanuts-like animation and story lines that are great for preschoolers. Entertaining for parents and for big brothers and sisters, too. The show is based on the Stanley childrens book series written by authorillustrator Andrew Griff Griffin and published by Hyperion Books for Children. Executive producers are Jim Jinkins and David Campbell, who also produce the Disney animated series PB&J Otter, Disneys Doug and 101 Dalmatians: The Series. Best for ages: 3-10 Best reason to watch: The whole family is going to like this one. . Possible caveats: Your child is going to want a Great Big Book of Everything, and theyre not sold anywhere. Airs: 8:30 and 11 a.m. weekdays, 11 and 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Channel: The Disney Channel Saswa, the Chinese Siamese Cat Best-selling writer Amy Tan ( The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetters Daughter ) creates a half-hour ani- A softer, earthier Suzanne Vega With her erudite lyrics and angular been criticized for 'being too thin, much black. Now she seems softer TV season offers up a Chinese Siamese cat, more Tarzan, a sci a large blue octopus and even a teen reality show Best-selllng writer Amy Tan has created a half-hour animated series based on her childrens book, The Chinese Siamese Cat. The PBS series, which airs 3 p.m. weekdays, stresses the Importance of family, Chinese Culture and traditions. mated series based on her childrens book, The Chinese Siamese Cat, published in 1994, about a white kitten and her family in China. Sagwa is a curious kitten who tries to keep up with her older brother, which lands her in trouble. Fortunately, her wise parents keep a close eye on the kittens, The series stresses the importance of family, Chinese culture and traditions. The show is produced by CinGroupe in. association with Sesame Workshop. Best for ages: 4-10 . Best reason to watch: Shows a different culture in a fun, entertaining show. Possible caveats: None. What could go wrong when Amy Tan and PBS team up? Airs: 3 p.m. weekdays. Channel: PBS Disneys The Legend of Tarzan Walt Disney does the animation on this new 39-episode series, so it looks like the 1999 movie and is true to the story line. While the voices for the show are not the . same as those used in the film, the only one we really miss in this version is that of Rosie ODonnell, who was Terk, Tarzans best-buddy ape in the movie. In the first episodes, Tarzan battles a merchant who opens a trading post in rhinoceros territory, then takes on the displaced rhinos that invade the gorillas forest. Its a classic tale but told well arid with new life. Best for ages: 4-12 looks, Suzanne Vega had too pate and wearing too and more approachable. Best reason to watch: You get to find out what happened after the Tarzan movie ended. Possible caveats: The new voice of Terk the gorilla is REALLY annoying. Airs: 7:30 a.m. weekdays. Channel: UPN Moolah Beach This six-episode reality series is reminiscent of Survivor, except that the teen contestants cry after theyve stabbed others in the back, they get to sleep in nifty huts on a Hawaiian beach and the two eventual winners only get $25,000. The series will remind viewers of high school when the pretty cheerleader and the good-looking athletic guys often come out on top, even if they dont deserve it. Best for ages: 11-17 Best reason to watch: Temporary escape to Hawaii without the airfare. Possible caveats: Peer pressures already bad enough in real life; your kids may not want to see any more of it. Airs: 1 p.m. Saturdays. Channel: Fox Family The Nightmare Room R.L. Stine, author of the creepy childrens book series Goosebumps and the master of the scary story, brings his imaginative world to life on Saturday mornings with a live-action series thats a Twilight Zone for preteens. This one is really frightening, so its not for younger or sensitive kids. Preteens and By KIM CURTIS The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO Three years ago, Suzanne Vega figured her musical career was over. Her life was turned upside down after she divorced her husband, sold her house and fired her manager. And the folkie who burst onto the pop scene in 1987 with the mega-hit Luka hadnt written a song in years, v Everything went up in the air and everything that I had thought was stable in my life became unstable, she said in an interview. I was kind of thinking, 'Im in my early 40s. Ive had a good long career and maybe this is the time to wrap it qp. ; But with a little prodding from her young teens who like fictional horror stories are going to love this, though. Some of the Goosebumps story lines, as well as new stories, will appear. The first two episodes had a doll that comes to life to stalk its owner, and a boy whose lies start to come true. Best for ages: 11 and up Best reason to watch: R.L. Stines twisted stories are fascinating, even if youre not a horror fan. . Possible caveats: Definitely NOT for younger kids who have trouble separating fact from fiction. Airs: 10 a.m. Saturdays. Channel: The WB Cubix Sharp animation and the sci-fi robot premise have kids going gaga over this show, which already has its own toys in Burger King kids meals and at retail stores. A Game Boy version Cubix is on the way, too. Robots are everywhere in Bubble Town, doing all sorts of jobs from construction workers to waiters. Even kids can have their own. The Robix Corp. has given the robots the ability to feel emotions, but now the robots are fighting. Best for ages: 7-12 Best reason to watch: The 3-D animation is great Possible caveats: Fighting robots Airs: 7:30 a.m. Saturdays. Channel: The WB Samarai Jack This animated, half-hour series comes from the creator of Dexters Laboratory, Genndy Tartakovsky. is back on bass player who still had confidence in Vegas commercial appeal she set out on a European tour and was astonished that people still wanted to hear what she had to say. Feeling newly secure, she started writing again not only songs, but also a book of poems, The Passionate Eye: The Collected Writing of Suzanne Vega. I need a certain sense of rhythm in my life to really be creative, she says. Im.not one of those people who really thrives on chaos. It really helps me to have a certain kind of stable place. Last week she released her first album in five years, Songs in Red and Gray. For Vega, it marks a return to raw, acoustic sound that is her strength. It still boils down to her and her guitar. Thats the essence of her art her voice, her lyrics and her guitar, says - fi robot, Jack, the son of the emperor, has been sent to the future by the wizard Aku and must face evil robots, flying cars and a bleak landscape while trying to find the portal back to his time. The 26-episode series has stark animation; lots of swordplay and a shape-shifting evil wizard who could scare younger viewers but also features imaginative stories on the theme of good vs. evil. Best for ages: 10 and up Best reason to Watch: Good doesnt give up, plus its funny Possible caveats: Could be scary to younger viewers. Airs: 10 p.m. Mondays with repeats on 8 p.m. Fridays and 9 p.m. Sundays. Channel: The Cartoon Network Oswald Animated half-hour show about a large blue octopus with a little black derby who lives in a city made out of gumball machines and ice-cream cones. The ice-cream man is a snowman, and Oswalds weeny dog comes with a bun. Fred Savage ( The Wonder Years) is . Oswalds voice, and David Lander (Squiggy from Laveme and Shirley) does the voice of Oswalds best friend, Henry the penguin. Best for ages: 2-5 Best reason to watch: Happy, safe place for young preschoolers. Possible caveats: Oswald looks like a blue tick more than an octopus, so you might itch while you watch. Airs: 11:30 a.m. weekdays. Channel: Nickelodeon the scene her bassist of 15 years, Mike Visceglia. And it works really well because you can get close to Suzanne in a way people havent been able to in a very long time. Vega says the Red in the albums title represents passion, while the Gray is for intellect. In the past, Vega, whose unflinching lyrics of Luka raised awareness about child abuse, has leaned, toward the gray. ; With her erudite lyrics and angular looks, Vega had been criticized for ; being too thin, too pale and wearing too; much black, she recalls. ; But now, at 42, a single mother with a ; 6-year-old daughter, Ruby, Vega seems ; softer and more approachable, both in appearance and performance. She even ' comes close to downright earthy '. wearing black, of course. ; ' i

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