The arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is near, signifying End of Days. Nearer than you might think perhaps, being this Autumn. This much feared and terrifying event, accompanied by signs, portents and celestial phenomena is known in layman’s terms as The New Series of Topsy and Tim. But before you pick up the phone to tell people you love them, or run to Tesco to stockpile provisions, let us take a moment to understand what we’re facing.
Now I’m all for any sort of kid’s programme that will keep my darlings entertained for 10 minutes while Mummy does *important housework* (Facebook). Hey Duggee, Andy’s Dinosaurs, Clangers, even the freak show that is Kate and Mim Mim, are all fine with me. I do however, draw the line at the abomination that is Topsy and Tim.
I grew up reading the books, and still love them, so why would I rather eat my own shoes rather than have to look at the CBeebies version. Here it is in list form:
1. Topsy and Tim are supposed to be preschoolers, and start school in one recent episode. They are the only 4 year olds I’ve ever seen with a full set of adult teeth. They quite clearly are at least 8. Which probably explains why they aren’t having a meltdown over the fact that the Frozen bowl is in the dishwasher, and instead politely articulate that they’d ‘simply love some porridge Mummy!’
2. They are called Topsy and Tim. Yes, those are their names, but their parents use them continually. Try and think back to the last time you used one of your immediate household’s actual name to their face. See.
3. Their automaton parents. To say they lack personality is an understatement. It’s like someone typed ‘parents’ into the world’s most unimaginative 3d printer, and out they came. They are scarily calm and chipper in all situations. So much so that you could imagine Topsy and Tim coming home with a severed head and they’d smile warmly and say ‘Twintastic! Just remember to clean up the blood stains Topsy and Tim!’
4. The Nit episode. Topsy and Tim come home with nits. Instead of screaming ‘For goodness sake!’ and ringing her husband’s mobile while he’s at work, having a cry down the phone while asking him to buy all the nit lotion in Tesco on the way home (or indeed just doing it herself, dragging nitty kids round the chemist), their mum smiles indulgently and takes them upstairs to calmly and lovingly comb conditioner through their hair. They sit still and happy during this process without the aid of a tablet, or Frozen on repeat. No yelling ‘Mummy you’re ruining my life!!’, or running off flicking conditioner and nits from one end of the house to the other.
5. They teach my kids bad things. Every episode there’s something! My daughter didn’t realise you could get out of bed after lights out until she watched the episode in which Topsy and Tim creep down the stairs and creepily watch their parents having dinner with their friends. All the way through I was having to loudly exclaim how naughty they were being in the frantic hope that it wouldn’t sink in. They’re always doing stuff like that, except for when they’re being perfect…how does that work?!?
6. When Mr Rosen died in their front room. Except he didn’t, and the possibility of a quality episode was sadly overlooked.
7. It’s horrendously sexist. Topsy makes cupcakes with Mummy, while Tim is told he has to go outside and do Quad Bikes instead. Mummy and Topsy do the housework, while Daddy and Tim do ‘men’s jobs’. What even is a ‘man’s job’?? It’s 2015. Have we learned absolutely nothing?? I hope Topsy becomes a Champion Quadbiker and Tim the world’s finest chef. That’ll wipe the inane smiles off their parents’ faces.
8. Their sitting room in the new house has a weird , blocked off wall where any real house would have patio doors. Probably they’re just trying to hide the portal to the underworld. Probably.
So there it is. Some of the vast number of reasons why the new series of Topsy and Tim will end Life As We Know It. So give those loved ones a call, pack up your emergency rations, and hopefully I’ll see you on the other side….