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Kevin Michael Richardson
With it's mix of semi-educational history lessons, humor, music, and spoofs of contemporary culture, "Histeria!" is quite an amusing cartoon. Episodes which spoof current and classic television shows abound here as well. The only trouble is, some of them seem over the heads of it's intended audience. Does the average young viewer understand why Thomas Jefferson is played out like "The Jack Benny Program?" Do they know that Abraham Lincoln's voice is supposed to be a parody of Johnny Carson? Are they familiar enough with the Rat Pack, to understand why Frank Sinatra & company are playing Julius Caesar, Brutus, etcetera, or Evita Peron sounds like Charo? Ernest Hemingway and Leonardo da Vinci as Batman?
Not to say that it isn't a funny, and educational show, because it is. I particularly like scenes when actual quotes, with hand-written signatures of historic figures are briefly imposed on the screen. The show only ran for one season, and that's too bad, because there's so much more ground for a show like this to cover such as the world since 1945(Okay, I know they've done it already, but not enough), and the tales of the Great Depression that our grandparents never told us about such as the 1932 Bonus March, or how communists and fascists tried to take advantage of the despair of the period.
Anti-media zealots like Peggy Charren, and Terry Rakolta, frequently complain about the content of children's television, claiming that it'll turn kids into violent, illiterate sociopaths, and urge parents to watch with their kids. This show certainly won't give people like them anything to worry about, and may even get them interested in U.S. and World History. But if you have kids, be sure to watch it with them anyhow, because some of what they see here will require more explanations from you.
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