Magic School Bus Critique

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Peter Dang

TV Critique- The Magic School Bus
The general population sometimes sees children television programs as low budget or cheesy productions. Compared to other programs on TV such as Lost, 24, Friends, or American Idol, children television shows cost only a fraction to produce. However, these programs prove to be the most influential TV content towards their targeted audience. Children’s programs can be both beneficial and detrimental depending on the content of the programs. In a study by B.J. Wilson and colleagues, it was found that most TV programs targeted towards children have acts of aggression that would later impact the child. Their study showed that “children exposed to much media violence often grow up to be aggressive and violent adults.” Although there are a good number of children TV shows that might be detrimental without realizing it, there are several shows that have been seen in studies to actually be beneficial. One of these show is The Magic School Bus.

After sixteen years of being on televisions, The Magic School Bus (which originally aired on PBS) is still playing on the cable channel Qubo in the United States at 8:30am, 4:00pm, 7:30pm, and 11:00pm daily. The show is an educational show that focuses mostly on science. It is presented as an entertaining cartoon to target school-age children. Watching the episode "For Lunch", a few observations can be seen on how this show proves to be beneficial to children. Every show starts out in Ms. Fizzle's classroom where the students encounter a scientific topic. The class is then takes a field trip by the Magic School Bus. The magical bus takes them on-site to locations where the topic is discussed. In this episode, a student (Arnold) accidentally swallows a piece of gum. This sets up the study of the digestive system in this episode. Ms. Frizzle and the students jump on board the magic school bus, which transforms and becomes microscopic to enter Arnold's mouth. The...
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