The Thing With Bing!

If you've got children of a certain age around the house, then you'll know about Bing!  If not, his work may have passed you by, particularly if you don't happen to be an avid fan of CBeebies.
Bing! (and he always comes with his own exclamation mark) is a charming black rabbit dressed in a colourful set of dungarees (which people my age would have called a romper suit in the dark ages).  He has a series of adventures with his friends Sula (an elephant) Pando (a panda) and Coco (another rabbit) which are all little morality tales in which Bing! learns a lesson about behaviour and social rules, which makes him a better rabbit.  So far, so good.
Where it gets a bit odd, in my opinion, is when we consider the carers of these animals.  None of them are the same species as their charges.  In fact, they're not any recognisable species at all.  For example, Flop, Bing's! carer, is an indeterminate brown thing that looks like a favourite toy that's been washed too many times.  Moreover, he, and all the other carers and 'adults' in these stories, is only half the size of his dependant, if that.
What bothers me is that these creatures, whatever they are, clearly run the world they inhabit.  They care for their giant animal offspring and also run the shop, the ice cream van and everything else in between.  What you don't see, ever, are the grown-up versions of the animals of which the children are infants, if you see what I mean.  Clearly Bing!, Sula and the rest have to grow up, at some point, so what happens to them then?  They can't take a position of any responsibility in their world because the small things with funny shapes have got those all sewn up. 
Is it me, or does this have all the hallmarks of a classic, if rather surreal, horror film?


It was all Playdays when my son was small, and then Teletubbies came along just in time for my daughter.  I thought that was a drug fuelled fantasy, but got fond of it in the end (as in, pathetically grateful it kept her still and quiet for 15 minutes).  I recently caught a brief glimpse of the Midnight Garden thing at a friend's house.  Weird.  Just...weird.  In my infancy it was all plain black and white realism, like talking flowerpots and a puppet with a fixed grin who disappeared into a box at night, with his female counterpart.   As you say, we bring our toddlers up in a horror film.  

Couldn't agree more about In The Night Garden - and they accuse us of being the drug-fuelled generation! I always thought Andy Pandy had a bit of an Elvis thing going on with that curled lip. That's if you can imagine Elvis in a blue-striped romper suit. That Teddy looked a bit smug for my liking too!

Yeh Bill and Ben and Little Weed - ah the days..Teletubbies again again. Before that Bodger and Badger..Not sure if I will ever watch Bing!, if I ever become an grandma something new will have come along.

Thanks for the comment, Elsie.  With or without grandchildren, I really would urge you to try Cbeebies.  There are a couple of programmes that make it all worthwhile (Bing! included).  Try 'Sarah & Duck' which is narrated by the wonderful Roger Allam, which makes it worth your while even if he was reading out the telephone directory, but it's also a very surreal programme with a French art-house feel and some very good jokes.  Also there's the brilliant 'Hey, Dugee' narrated by Alexander Armstrong which is delightfully barmy and has its own share of in-jokes.  They're wasted on the children, really wink