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My Music Rules

Season 4 Episode 10a

One of my all-time favorites, and it's relatable for me because I always had that feeling that I would hate something before it actually happened, which my dad called a "628" for some reason. But today though, if someone offered to take me to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert, no way am I turning that down. No wonder D.W. clapped at the end of the prelude of Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 (FWIW, all six suitesput together are over two hours): he can really play, and he is by far my favorite classical musician. Whether he's playing with other esteemed artists like Itzhak Perlman alongside an orchestra, at an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, at a presidential inauguration, or on his "Songs of Comfort" campaign throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he's perfect for every occasion. To this day I still imagine him as his depiction on the show as a rabbit.

The main message that this aims to convey is that no one type of music is better than another, and that it should be encouraged to enjoy different types of music and not pit them against each other. We kind of see them pitted against each other when they jam on that prelude to the first Bach cello suite, where Redman takes a measure and Ma takes another, set to the montage of Arthur and D.W. arguing, and the fantasy where Binky imagines them fighting WWE style. Joshua Redman touches on jazz largely being improvisation, and hip-hop also is largely built on improvisation as well. Both jazz and hip-hop are derived from old African-American musical traditions, which also paved the way for country music and rock and roll. Arthur tries to frame the question about classical music to try and set up "Uncle Josh" to criticize classical music, but he basically responds with a great riff on the Minuet in G by Bach which the kids enjoy. He hits the nail on the head by saying "The only rules in music are based on what people like to hear, and they change all the time."

If two musicians can actually make Arthur like a rendition of the Crazy Bus theme, which they end on here, you know they're pretty solid. This episode gets a perfect score for raking in everyone to different kinds of music, and letting them know that they can have eclectic tastes.

By: Guthrie Edson

That's A Baby Show!

Season 4 Episode 10b

The open to this where Arthur walks into his room to find Mary Moo Cow and her entourage of kittens, accompanied by a small ensemble, is one of the funnier ones in the show. I see the musicians in there but the theme song doesn't sound like it has any of those instruments in it. After the title card, we get a sense for the premise of the show: Dark Bunny (Batman) vs Mary Moo Cow (Barney). If DVRs or streaming existed back in this time, most of the problems of this episode would probably be avoided, but alas, this episode pits the typical hard action TV show and educational show (with the latter more likely to get parental approval) against each other.

Arthur appears to be losing this battle, because it seems like Dark Bunny is on at the same time as Mary Moo Cow, but on a different channel, and Mrs. Read is always going to let D.W. watch her show (although couldn't D.W. just have gone into a different room while Dark Bunny is playing?). When I was growing up, all we had was PBS Kids, so Arthur, Cyberchase, Fetch, and the likes were what my sister and I watched on our local station, so the Reads definitely had more options than we did. I can understand how Arthur got hooked on The Love Ducks so quickly. The colors and animations set to classical music (in this case "Toreador Song" from Bizet's Carmen) are very satisfying to watch, to the point that despite everyone making fun of Arthur for liking the show, it turns out that everyone...has watched the show and really liked it. The scene in the music store is iconic, where the clerk gets on the PA system and broadcasts to everyone in the store that Arthur, complete with trench coat, was looking for the Love Ducks CD. I definitely have been in that position before, looking for something in a store that might seem embarrassing–luckily nowadays, you can order online and not even have to interact with anyone when picking up said item.

I used to be the same way with Arthur before the memes really took off and became mainstream, so I definitely empathize with him hiding his guilty pleasure. There was potential here for some embarrassment, but it turns out well in the end for everyone.

By: Guthrie Edson

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