Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Fairly Odd Parents

Fairly Odd Parents

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TVY

The third longest running cartoon in the Nickelodeon schedule (only SpongeBob and Rugrats have been around longer), Fairly Odd Parents is a strange amalgam of typical kid fare and clever satire. The show revolves around perennial 10-year-old Timmy Turner, who has two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, looking out for him. Timmy is a lonely kid whose parents are clueless and whose babysitter, Vicky, is his evil nemesis.

Since its debut, Cosmo and Wanda welcomed a magical baby named Poof and Timmy acquired Sparky, a fairy dog who can talk. With a crown on his head and a wand for a tail, Sparky has added to the many magical accidents around the house.

To its credit, the series is more a send up of the usual Saturday morning staples, offering pop culture references, irreverent humor and exaggerated stereotypes of the genre. One recurring theme is competition between Timmy's dad and their neighbor, Sheldon Dinkleberg. Dinkleberg is to Saturday mornings as Newman was to Seinfeld. Dinkleberg is the neighbor whose grass is always greener—does everything better and is a nemesis of Timmy's bumbling dad. Plots often focus on childlike expectation versus the drudgery of adulthood, with lots of magical, physical mayhem for good measure.

Laura Fries   ©2014 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and 20 year member of the Television Critics Association Laura has been writing about television and film entertainment for more years than she cares to admit. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alexandria, Virginia.

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