andy pandy

new chair

so, this is one of those times when larry is working nonstop. as in, some days i see him for about 5 minutes 3 times per day when he emerges to find food. instead of getting snappy at each other (which is sometimes the case under such circumstances), this time we've been quite cheery and supportive of each other (nonstop work mode creates very different but real challenges for each of us :). that said, this has been going on for about a month, and a month is about how long either of us can stand it. so, things may or may not start to get a bit precarious around here. (eva loves using that word, though she thinks it's "precurious" which is, frankly, just plain adorable).

that preamble is mostly to provide context for eva's recent obsession: andy pandy. for those of you who wonder (as i would have) why you haven't yet heard of this preschooler trend... that would be because apparently eva is the only child in america who cares about this show.

andy pandy was originally a 1950s british children's television show, (think howdy doody), but in 2002, it was revived -- in color! and claymation! eva doesn't watch a ton of kid tv -- mostly sesame street, and last fall, many many viewings of "how the grinch stole christmas" -- but i am not above just rolling with tv requests when necessary for family sanity (and nonstop work mode is one of those necessary times). so, in between viewings of "ace of cakes", we stumbled across three -- yes, just three -- episodes of andy pandy on bbc kids on demand.

"mama, can i watch andy pandy? the one with the picnic?" with just three 20 minute episodes, we came to know well the adventures of andy pandy and looby loo (yes, this character is the source of the song "here we go looby loo... all on a saturday night"). "mama, now can i watch the one with the man from the moon? please, just one more andy pandy?" the best thing about this show is that there are no squeeky fake kid voices (think elmo, etc) -- only a decidedly grown-up sounding british narrator. but a mama can only hear about, oh, say... how teddy painted looby loo's flowers blue with sailor bilbo's blue paint so many times before she looks for options. as in, where's the dvd?

after much google searching, it seems more andy pandy is not to be found. no dvds, no streaming video from bbc online, nothing on youtube, very little on ebay (when last i checked, a single region 4 dvd and some $35 collectible vhs tapes). so, as i said, sadly for eva, no children in america seem to share her obsession.

well, today -- after an unprecedented three day break from andy pandy -- i pulled up the preschool on demand channel on the cable box to find... no andy pandy. sure, the programming rotates, but since this long-off-the-air show had been present for many months before we ever started watching it, i presumed it would outlast her love for it. sadly, it did not.

i actually paused, probably with my mouth hanging open, before breaking the news, not relishing the thought of crushing her little world.

"oh, eva... there isn't any more andy pandy. they're not here anymore. i'm so sorry."

i can't remember when i last saw her so sad. her eyes instantly brimmed with tears, her jaw quivered.

"you mean all of the andy pandy's are gone? even the picnic one?" at which point she collapsed into sobs.

i held her, i told her i knew how sad she must be. after a minute, i suggested we go up and tell papa about it. he repeated all the google searching i had done several weeks ago, and i hoped he would have better results. we found a 5 minute clip in italian, which seemed to make her feel a tiny bit better, but no solid leads.

"mama? maybe we can just make a cd of andy pandy instead?" she's a surprisingly smart consumer of technology (grasping the difference between dvr recordings and live tv, and between flickr videos and skype), so i think this was maybe in part the "bargaining" stage of grief and part preschooler misunderstanding.

poor kid. for whatever reason, she just really connected with this show. in a world of super-duper-attention-grabbing kid shows that are too hectic or scary for her tastes (meaning, pretty much every kid show), andy pandy was just her speed. i think she mostly gets that it's gone forever, and (since she has already torn through the first several stages of grief) i think she'll get over it pretty quickly. but it was still just... sad.

i guess to avoid potential disappointment (not to mention future lack of cultural knowledge), she should just go with disney?

nah... she'll recover. but, if anyone has a lead on an andy pandy dvd, do let me know...

UPDATE 08/2009: it came back. hooray! i guess i freaked out too soon, because it reappeared on the on demand channel, a different set of three episodes. it has since rotated a few times, offering different episodes every few months. though, by now, she can take it or leave it. ("uh, yeah, mom, that was so, like, 1/8th of my life ago." heh.) she asked to watch andy pandy yesterday, though, when she was feeling sick. so i think it still brings her comfort.


Mothering Two said...

OMgoodness, this was such a sweet story of childhood affection for a show! I found your blog through Meredith's. Andy Pandy, I'll keep my eyes and ears open for it. :)

bdon said...

So, good to know that our household in America isn't the only one with an affinity for Andy Pandy. Here's the link to my post about my daughter's love for the show.



Jenni said...

I know this was posted a while ago, but I just came upon it. I was searching for Andy Pandy for my son. He's not old enough to watch it yet, but my mother (his nana) calls him Andy Pandy. Ironically, this was before we had ever heard of the show. I only found out about it by randomly googling it. His name is actually Leander.

This is what I found; I hope it helps:


jennifer borrell anderson and hello prints! said...

found your blog looking for andy pandy on DVD after i saw it at my mother's house on On Demand, I'm going to see if she'll at least VHS tape it for me. maybe check with friends in different states, to see if their BBC on demand is still showing it? It really is a sweet show, and just the pace i'm looking for, for when i let my one year old watch tv. reminds me of paddington bear, which i think also was narration over stop-motion. i'll post back if my family finds any success! i guess we could all order region 2 DVD players and the subsequent region 2 DVDs the last commentor found...