Vermont PBS has launched a new children’s show that aims to promote emotional awareness and development in its viewers through respect, inclusion and participation.
“Mister Chris and Friends” follows the eponymous host around Vermont’s idyllic countryside, on one level teaching kids how, for example, apples are pollinated, but using each moment along the way as a chance to engage kids through song, empathy, and simply listening.
This is Slow TV.
While most contemporary children’s television is loud neon speed theater, “Mister Chris” is quiet, naturalistic, focused, slow, speaking to “the most sensitive ears in the room.”
Their participatory knack extends to their funding and production: a pilot was created by Kickstarter, and their commitment to inclusion extends to sensitivity to their audience’s diversities.
Response to the show has so far been very positive, with calls to take it national. Appropriately, they would rather grow slowly.