I recall watching a kids show a few years back and thinking ‘sheesh, that’s pretty dark’.
Perhaps the best children’s TV shows have something for everyone, and adults can also get their kicks while enjoying a reprieve from entertaining their brethren.
Then there’s the show John Dillermand, airing on Danish public broadcaster DR, which is known for pushing the boundaries.
In Danish, “diller” is slang for penis, so Dillermand’s name translates as ‘John Penis-man’.
Let’s take in the intro of the show:
His ‘diller’ is certainly versatile. You can watch the entire first episode, which is just five
metres minutes long, here.
The show is aimed at children aged between four and eight, but adults watching on have raised some concerns. Here’s The Wrap:
While Dillermand’s member does cause plenty of mischievous antics, DR defended its content and clarified that the show is not designed to be a commentary on gender.
The network said it could “just as easily have made a program about a woman with no control over her vagina,” and that their main concern was if children were entertained by the show.
According to Danish family psychologist Erla Heinesen Højsted, the show could have a positive impact on children, given that John always takes responsibilities for his mishaps, and rights any wrongs.
Here’s a Google Translation of the description of episode nine, “John on a Fishing Trip”:
“John is going fishing, but he has no fishing rod. Then he can in turn fish with the diller. Unfortunately, it’s just so embarrassing, because it just catches old junk. And the others on the dock laugh so much at him that the diller pushes kids into the water.
But John saves the day with his diller-copter and gets the kids fishing ashore again. All is well until John gets the right bite.”
Many parents have argued that it’s inappropriate and poorly timed, as it coincides with Denmark’s first #MeToo movement, which exploded after journalist Sofie Linde’s revelations during an awards show last year that she had been a victim of sexual harassment.
Variety reports that the show’s producers put in a great deal of work behind the scenes:
“John Dillermand” was developed in collaboration with several professionals, including the child psychologist Margrethe Brun Hansen “who read each script to ensure children interpret everything in the series as intended,” as well as the Danish organization Sex and Society who were consultants on the show.
It’s estimated that around 250 000 Danish children watched the first episode within the first five days of it airing, and many are already making snowmen, drawings, and singing songs about him.
Fair play to John – he knows how to use it.
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