Screen Savers – Media Guy

Andrew Borkowski - Media Guy

While the new TV season puts the tried and true in new containers, XBox gets ready to turn the gaming world upside down.






Preschoolers

3-2-1 Let’s Go, Wednesdays,

4 p.m., Treehouse

The latest in a long line of Sesame Street
spinoffs, this is a spinoff from the spinoffs. The newest Muppet creation, a fairy named Abby Cadabby, guides kids through a collection of highlights from Sesame Workshop series including Global Grover, Play With Me Sesame, and Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures.

Sidekick

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m., YTV

Sidekick is a world populated by villains, superheroes and lowly sidekicks such as young Eric Neddles. Eric was apprenticed to Maxum Man, the greatest hero of all time. Then the superguy went missing leaving Eric to convince the world that his boss is still on the job while combating laser bunnies, mutant moustache monsters, and facing all manner of “completely unnecessary dangers” in classic stretch’n’squash-style animation.

Skatoony

Premieres Thursday, Oct. 28,

8:30 p.m., Teletoon

The mix of live contestants with animated
characters gives this game show high marks in the novelty department. Real kids combine with cartoon figures on a Hollywood Squares-style set and compete through four rounds of trivia and skill-testing questions until one is left to face the Quiz Champ Challenge. Marks for substance aren’t nearly as impressive, as run-of-the-mill trivia fuses with predictable goofiness such as the Hoo Flung Dung event in which contestants race to guess what a gorilla is painting with buckets of monkey poo.

School Age

Jimmy Two-Shoes

Mon-Wed., 7 p.m., Teletoon

It’s tough to be cheerful when you live in  Miseryville. That’s the challenge facing  cockeyed, optimist Jimmy Two-Shoes, who makes it his life’s work to fun up his dolorous hometown.

TWEEN

Connor Undercover , Fridays, 9:30 p.m. Family

Teen Colin Heath has his life turned upside down when Gisela, the daughter of a Latin American leader, is sent to live in hiding with his family. Suddenly at the centre of all manner of geopolitical intrigue, Colin must learn to get along with his pampered housemate, while helping fend off the evil forces who are out to destroy her. Shot in Toronto, Hamiliton, and Dundas, Ont., the show hails from the same producers who brought us Life With Derek, but, with a creaky script and some wooden performances from the adult cast, it falls far  short of that high standard.

LIFE UNEXPECTED

Fridays, 10 p.m., YTV

Tired of foster moms who drink and foster  dads who hit on her, 15-year-old Lux is determined to move out on her own. Before she can do that she needs to fi nd her birth parents – a local radio personality, and a raffish 30-something bar owner – to sign the papers. Vancouver stands in for Portland, Ore., as the setting. The series hangs its success on the perennial appeal of the “misunderstood-teen-orphan” theme and a disarming performance by Britt Robertson as Lux. As the late time slot suggests, the adult or near-adult situations depicted and discussed make this a show for tweens who are almost ready for grown-up fare.

KINECT FOR XBOX 360.

In stores November 4

This new motion and voice-activated gaming system represents a quantum leap for interactive gaming, entertainment, social interaction technologies. It’s a truly a “Look, ma, no hands” affair, controlled by voice and motion sensors instead of using hand-held controllers. Kinect does more to combat the “couch potato” criticisms leveled at today’s home entertainment products than any technology to date.
When the game says “jump” you really have to jump. When combined with Xbox Live’s interactive capacity, the possibilities are downright scary. The Kinect sensor is a slim horizontal box that attaches via a USB cable to the front of the Xbox console. It sells as an add-on to existing Xboxes for $149.99, $299.99 when bundled with the new Wi-Fi equipped console.

SHAUN WHITE SKATEBOARDING,

for PS3,Wii, Mac, PC and Xbox 360. Launches October 24

Created in collaboration with super skateboarder Shaun White, this game allows players to transform a dull cityscape into skater’s paradise. You can turn alleys into half pipes, streets into ramps. The ‘T’ teen rating didn’t
stop the jury at the Paris E3 show from awarding it their Family Friendly Seal of Approval.


LITTLE PASSPORTS:

A Global Adventure

www.littlepassports.com

It’s
a mark of how far technology has come that good old-fashioned snail
mail now offers a real treat for kids. This educational travel package
offers young subscribers a mailing about a different country each month.
Kids receive a letter from virtual travelers Sam and Sofi a describing
their adventures, plus maps, passports, souvenirs and stickers. The hard
copy kit also includes a “Boarding Pass” that gives kids access to
online games and activities. Parents can enroll their young voyagers at
www.littlepassports.com.

GOGO NEWS, www.gogonews.com

When
Toronto mom Golnar Khosrowshahi wanted to talk about current events
with her young children, she found that sometimes the news was just too
scary and sad for little ones to handle. GoGoNews delivers disaster-free
news each week to online subscribers, with daily updates on its
website. Co-editor Caroline Mulroney Lapham, a mother of four, helps
Golnar find funny, age-appropriate and fascinating stories from around
the world that provide talking points for parents and children.

Published in October 2010.

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