Sunday, June 5, 2011

A new season of Essentials Jr.

Now that we've gotten past Memorial Day, it's time for another season of TCM's summer series the Essentials Jr., which shows movies that are good for the whole family, and especially the younger viewers. The one thing I notice about this season's selections is that there are a lot of movies that were picked in previous years, starting with the very first selection, The Adventures of Robin Hood, tonight at 8:00 PM.

To be honest, the number of repeats doesn't particularly surprise or bother me when it comes to the Essentials Jr.. I think that in selecting movies for a series like this, you really have to program it more for people who aren't such big fans of film, which means you have to come up with films that the parents are likely to recognize. (In fact, I made the same point back in June 2008.) There are only so many classic films out there that are well-suited to kids as well as grownups, and which the casual fan is likely to recognize. So, after a while, you're going to have to start running through them all again. But there's also another reason why repeats in the Essentials Jr. selections is perfectly normal. The kids who are part of the target audience for this year's showing of The Adventures of Robin Hood would have been too young for the showing three or four summers ago.

Frankly, I'm more surprised at the lack of repeats in the films selected for the regular Saturday night Essentials series for us grownups. How many truly essential movies are there, anyway?

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