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Aired: Sep. 9, 1996
Network: Nickelodeon (NICK JR)
Target Audience: Preschool
Blues Clues is my favorite kids show. Its appeal probably comes from its simplicity. Each episode is the same format, but with different puzzles and problems to solve in each one.
In each episode, Steve and the audience is trying to solve a riddle. Blue, the animated dog, leaves three clues by putting a blue paw print on each one. Throughout the show, Steve finds the clues with the help of the audience and draws it in his "Handy Dandy Notebook". Once he finds all three, he sits in the "Thinking Chair" to think about the answer. While he is looking for the clues though, the other characters ask his help with problems such as telling time and counting. The audience helps him find the answers.
The magic of this show is Steve Burns. He is absolutely wonderful. When he asks for the audiences help, he gives time for them to think. Then a childs voice (representing the home viewers response) is heard saying the right answer and Steve acts like this really helped him. What is amazing is that he is able to seem so sincere. He is able to make the viewer feel that he is actually on the same level as the audience, and that they really work together to come up with the answers. Plus, he does it with the utmost intellect and enthusiasm.
Point of Interest: The show is graphically created except for the one human actor Steve Burns, and even he is simplified by wearing the same outfit on each episode. According to David Handelman in the October 31,1998 issue of TV Guide, Paige Johnson, the designer, decided to create the images by first making the shapes using things you would find a preschooler using before scanning them in to the computer to create the animation. Steves part is filmed in front of a blue screen and then added in.
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