Ahh, the joys of Denmark's children's television programming. Famed for its notorious farting puppets, wholesome nighttime programming featuring beloved kids' characters catching some z's, and now, a cartoon about a man solving everyday problems with a massive schlong? The DR, Denmark's public-service broadcast corporation is ringing in a new year of quality programming, launching a brand new cartoon set to be, um, the biggest show on TV, a children's animated series chronicling the life and erm, hard times of protagonist, John Dillermand, The Guardian reported. With a last name that roughly translates to the Danish slang term for "penis-man," the show is targeted to a young audience of four to eight-year-old and portrays the titular character using his eerily serpentine Johnson to complete a number of tasks, like lighting grills, lion taming, walking dogs, and even turning his willie into a makeshift (or well, makeshaft) helicopter, in a move that would make Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg's SNL characters maybe a bit too proud.
Despite only gracing our airwaves and computer screens for a few not-so-short days, the series has already sparked a series of debates over what is appropriate for children's content, especially as the European nation faces its own #MeToo movement, sparked by a heartfelt award-show confession from one of the DR's own presenters, Sofie Linde.
"Is this really the message we want to send to children while we are in the middle of a huge #MeToo wave?" mused Hildegard author Anne Lise Marstrand-Jorgensen.
And it seems the writer isn't alone in her concerns. Roskilde University researcher and associate professor, Christian Groes likely agrees with these sentiments, arguing the show could perpetuate sexist behavior. "It's perpetuating the standard idea of a patriarchal society and normalising 'locker room culture," he said. "That's been used to excuse a lot of bad behaviour from men. It's meant to be funny -- so it's seen as harmless. But it's not. And we're teaching this to our kids."
Yet not everyone is concerned about the show's erm, most notable cast member, with clinical psychologist Erla Heinesen Hojsted even arguing the should could instill positive life lessons about self-control and accountability in young viewers. "John Dillermand talks to children and shares their way of thinking -- and kids do find genitals funny," she explained. "The show depicts a man who is impulsive and not always in control, who makes mistakes -- like kids do, but crucially, Dillermand always makes it right. He takes responsibility for his actions. When a woman in the show tells him that he should keep his penis in his pants, for instance, he listens. Which is nice. He is accountable."
The network itself has also spoken out in light of these mixed reviews, stating they could have swapped the show to feature "about a woman with no control over her vagina," adding that above all, they want the youth to enjoy the show, according to The Guardian. Ok then ....
Anyways, whatever way you hang on the subject of this show, there's one thing for sure -- this show is definitely going to be big.