Archive - Dec 19, 2006
Via Phil Wilson's Blog, a video on YouTube of Thomas F. Wilson (Biff from Back to the Future) performing a comedic song about all the questions he gets regarding the film:
In "Postcards From Buster" documentary footage of children from different cultures is combined with animation of Buster and his friends. This season includes only 10 episodes, which began in November and will run through February, a far cry from the 40 produced for the show's first season.
Children first came to know Buster Baxter, the animated bunny who is the show's star, as the best friend of Arthur, the animated aardvark who is the title character of another PBS series. But most adults probably first heard of Buster in January 2005, midway into the show's first season, when word got out that an episode about maple sugaring, called "Sugartime!," would feature children in a Vermont family with two moms.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings attacked the episode in a letter to Pat Mitchell, the former PBS president, dated Jan. 25, 2005. "Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life-styles portrayed in this episode," she wrote. The same day PBS removed "Sugartime!" from its lineup. In the days that followed, the American Family Association, a major Christian conservative organization, orchestrated a campaign of more than 150,000 e-mail messages and letters to Ms. Spellings supporting her position, said Ed Vitagliano, a spokesman for the association.
WGBH responded by independently offering "Sugartime!" to each PBS station. It said that 57 of 349 stations broadcast the episode in March 2005, making it available to more than half of PBS viewers. But the "Sugartime!" controversy made finding funds for a second season difficult.
Perhaps surprisingly, this season continues to deal with hot-button issues. In an episode being shown today, Buster visits Fort Leonard Wood, an Army post in Missouri, to meet the family of a father who is stationed in Iraq. On Jan. 29 Buster will learn about the Mexican border, traveling with children to Tijuana from San Diego to meet their pen pals. And in the last show of the season, scheduled for Feb. 19, Buster revisits some children from the first season, whose homes in Louisiana were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
We like Postcards from Buster...a nice way for the kids to learn about different cultures and parts of the country. I'm glad its back.