Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Now I’ve decided that it’s time to do something so obscure that no one knows of its existence. Hell I only half-remembered it till I found it on Youtube. But by gum Charlie Chalk was one of the best kids TV shows ever made. In short, it was about a clown that landed on the island of Merrytwit and the adventures he had with the locals. But is there a deep dark secret behind this innocence kids show? Join me as I come up with the horrifying implications behind it.
But first, before we go any further, I suppose one should watch the first episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp0qvesSKf4 I love the series cos of it’s expert timing at slapstick. It was also made by the same guys that made Postman Pat and Fireman Sam (â€¦ yeah, kids cartoons in the 90s didn’t try and make kids have high ambitions). But as the intro says, he was sleeping on a boat then he washed up on the island.
Or was he? Perhaps he was the average-go-lucky man that lost his wife and kids in a terrible boating accident. This caused his poor mind to snap, hence why it showed him drifting out to sea sleeping and fishing. However what actually happened was that he got carted off to the insane asylum. His deluded state let him come up with the idea that the Asylum (run by a mister Merry Twit), was actually an island. Once he got on the ‘island’ he met a variety of different people to help him cope with his delusions.
Firstly there is the nurse, who he perceives as a giant bunny rabbit. However he doesn’t think of her much, so he ignores her to find new friends. Next he meet Edward the Monkey, who spends his days lying around sleeping. At least, he does on the island. In the Asylum he’s a heavily medicated man that was prone to having violent outbursts, so the only way to stop him was to keep him sedated. Hence why he’s tired all the time. After that he meets Trader Jones, a resident psychiatrist. He tells Charlie he’ll trade things with him in exchange for favours. In actuality the psychiatrist is telling Charlie that in exchange for telling him his bad memories (and to help ease him out of the delusion), he’ll make Charlie’s stay more comfortable.
After that he meets Captain Mildred, Captain of the Buttercup. In actuality she is the head nurse that is looking after everyone in the asylum, hence why everyone does what she says. However she isn’t all there herself, fond of making up lists to order her thoughts. Nevertheless she is the one in charge of running the asylum wing of the hospital. Once he gets acquainted in his new home (aka starts building a house), he meets the people he’s going to be staying with. One of them is Lewis T Duck, a narcissistic man with delusions of grander, who got put in an asylum when his narcissism made him a danger to others. Charlie remembers that one of his children use to like ducks, hence he imagines the short man to be a duck. His other friend, Arthur the Elephant, is an autistic man who still doesn’t know he’s an adult (hence why he’s so clumsy). A nice enough guy, Charlie befriends him and imagines that he’s a giant pink elephant (since his other child use to carry a pink elephant around with her to keep her feeling safe). Once he made his new home he settles into life at the Asylum.
As he stays he meets Mary the Hover Fairy, actually a nurse in charge of prescribing drugs to the patients (hence why it seems like she can do magic, since she can affect their delusions thanks to the drugs). Next is Litterbug, a man with OCD who has to keep everything clean (the hole in the sack representing how he’ll never be happy as things will keep getting dirty). Finally Bert the giant monster is a kind Down-syndrome man who just wants to make friends (but is also rather big).
In the last episode of the series Charlie tries to leave Merrytwit to go back to the ‘clowns’, aka the real world (since the death of his loved ones made him so disillusioned he treated life as if it was some sort of cruel joke, as such turning into a ‘clown’ to relay that belief). However every time he tries to leave the memories of his delusions keep him from being cured completely, so he slips back into the mental delusion. As such, he arrives back on the island totally happy and completely mad, forever trapped inside his own head (and, in extension, the asylum).
So there you have it. A very dark look at a very innocent kids TV show. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.