Put on a stupid hat, button up your overalls, and bring the Brazilian porn, because today, we’re paying a visit to the farm!
This’ll be another short one kids. Sorry.
PJ Katie’s Farm is a weird fuckin’ show with a weird fuckin’ concept I can’t believe network executives ever approved. It’s not a cartoon at all, but rather a live-action show where PJ Katie acts out stories about the animals on her farm using clay figurines. Not claymation, mind you, but literally picking up the fucking things and acting them out like you would play with dolls or action figures. And someone high up at YTV heard this concept and went yeah. I want that.
It was often preceded by this….uh…..interesting PSA.
If you grew up in Canada in the 90s, you saw this 700 times a day. Of course, now I find it extremely hilarious. It’s really about blowjobs, right? There’s no way this shit wasn’t on purpose.
You may be wondering who the hell is PJ Katie, and why does she have a farm? A PJ, ladies and gentlefucks, was YTV’s term for the hosts that would come on in between shows. PJ stands for program jockey, not unlike MTV’s VJs. They’ve been mostly phased out over the years, though I believe there are still PJs hosting The Zone in the afternoons.
PJ Katie’s Farm started out in 1995 as short host segments between shows during YTV’s Treehouse block, aimed at small children during the mornings and early afternoons. A lot of the show was improvised and since all the episodes were filmed in one take, Katie’s fuckups were left in. She’d often trail off and lose her train of thought or knock shit over by accident. That’s to be expected when your bosses hand you a barn made of popsicle sticks, a few jars of Play-Doh and shove you in front of the camera.
The stories, such as they were, revolved around the life of the animals on Katie’s farm, such as Bryce the Collie, and Rosebeekee the Magenta Hamster. Who has his own fucking song.
The series became popular with small children, because small children don’t give a fuck, and the network liked it because it was a way to fill time for next to no money. I’ll admit that it certainly won’t entertain an adult on most levels, but I did have fun with the way Katie compensates for her mistakes and some of her pithy little comments are pretty funny. Things can get pretty fucking bizarre on PJ Katie’s farm. It does seem like she’s enjoying herself, but it also seems like she’s aware of how stupid all this is.
KATIE: So the animals went over and started eating all of the grass and all of the hay on the farm.
Katie accidentally knocks over a piece of the barn.
KATIE: And…uh, THE SILO WAS KNOCKED OVER BY A BIG GUST OF WIND!!!
Delilah Cow: It is an omen.
In fact, it’s almost more entertaining to watch the show as a look at lowly farm animals being fucked with by an incompetent troll-god. I have to wonder if this angle isn’t intentional. If you see Katie (real name Jennifer Raicot) outside of her YTV appearances, you will notice the girl’s got a smart mouth.
PJ Katie’s Farm soon became its own half-hour series, producing 65 episodes, which ran in an endless loop. In 1998, YTV sold the rights to the series to Nelvana, who have since done exactly fuck all with it. No DVD releases, no reruns, nothing.
There is some hope for seeing PJ Katie’s Farm, if you’re interested. YTV’s website has recently launched a feature called Wayback Playback, where we kids who grew up in the 90s can go back and watch episodes of our favorite shows, with a different crop of series every month. It’s a great idea, but it’s just the shows, and I do wish they’d go back into their vaults and dig out the old host segments/bumps as well. Hell, I’d even be down with some old commercials.
My feelings for this show are mixed and kinda difficult to explain. When I was a kid I hated this show, and looking back I can confirm that objectively it is indeed shit. And yet, I feel a very strong nostalgic fondness for it, the reason for which escapes me.
I think it’s because of my very strong feelings for the YTV of the 90s and very early oughts. It was the kid’s network in Canada, and it was quite literally a huge part of my childhood. I get nostalgic to the point of tears just watching old intros, host segments, bumpers, or eye-catches on YouTube. Remembrance of happier times and all that.
Since around 2004, YTV had been on a steady downward slope. I hope this isn’t just the nostalgia talking, but it just didn’t feel special anymore. The PJ segments were largely gone, the Fuzzpaws (Network-ownd muppets that hung with the PJs) were also gone. Treehouse had split off to become its own network, and the overall quality of the programming went on a downward slope. The heart that it once had was gone.
PJ Katie’s Farm takes me back to when you could watch YTV all day, and even if it wasn’t your favourite show, it was still a lot of fun. Even though it was something my younger brother enjoyed far more than I ever did, the budget sucks, and there’s no way it will entertain anyone over the age of 10, the memories associated with it ensure that I will always feel warm fuzzies for it.
Let’s hear it for the fuckin’ 90s.
Next Week: Beetlejuice