Hello, Watchers! My newest Mark Does Stuff project is here!

Just an update about my newest project, which just launched this morning, and has been occupying my time for nearly a month!


In conjunction with GlobWorld, where I am a community manager, and the Mark Does Stuff Internet empire, I have just launched a blog wherein myself and quite a few of your fellow members of THIS community will be navigating the world of children’s literature, television, animation, music, video games, and much more for the benefit of all the parents in the world. THE WHOLE WORD *dun dun dun*

A lot of what I have read in terms of parent blogging is criticism or “guides” to popular culture largely written by outsiders who have no real interest in understanding what they are consuming. They are merely interested in telling parents whether this is a “bad” thing or a “good” thing and then moving on. Well, you all know me well enough to know that I think things are never that black and white and that context, detail, specificity, and an analytical mind can all help us figure out how to feel about the world of pop culture.

A great deal of you have asked me to cover children’s fiction or children’s TV shows. A lot of you also asked to write a guest post or facilitate coverage of a series in the Mark Reads/Watches style. I could never personally figure out how to do that here on this site, so when the opportunity arose to take control of a largely dormant and underused blog space for my work, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Starting today, and over the course of the next two weeks, you will see a wonderfully diverse set of reviews start up about a myriad of topics and series, from the Junie B series, to the show The Backyardigans, to a guide to video gaming as a parent written by a fantastic woman whose name you’ll recognize if you’ve ever posted in the comments, to features about what sort of stuff you might be able to do with your kids that doesn’t involve the Internet.

I am also very excited to announce the two projects I’ll be tackling specifically for this new blog: Mark Reads A Series of Unfortunate Events and Mark Watches Spongebob Squarepants. I am dead serious about those two. The adventure never ends, right?

Now, I realize a lot of you aren’t parents, and that’s ok. You are still absolutely welcome to follow along with the wonderful journey that is going to unfold, as I haven’t even revealed a quarter of the series that will be covered by this blog. The idea is to give fans an empowered platform to share their love of a show for parents to explain WHY a show is good for a child or why it is NOT so good. Or everything in between! All of this is written by your peers, most (if not all) of them from the Mark Does Stuff community, people I handpicked for their unique views and their experiences as teachers, parents, writers, games, and, above everything else, their unabashed nerdiness. Some will be in the style of the series’ I’ve covered in the past. Some will not. That’s what so exciting to me, though, is that all of this is VERY new and different!

Please head on over to this new blog, bookmark it, comment in an unhealthy manner (PLEASE DON’T SWEAR THERE ARE PARENTS AND CHILDREN WATCHING), and rejoice!

Additionally, we are still expanding and looking for people to write for this project. If you can provide samples of your writing that you’ve done and if you’ve got a particularly good idea of something you’d like to tackle, do not hesitate to send me an email:

markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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340 Responses to Hello, Watchers! My newest Mark Does Stuff project is here!

  1. sundaycoma says:

    That's entirely awesome and I think it's a great idea! Review blogs are sort of a dime a dozen on the 'net but to actually utilize that medium as an actual means to an end (well, I guess, an end other than just general amusement, edification, and entertainment) is helpful and productive. I can tell you that a lot of families can benefit from stuff like this as first-time parents are generally terrified about what they should let their kids watch (hint: Not Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds or the Poltergeist series. Thanks, mom and dad for the neverending vortex of nightmares!)

    • burritosaurus says:

      My brother had the same problem with The Birds. And then, years and years later, when he was in college, he had a poster covering up a hole in the wall and…….A BIRD TOTALLY BROKE THROUGH IT WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING!!!! He screamed so loud he woke up all his house-mates.

      • sundaycoma says:

        LOL. That's horrendous. And it's such a weaksauce phobia too (though for me it's not so much single birds that I dislike ['cause I used to own some as pets]. it's birds in swarms that I just get mildly uncomfortale and sweaty around). It's just generally difficult explaining to someone why "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins is a potential panic-attack waiting to happen.

    • Sparkie says:

      I watched The Birds recently; creepy as hell! I can definitely see the nightmare fuel there!

      • sundaycoma says:

        I was six. I apparently cried so hard, we got escorted from the theater. I've been in a lot of theaters with bawling children in my time. I've never seen any of them kicked out. I don't know why my parents thought this wouldn't scar me for all of time.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      My parents let us watch Terminator 2. My older brother punched a window because he wanted to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It didn't end well.

      • sundaycoma says:

        Hahah. Arnold was barely an impression of mine from that movie. Now Edward Furlong… that's another story.

        Hope your older brother never tried to con you into acting out any of the scenes with him. I hear that's a thing for siblings that ends in trauma and injury and general not-good-ness.

  2. Kaci says:

    Oh gosh, I am so excited about this! I'm not a parent, but you have my full attention with ASOUE and Spongebob!

    I'm also curious about submitting a writing sample, but I'm wondering what types of samples you're looking for? I've got several TV meta pieces I've written, but they're usually about a character or a "ship" or something, as opposed to an entire episode. Are there any rules about length?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Nope. I just want to see your style. I don't care what it's from!

      Wait….don't send me like….SLASHFIC of MCR or something. That won't help.

  3. Hanah says:

    I AM SO EXCITED. The whole thing sounds like a really really fabulous idea, and though I'm not a parent myself I have many ~opinions~ as to the media and what is and isn't appropriate for children etc etc. Plus I am totally a child inside and omg love kids books and TV shows like burning. Seriously, my favourite thing in the world right now is a programme called 'Leonardo' about a young Leonardo da Vinci which has NO CONCEPT of historical accuracy (he wears Converse. For realz.) or anything at all apart from it's own fabulousness.

    Also? Series of Unfortunate Events may be my favourite book series ever. They may actually nudge out Harry Potter solely on the basis of their Literary References of Awesome. I may just be crazy but I have re-read that series so many times they are almost memorized. SO I AM EXCITED. BASICALLY. 😀 HURRAH!

  4. Mark Reads A Series of Unfortunate Events
    Oh! I have been meaning to read those books! Maaaaaybe now is the time to do it. Slowly. One chapter at a time. For all eternity.

    I will have to check out the site and think about whether I can contribute.

  5. echinodermata says:

    Does that mean you've never seen Spongebob before?

  6. KVogue says:

    This sounds like such a great idea! While parents do at the end of the day need to decide for themselves what is and isn't appropriate I think that many can often dismiss something without actually seeing it themselves or getting any sort of different viewpoint on the matter, which I think is crucial. I can see this being a great resource for parents.

    Also, I am so excited for you to read A Series of Unfortunate Events. Growing up through elementary and middle school, that was my Harry Potter. I cared about that series of books more than any other until I was fully submerged into the world of Harry Potter later. I think you'll enjoy it, or at least I hope you do! As for Spongbob… well I watched it plenty as a kid but I was really more of a Cartoon Network girl. If only there was some way you could watch Codename: Kids Next Door, that was a good one.

  7. @Chiparoo says:

    I stopped reading a Series of Unfortunate Events because they were (surprise!) depressing. >_>

  8. This is all kinds of awesome.

  9. Victoria_Allen says:

    Oh my god, I am so incredibly excited that you’re watching Spongebob. It’s one of the wierdest shows I’ve ever seen, but it’s also my childhood. EXCITE! *flails*

  10. carma_bee says:

    Mark Reads A Series of Unfortunate Events! Ah! That's my first fandom right there! Lots of memories with those books.

  11. Exciting!! I'm so glad you're doing something (well, more somethings) with children's media, because it is awesome and amazing and worthy of all of the attention/analysis given to media for adults. Yay!

  12. Stuart says:

    Mark, do you have a list anywhere of all the officially announced upcoming Mark Does Stuffs? I've heard rumors of Mark Reads His Dark Materials as possibly being the next Reads project (which, if true, I'm really excited about!), but I don't know where to look to confirm if it's true, or, if it is, how it'd relate timingwise to Mark Reads ASOUE…?

  13. Sophi says:

    I know this is deeply irrelevant but I feel a need to say it–my god, I love the word "Glob". It's just pleasing to me. Globglob. Globglobglobglob. Glob.

    I did not just sit here by myself saying that. Not at all.

    Also, ooh. I remember trying A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was younger but only in the vaguest way… perhaps it's time for a visit to the library to grab a copy and read along. My memory has blurred it sufficiently for that, I think. And another site for me to visit lots during my holidays, yay~ New pursuits are always fun.

  14. @Meltha1028 says:

    YAY! Not a parent, but… seriously hoping for Fraggle Rock at some point, maybe?

  15. Kyle says:


  16. MeasuringInLove says:


    <big><big><big>MARK READS A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.</big></big></big>

    <big><big><big><big><big><big>MARK READS A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.</big></big></big></big></big></big>

  17. PositivelyLost says:

    Oh maaaaan, so glad we can finally announce this. Party! 😀

  18. gembird says:

    Heh, I've been saying that I need to read A Series Of Unfortunate Events for a long time. When they came out I was so obsessed with Harry Potter that I never got round to reading them *slaps own wrist* I shall follow along!

    This is a very cool project though. I'm not a parent myself, but I have friends who have or work with little kids so I'll spread the word 🙂

  19. Spugsy says:

    Mark has confirmed, on Twitter I believe, that HDM will be his next project after Book Thief. I would assume ASOUE would run parallel on the separate site, but that is only an assumption.

  20. Jaxx_zombie says:


  21. Moonie says:

    …As a rabid ASOUE fan, I can say it's very… amusing to me that you're choosing those novels for a kids site, haha.
    Then again, I started the series at 9. SUPER EXCITED THOUGH.
    Also I don't like Spongebob, save for a couple episodes. I KNOW I AM A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING.

  22. dreining says:

    Oh, ASOUE. How I love thee. Who knew a childrens’ book series could do such a wonderful job of questioning black-and-white morality, criticizing ageism against children, and expanding kids’ vocabulary and literary horizons, all at the same time?

  23. Elexus Calcearius says:

    I truly have to second Phineas and Ferb as a TV show. I never really enjoyed SpongeBob, even when I was in the age demographic, but Phineas and Ferb is something I've always loved. It just has such an emphasis on creativity and fun, and enjoying the day; its brilliant.

  24. sundaycoma says:

    My parents only ever fast-forwarded through sex scenes. Two people in a marriage engaging in completely consensual sex? DISGUSTING.

    People blowing shit up and aliens sticking probes God knows where and organs and intestines and creepy-crawly ghosties lurking in reflective surfaces to snare young, long-haired blonde girls?


  25. ldwy says:

    What a wonderful idea and great resource, Mark!

    I feel like I was a kid in those years just before the internet became an everyday, everybody thing (well, for the point of this conversation). I don't actually think we had the internet at home when I was elementary school aged. (I remember very infrequently playing a game on the computer that was in my dad's office, where you had to guide a schoolbus around a map and pick up the kids. On the easy level, they were always in the same places, but once you were advanced they "hid" meaning sometimes they weren't in their place, or sometimes they were in different places. Tough stuff.)

    Anyway, by the time I was in middle school, we had the internet, and I used it to do research for school projects. I remember I didn't really use search engines (there were only a few!)-instead I would just make up likely website names and see if they actually existed. Like ancientromehistory.com. Seriously. How much would I NEVER do that today…you never know what scuzzy site you could end up at! But yes, I only used it for school. I think I made my own email address, but really, who was I emailing? No one.

    Come high school I suppose I used the internet for all sorts of things. Although honestly I only really remember school stuff (of course, I was a huge nerd and all I did was school stuff and organized activities like dance classes), occasionally im-ing my friends, maybe sometimes reading stories. I guess it was only in college when I had my own computer that I began to use it for enjoyment-reading blogs, watching random youtube vids, facebook.

    Anyway, I let that get longer than I meant to, sorry. (Posting in the comments of these blogs does that to me, I end up spouting big blocks of words!)

    What I was trying to get to is that while I'm not a parent yet, I definitely do consider the kids in my life and how the internet really has to be part of their existence. And how the vastness of it makes it uncontrollable and unpredictable. I think of my many many cousins, the kids I've worked with in the past…and I kind of worry about them. I didn't have to know how to be private about my personal info online when I was 7, 10, even 12. It just wasn't an issue. The potential for anonymous bullying via the internet didn't have to be a concern for me and my parents. But today these things have to be in families' awareness and decision making. So I was really excited when you told us about the kid-focused, kid-friendly environment of globworld, and I think a perfect and fun addition to that is the Parents Blog you're starting up. I'll definitely be checking in on it even though I don't have kids of my own yet.

  26. Jessica says:

    I'm so glad this gives me an excuse to reread it, which is something I've wanted to do for a while now.

  27. Jessica says:

    And I third Phineas and Ferb!


  29. Meadow says:

    ASOUE OMG YES!!!!!!

  30. ladysugarquill says:

    Wow, Spongebob is a challenge bigger than Doctor Who! That show has like a million episodes XD But ist's a great idea, many blogs for parents don't really like/care about what they're reviewing, so they end up recommending things children find awfully boring or scandalizing at perfectly good stories.

    A show I LOVE and you should watch is Danny Phantom. I think it would be great to review because while in some aspects it's awesome, in others the story suffers for the use of many classic tropes in USA's children's TV (Never Say Die, Angst What Angst, comedy over drama…), so there's a lot to analyze.

  31. Steph says:

    This is going to get downvoted to fuck but I dont think ASOUE will really work as chapter by chapter reviews. I've only read the first like 9 of them but they are really repetitive and after the first couple you will be very, very prepared.

  32. Very sad to hear about the passing of Elisabeth Sladen…I watched her throughout my childhood. Her and Tom Baker introduced me to DW. 🙁

  33. Sporkaganza says:

    SpongeBob? OH MY GOSH YES PLEASE. Whenever I catch an old episode, it blows me away how funny SpongeBob used to be.

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  36. Sophie says:

    Oh in all in the name that is gajooling basoomas, I am SO excited for you to read A Series Of Unfortunate Events. I mean, gah, along with Harry Potter, those books ARE my childhood. GAHHH!!! <3 <3

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