by Ian Pugh Take a gander at the stuff you used to watch as a kid and you'll more than likely come to two realizations: 1) that a lot of stupefying crap wormed its way into your living room; and 2) that the shows that were actually pretty good tended to throw out a lot of jokes that flew right over your preteen head. Dedicating each of its four discs to a different block of children's programming from some indeterminate period of the Golden Decade*, Shout! Factory's Hiya, Kids!!: A '50s Saturday Morning DVD collection strongly suggests that this would prove true of every generation from the boomers on. Entire plotlines ripped from the pages of LIFE magazine, a bobbing camera briefly acting the part of the audience collectively nodding its head in agreement, "Hamlet" characterized as a comedy--watching television from fifty years ago is an interesting venture, though "interesting" may be as far as a greenhorn like me can go in examining this set. Although it appears to have deliberately avoided iconic moments from the shows in question in order to maintain the illusion of simply stumbling on them with a flip of the dial, Hiya, Kids!! is somewhat self-defeating as the re-creation of an experience. It's easy to get the gist of the show in question (the "dramas" are especially easy to pin down), but it's extremely difficult to form a substantial opinion about anything in this line-up. True that you often decide whether or not to dedicate yourself to a TV series on the basis of one episode, but with the sheer number of interactive concepts on display--most notably in all-inclusive "clubs"--you realize that the phenomenon that surrounded many of these programs contributed immeasurably to their purpose and appeal. Alas, without much context, the brilliant concept behind Hiya, Kids!! tends to feel a little arbitrary.