In a number of childrens’ TV shows there is a collection of heroes who encounter a foe and attempt to defeat this foe (without success) as individuals.  Near the end of each episode they come to the conclusion that they cannot defeat this foe as individuals and need to combine their powers to fight the foe as a collective entity.  My problem with this is that it is the same plot for every episode.  Why don’t they learn from their mistakes?  Why don’t they just immediately combine their powers when confronted with a powerful foe and easily defeat it?  They’ve obviously come across this scenario before, and seem to know how to deal with it (eventually).  So why go through the same flawed sequence of events every time?  Why the weird amnesia?

Although I enjoyed these shows, this unchanging plotline seems to be sending the wrong message to those watching it and comes off as lazy on the part of the writers.  It seems like a certain famous definition Albert Einstein used for insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  The characters in these shows keep trying the same thing over and over again, even though they and the viewer know it won’t work (because it never does).  You already know what works, just do that.  And writers, mix it up a bit.

Can you think of any other shows where this happens?  Does anyone know why this is a motif in children’s shows?