It's Zolaesque aesthetics of my early media training in the 1970s, stupid!
The disturbing evidence:
Die Sendung mit der Maus (German children's programme), 1972. No joking - this was shown on a Sunday morning on TV.
Small wonder that the more sensitive of our students find me a tad sarcastic. This is the kind of realist fodder that forever makes you immune to Prinzessin Lillifee and adolescent Vampire kitsch.