Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gabba Garbage

I’m probably going to offend some people with this blog. If you are one of those people, I apologize in advance. Blogging everyday (or every other day) has required me to be extremely creative in where I look for material and today’s blog inspiration comes to you from the fabulous programmers at Nick. Jr.

I’m not sure how many of you have ever watched the so-called children’s program called Yo Gabba Gabba, but it has to be THE most inane kids show ever to hit the boob-tube. There have been shows in the past that may not have been particularly “quality” (Teletubbies) but this Yo Gabba Gabba really is more like Yo Crappa Crappa.

It’s the only kids show I’ve ever seen where being on an acid trip would actually be a benefit—and clearly something the designers and developers of this show were doing when they created it. I forced myself to watch part of an episode (I just couldn’t make it through an entire show) attempting to try and understand it. I’m a teacher. I have a graduate degree. You would think that I could pull some meaningful tidbit out of a thirty minute segment. Nope. I got nothing.

Far as I can tell, DJ Lance Rock landed on this planet back in the late 70’s with Mork from Ork, although I never remember him in any of the shows. Perhaps Mindy learned her lesson with Mork and hid DJ Lance a little deeper in the attic. I’m pretty sure that the shiny space-age body suit DJ Lance wears hasn’t come back into vogue since, and for good reason. One thing is certain, he was definitely in the band back on Ork because he brought his fuzzy orange Q-tip hat with him to this planet. He probably played the buffoon. Excuse me, I mean bassoon. And what about this guys future? Is being DJ Lance really a great resume builder? Who is this guy and what other shows passed him up before he was offered this classic role? Would no one else wear the hot-to-trot Elton-John designed body suit?

The other characters on this abysmal kid’s show are par for the course with DJ Lance. Names like, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex, and Toodee, (seriously?) give rise to the question as to who let the pre-language one year old name the characters, or more plausibly, that these names were a result from a game of drunken Scrabble gone bad.
“Toooo Oh’s, tooo E’s, and a D and a T.”
(Laughing hysterically…) “Whoa man, thalikeshpells ‘Toodee!’ Thawoodbeuhkilluhname for acahtooncharacuh!”
(They’re inebriated here in Boston.)

Not only did the drunken brainstorm continue, but they obviously served the producers "special brownies" when they shared their idea because somehow this show ended up on Nick Jr. Not on the local programming station as you might suspect, but a real-live big-time network with advertisers. Sometimes the stupidity of people still amazes me.

So, who are these Yo Crappa Crappa characters? Well, Brobee is some kind of sasquatch cross pollinated with a stick of green fruit stripe gum. His mouth is either freakishly smiling, or when badly edited, freakishly frowning. And he has no neck. I feel like he should be adorning the floor of some retro chic’s college dorm room. Foofa, the pepto pink, squishy tear drop? melted mallow? is a sorry representation of females everywhere with her super soft, whiny-whispery voice. It’s obvious she uses Latisse, because her eyelashes are very thick, dark, and doe like. (She may even dabble in Botox, but this is pure speculation.) Basically when I see her on the TV I want to squish her little body between two graham crackers out of repulsion. The Brawny commercial then plays in my head, “Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy..”

Plex is the least bizarre out of everyone, being a robot and all. He looks like a robot. Acts like a robot. This I can live with. I still think he’s dumb, but at least his character makes sense. Toodee is some blue cat-dragon-walking-egg hybrid who also uses Latisse. Why a cat-dragon hybrid was a good idea I’m not sure. Perhaps the creators were playing off the dragon-donkey theme in Shrek III. That was funny. This hybrid is not. Last, but certainly not least is Muno. Muno deserves a blog all his own. I think some definite Freudian fantasies subconsciously played out in the creators mind when they created this one. I have two words for Muno: sex toy. I’m sorry but I’m calling it like I see it, and Muno is nothing if not a dead ringer for a product you’d find on the shelves of an adult shop next to the cherry flavored whipped cream and double A batteries. That fact coupled with the one eye in the middle of his stick (it’s not a head really) just leaves me feeling grimy. And I’m supposed to let my two year old watch him bounce around? Please. My kids have to be at least 9 before I start filling their heads with inappropriate images and lyrics. I mean subjects.

The characters are ridiculous, but what about the plot line? What about the theme? Yes, well, what about them? Because in twenty minutes I’m not sure there was anything linking the 15-second segments together. Here’s what I saw:
  • Life-size characters dancing around a badly drawn and painted cardboard set.
  • Life-size DJ Lance is yelling about his boom box.
  • Suddenly the characters are tiny and DJ Lance is looking down on them while they run around a construction paper set.
  • Whoa, suddenly there’s a human girl jumping rope. Now she’s gone.
  • Characters are life-size again and DJ Lance is little.
  • Whoa, another boy is suddenly on screen dancing. Now he’s gone.
  • DJ Lance is big again, watching the melted mallow and sex toy fight over a yellow slide. DJ Lance picks up the slide, it goes from being big in the scene, to being little in his hands.
 Honest to all that is good, the scenes changed so often I think I got a little show-sick. It clearly either caters to the four-and-under ADHD crowd or hopes to create more of them (maybe Adderall and Ritalin are sponsors of Nick Jr…. hmmmm, I might be onto something here). I finally changed the channel because a migraine started up from all the commotion and noise. I decided to cut my losses realizing that was 20 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Suffice it to say I’m not letting my youngest watch this show. Sure I’ll let her listen to “Yady Gaga” as she calls her and we sing “Papparazi” in the car together. But I’m drawing the line at Yo Crappa Crappa. She’s too young to be introduced to psychedelic overly smiley men from Ork and one-eyed sex toys. Call me crazy.


sex toys for men said...

I am not offended at all. You're just being realistic. He looks like a phallic symbol indeed.

Parka AKA said...

I understand that you can't please everybody, but I'd like to invite you to step out of current perspective.
This show was created by my brothers, my cousins, my friends and I. Not some lofty high paid execs or filthy drug users. From my observation, druggies don't get much done in life, and this "garbage" takes a lot of hard work to make.
We made this show out of love and a desire to do something wonderful for our own children. The character design is diverse in color, shape and texture to be appealing to young kids. Muno has one eye because my brother is partially blind and used to draw that to represent himself when he was a boy.
We intentionally approached this with a simple aesthetic and pure intent.

Hopefully your family will like the next show we make. Thanks for watching.

-Parker Jacobs
Yo Gabba Gabba
Art Director