As parents, we tend to find new and creative ways to have fun. Back in the land before time-outs, a night at the bar or an impromptu local concert would constitute a good time. Now, whether it’s by necessity or sheer exhaustion, we as parents are forced to make our own fun. Something that the wife and I have developed to entertain ourselves on those mornings when our eyelids need assistance and we slurp coffee from the dog bowls, is over-analyzing the television shows that our kids love to watch.
I think it came about because we were so irritable from a night of sleeplessness, that every little thing those Disney darlings did just annoyed the hell out of us.
“What sense did that make?” I would say in frustration.
“None.” Jen would fire back. “These kids are idiots!”
In retrospect, perhaps we were being a bit harsh with the little ones. I mean they are just animated children after all. But over-analyzing these programs has become a past time in our house and so I thought it would be fun to share some of it with you. So without further ado, I give you the first installment of an over-thought, over-analyzed, grown-up review of a children’s show. Today, it’s Disney’s Doc McStuffins.
Doc McStuffins, one of Disney’s newest additions to their Disney Junior lineup, is full of music, fun, lessons, and unanswered questions. The premise of the show is that Doc, a young girl with an unhealthy attachment to her toys, can bring all manner of toy to life with her plastic stethoscope and fix them when they are broken. From afar, it seems like a cute idea. But like a Picasso, the closer you get, the weirder it becomes.
First of all, and this is of no fault of her own, but look at the size of that girl’s head! Jesus, no wonder her only friends are her toys. Aesthetically, I have a hard time getting past this every time the kids turn it on. At least the animators are consistent though, as every human being on the show has a gigantic melon up top. But if you can draw your attention away from the disproportionality of it all, there is so much more to critique.
Each episode, Doc teams up with her stuffed cohorts to go all Grey’s Anatomy on some distressed toy. Upon entering a room, her magic heartbeat listening thingy suddenly starts emitting some kind of sparkly dust which brings all the toys in the room to life. Ok, seems reasonable so far. Here’s my first problem though; sometimes toys that are seemingly well out of range of the stethoscope’s God-like powers still remarkably come alive. Other times, the radius of the dust is a mere 3 or 4 feet from Doc. I don’t get it; are we to assume that she can decide which toys she feels are worthy of life on any given day? Who does this big-headed girl think she is?
Another issue I have with the daily life of Doc McStuffins, is the complete lack of parenting by her mother and father. For what seems like hours at a time, Doc holds up in her “office” in the backyard with no questions from the parental units about what she’s up to. “I’m heading out to clinic.” She’ll tell her mom. “Alright, have fun.” Mom replies. Am I the only one who would be questioning what clinic my daughter was heading to?
Mom McStuffins is an actual doctor who takes care of people, so I imagine her schedule could explain her parenting deficiencies. Dad McStuffins has no excuses however, as he appears to be home all the time taking care of his flowers.
Despite his constant presence, he seems uninterested at times in the whole parenting thing. In one episode, he hauls Doc and her brother to the local arcade for a night of fun (Mom didn’t come, she was obviously in the middle of removing a gallbladder or something). As usual, Dad sends Doc off on her own with nothing but her stuffed animals to protect her from any creeps who may be lurking behind the skee-ball game. Anyway, within about 15 minutes, he’s already calling her back so they can leave. She barely had time to perform her obligatory miracle on a toy stuck in a claw machine before Dad says, “I think we’ve all had enough fun for one night”.
Finally, I’d like to share my concerns about little Doc and her future. You see, other than a few recurring friends on the show, Doc only ever talks to her toys. She takes them everywhere she goes, and in turn, gets some weird looks from time to time. It doesn’t help that she never, ever, ever, takes off the lab coat. Here’s the thing Doc, that may be cute at this age (though that is debatable because there is absolutely nothing that clues us in to how old she is…she may very well be 16 for all I know), but kids can be cruel as you hit puberty. I’m just saying, you might want to lose the coat.