children, Disney channel, Doc McStuffins, family, fun, humor, Jim Chaney, kids, parenting, The Wordslinger, tv shows
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.
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Would love to read a review by you on Special Agent Oso- the moron bear that somehow can fly rocket ships etc., but can’t figure out the simplest tasks.
I must agree with you on Oso I can’t stand this show!!! The so called smart bear seems to be unintelligent and just plain stupid. I don’t allow my daughter to watch that cartoon anymore! Horrible how come Disney can’t make cartoons like they used too!
In real life, she would be the attention-starved kid who breaks her friends’ toys on purpose, so she could be the hero when she fixes them. Look up ‘munchausen syndrome by proxy.’
I have a 3 year and we love PBS, Baby First and some of Disney Jr. And my husbsnd and I critique as well.
She is actually 6yrs old. But here is what confuses Jason and I. Others can hear the toys. The father heard Lambie twice and the mother asked if she heard her say Go Stuffed.
And here is our thing. Y’all think you overthink, well we might be tied. We teach our children that keeping secrets is not allowed. Granted, I had an awesome relationship w my mom and we told each other everything. But none the less, we teach them that secrets and lies are bad. Yet, here is this little girl walking around w this massive secret that she can’t share w anyone and she has to constantly lie to her family and friends. How is that healthy?
Not to mention you have Chille who is a hypochondriac and can’t remember that he is a stuffed toy.
And there is the brother, if something small happens to a toy he throws them in a pile of broken yoys or ones he just doesn’t use.
And is it us but whose child has play house thingy that decked out? Her clinic is huge. Must be nice.. haha And where did the magical stethoscope come from?
So no hun, you and your wife are definitely not the only couple that over analyzes and asks alot of questions.
Linda Barta said:
Loved it!!!!! We are giving my niece a Doc McStuffins themed party for her 2nd birthday. I am embarrassed to say that we are totally obsessed with the planning of this event. We have gone all out!!!! It’s really an adult party in disguise.
As I read your post, I began to think about why I love this show so much; it’s the size of their heads!!! You see, I come from a family of rather large-headed individuals. Smart, but big-headed, nevertheless. Watching Doc and her family…well, it justakes me feel more mormal. So there you have it.
Oh, and by the way, I think that I will put copues of this blog post in the goody bags!
Plus she has no right to call herself doc, I have yet to see her medical degree, or even a PhD. She has not earned that title. She is not a real doc.
Watch the Halloween episode! Army building is a yes!
James, we’re proud cable cutters and now we watch Netflix instant on ROKU. Some of our family favorites are 80s classics. He-man and Dragon Tales are at the top of the list. I can’t bear to allow my kids to watch all of the newer politically correct shows.
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John Erickson said:
Dude, you’re a clever, creative, hilarious person, but I’m warning ya – come within an inch of reviewing my beloved “Dragons: Riders Of Berk”, and I’m gonna have ta hurt ya. Bad. “Chicago-style” bad. Got it? :p 😉
Thank you sir, now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go change my pants.
Family Matters NZ said:
I have just two words for you. Wonder Pets. Don’t get me wrong, the messaging in this show is lovely. It’s not about fighting and battles and scary aliens – it’s all about team work! And helping others. And I CANNOT STAND IT!!! the worst thing? That dreadful song “what’s gonna work? Teeeeaaaamm work” that gets stuck in your head and then you find yourself QUOTING IT AT YOUR CHILDREN!!! And one of the toys speaks with a really cute lisp!!!!
As a person who tries hard to promote gentleness and kindness and no physical violence in our home, I should love this show, right? But after one saccharine filled episode, I find myself begging for some Ben 10, Ninjago or preferably Kim Possible, which is a truly awesome show!
And do not get me started on the musical shows…when I had my last 2 children (who are 6 years younger than their nearest sibling) it turned out I could still remember all the words to a good number of the Wiggles and Hi-5’s songs after hearing them on endless repeat from the first round of children. At least the Wiggles can actually sing and their musicality is good (and boy have they ever earned their squillions).
I wonder if Picasso would have liked Disney. Probably, right?
You neglected to mention Doc’s habit of making up words. Take for example the episode where Susie Sunshine can’t fall asleep. Insomnia, the generally accepted medical term, is labeled as “eyeswideitis.” I can’t believe I’m actually joining you in critiquing a children’s television show!
What is worse, that I’m critiquing the show with you or that I actually have enough knowledge of the show to see what you left out in your analysis?
I think that answer is pretty obvious Ken.
Linda Barta said:
Worse than co-critiquing is the habit thaty sister and I have of creating McStuffinesque diagnoses on a daily basis. Our latest: “Lostsockiatosis” I think that you can easily guess the symptoms. It is a disease tjat affects men more than women. The prognosis is quite poor.