Look, I have a new baby and a toddler. As much as I’d like to claim that they have only wooden Waldorf toys and have never even seen a screen, let alone seen one turned on, the truth is that Henry’s favorite form of imaginary play is pretending he’s making a surprise egg YouTube Video and even I know almost all of the Doc McStuffins songs by heart.
However, some of these shows really do leave me with more questions than answers. First up: Chuggington and Paw Patrol. (I’ll save Octonauts and Fireman Sam for their own entries because oh LORD I don’t even really know where to start.)
- What HAPPENED to Old Chuggington? Why did an entire town get up and move? Why are trains the only ones who ever go back to Old Chuggington? Was there a terrible industrial accident? Is it actually a superfund site?
- What/who is Vee? She has speakers everywhere in Chuggington, is seemingly omnipotent, and yet is curiously absent when the trainees are inevitably fucking something up. Is she human? Is she machine? Why does she have so much, yet so little control over these trains? (Related: do the trains have free will? Or are they predestined for something? If so, is the whole series some kind of weird mashup of Calvinist theology and a train fetish?) Where did she come from? Why does the entire town accept her authority?
- Seriously, what kind of anti-government fantasy is Paw Patrol? A town has no emergency or public services except for those provided by a private company — in this case a teenage kid with a bunch of dogs who do specialized work for seemingly no compensation other than treats and ear scratches? Wouldn’t some kind of centralized ANYTHING be slightly more effective?
- Are there not jurisdiction issues with the Paw Patroller? Can Chase just go be a cop wherever that thing can drive? Does Rubble not have to get permits anywhere? Can Zuma actually do anything, because he seems to be by far the most useless pup? I mean, how many times can a whale really get stranded?
- Why so completely inept at everything, Cap’n Turbot? You don’t seem deserving of the same rank as the venerable Cap’n Crunch, is all I’m saying.
- Maybe the mayor should spend a little less time playing with her purse chicken and entering weird competitions and a little more time running Adventure Bay.
- Chickaletta identifies as female, is recognized as such by seemingly everyone in town, but has the appearance of a rooster. Is Adventure Bay just far more progressive than it seems to be at first glance?