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“Bouncy, bouncy…bouncy bounce. Y-bouncy bouncy bounce bounce. Bounce!”
Nickelodeon’s All-Star Sports Day is a DVD, out March 10th from Paramount Home Entertainment, that is, at very best, a mishmash. Five popular Nickelodeon shows for infants – Dora The Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Wonder Pets, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Go Diego Go and Ni Hao, Kai-lan – are crammed together under some bizarre pretext that every episode chosen for this DVD has something to do with sports. Dora The Explorer is taking her monkey Boots to a baseball game. Although there is very little baseball. Blue, from Blue’s Clues, is trying to tell us he likes bowling. The Wonder Pets save a kangaroo and some sea lions, and the connection to sports is weak at best. Then there is a Yo Gabba Gabba! episode where the tie to sports is severed completely, unless a giant pink bulbous flower-gourd-alien skipping is considered sportive. In Go Diego Go there is a race…which is kinda sporty…and in Ni Hao, Kai-lan I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
For me, this DVD served as a refresher course in some TV series I had previously seen, and as an introduction to some series of which I was not previously aware. Dora The Explorer kicks things off, trying to take Boots the monkey to a baseball game. I did my best to give Dora some bad advice, but she appeared to be ignoring my shouts entirely, chose the right door after all, and was sadly not eaten by a bear. Then I watched Blue’s Clues for the first time, a show which features a talking (if you can call it that) real-life host, a talking cat, a talking shovel, a talking pail, some rotten songs, and a dog who appears to be the star of the show, named Blue. He gives you “clues” so you can decipher his very-easy mystery.
All of that was fine, but I was a little miffed by one thing. The cat talks. The mailbox talks. There is even a talking shovel. But the dog – barks. Blue, the dog, doesn’t talk. He barks, like all dogs normally do. There is a talking cat and a talking shovel. If I have suspended my disbelief enough to allow for a talking shovel, what is a dog doing without the ability to speak English? Are we to believe that a dog is a less adaptable, lower-level life form than a shovel? What is this teaching kids? Frankly, if I were running some kind of canine anti-defamation organization, I would have started a massive letter-writing campaign about this show by now. Thank goodness I’m not. I have better things to do with my time. Someone email Focus On The Family.
Then the Wonder Pets episode began, as the three little photographs of baby animals started on their trek to wescue a sea wion. That was it. I was done. I just reviewed a Wonder Pets DVD last week, and I can take no more. I skipped the Wonder Pets. Only to be introduced to Yo Gabba Gabba!, a series that is apparently the brain child of…well…I don’t know. It’s like that focus group that came up with the Teletubbies has been off work for a while, and someone brought them back into a room together to create the next children’s hit, but in the intervening few years that they were out of work, they collectively developed a rather serious crack habit.
Amazingly, Tony Hawk, the skateboarding legend, shows up in the episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! The yellow creepy robot does something with his eyes that makes a skateboarding ramp, and the Gumby-Hamburgler-Unibrow guy with the long arms does a creepy dance while Tony does some pretty low-rent skateboarding tricks. I guess perhaps that is how the “sports” thing made it into this episode. The creators of Yo Gabba Gabba! are clearly aware of the brain-mushening effect of their show, since halfway through they stopped the show to do a song, and accompanying instructional video, about the proper method to wash one’s hair. I thought it was very perceptive of them to realize that their show was turning the children watching into such idiots that they had likely forgotten how to perform even the most basic of tasks. I can’t wait for the next episode on “how to eat cereal”.
Then it was Go Diego Go and Ni-Hao Kai-lan. And frankly, I just don’t think this DVD deserves any more of my typing, and my fingers are too tired for me to continue caring.