Over the years I have pondered what would happen if Benita Bizarre finally caught up to the kooky crazy Bugaloos and took them down with an industrial sized can of RAID.
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The other day Pippa told me to tune into a new show on Playhouse Disney and within seconds I realized my question had been finally answered. At some point Benita must have caught up to Bugaloos and killed them over PeeWees's Playhouse, leaving their dead and lifeless half bug half human bodies came back to life to eek out the sub-par, barely entertaining children's show known simply as The Doodlebops.
Within five minutes of watching the show, I uttered the statement - what a lame rip off of PeeWee's Playhouse - if this is the best new programming they have to offer to the Nap and Pamper set we are all in big trouble.
If I were a toddler and my mom sat me down in front of this tripe, I'd refuse to be potty trained until she flipped the channel and found me a decent show to watch - which I'm sure she'd do quickly because the stink from my diaper combined with the stink from the show would be too much to stand.
I will stop here and say - I have four children who are 8, 10, 11 and 16 - as a parent I have sacrificed time and time again - watching shows with them that in my opinion were lame and pointless and wanted to make me pull my toenails out with lawn clippers.
I also didn't believe that every moment my toddler spent in front of the TV should be eductastic - in fact it should be just the opposite - kids should be kids and entitled to a 1/2 hour of brain candy every day - they are learning all the time and every now and then they just need some to veg out and watch a dog solve mysteries.
Working out of my house, I also needed a 1/2 hour a day where I could leave them mesmerized in front of the set so I could run about and pick up the house, make a meal, do a load of laundry, etc. When my kids were little that show was Teletubbies - when they saw that sun come up I could set the timer and know that the three little ones would be mesmerized for the next 30 minutes - unlike when we watched the Big Comfy Couch and they thought it was great fun to make a huge mess and then do the 10 second tidy.
I shudder at the thought of the stupid clown yelling, "Who made this BIG mess" as if she hadn't tossed all that stuff everywhere - talk about interactive TV, I wanted to grab her and shout, "You did - now take some personal responsibility for your actions and clean it up properly."
The Dooblebops is touted as this fantastic mix of PeeWee's Playhouse meets the Monkees - I don't know who was smoking what when they came up with that description, but it couldn't be any further from the truth. They say it deals with music, dance, comedy (pardon me while I choke), and toddler issues like sharing. In watching a weeks worth of episodes I it very hard to glean anything of out of them - I even invited some of my neighbors kids to come and watch the show with us and not one them ever made a connection with it or could have cared less what topic was covered.
The Doodlebops are supposed to be hip and trendy rock n roll band - please when I wanted to introduce my kids to rock n roll I popped in some Ramones, Kinks, Stones, Elvis, etc. I didn't pop on an ugly puppet costume and prance about playing air guitar - because that's not rock n roll. The only relationship I see between the Doodlebops and rock n roll is the image I get of wanting to roll a big rock into their legs to knock them down and shut them up.
The members of this hot band are:
Rooney Doodle - Lead Guitar. First let me say Kudos to Playhouse Disney for having the first openly gay character on a children's show. He's no Tinky Winky (with Tinky, sure he was he was purple and carried a big red purse, but in his defense that could have been a man purse or a mini briefcase).
With Rooney what you see is what you get - every time he does a Fosse or spirit fingers, you expect him to yell "Just Jack." As if that wasn't good enough he sports a Side Show Bob hairstyle and decorates his guitar with rainbow ribbons and balloons - please he's one unicorn short of being a self-contained float in the Gay Pride parade. I find nothing wrong with this, but I expect a cavalcade of angry letters to Disney if they ever air the lost episode - I'm here I'm Queer Get use to It."
DeeDee Doodle - Guitar and keyboards. She's a rubber wig wearing, Punky Brewster dressing, Patti Mayonnaise wanna be. I often wondered what happened to that hideous wig Patti wore in the live Doug show in Orlando tanked - now I know they recycled it and gave it to DeeDee. I find nothing entertaining or engaging about DeeDee - she has as much personality as my ceiling, and in fact I'd rather stare at that for 1/2 an hour.
When it comes to "acting" she's the worst one - which isn't saying much for the other two - they all overact so bad it's not even funny. I can see why pre-schoolers wouldn't relate to them, even they can spot a phony a mile away.
What is also hideous on the show is the hair and makeup - each Doodlebop wears some type of face stocking to cover their hair and then they have face paint to match the color of their stocking - problem is as they move the stocking tends to gap on their face and it is VERY disturbing to watch and I found it to also be distracting.
Moe Doodle The drummer and brake dancer. He comes to you with a red shag wig and furry vest - looking like a broke down Sonny Bono. He wears his knee pads 24/7 on the off chance he gets served and has to bust a pose.
He's the prankster of the bunch, his big gag is that at the beginning of each show he hides and DeeDee and Rooney have to find him. He hides in a very obvious place and it is always the first place they look - yet for some reason they can't see him. This is supposed to encourage your child to interact with them - but not one child who watched with me every yelled out, "Are you blind, he's hiding right in front of your face." (or the 3-year-old equivalent of that statement).
The Doodlebops live in a broke down version of PeeWee's Playhouse. The have pale imitations of Chairy, Magic Screen and Jambi - none of them very engaging and none would make a child scream out - wow that's cool.
As for friends, none even come close to King of Cartoons, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the mail lady or Ms. Yvonne. The Doodlebops have two friends:
Mazz - the African American Jazz singer who lives in their wall and comes out at the most bizarre times to sing to them (she is the one saving grace of the show - as she can really sing). She reminds me a lot of Chef on South Park -minus Chef's comments and cute songs that turn into stories about sex. I think this she might engage me more if she came out and said, "Well Hello Children." and I might feel better about her if they explained why she lives in their wall.
Bob the Bus Driver - who comes in the midst of his midlife crisis and is one song away from a restraining order. He is one creepy bus driver. I guess they figure half the kids in the audience can relate to him, because they have a daddy at home who is equally as mortifying - you know the daddy tries too hard to be cool - he tries to recapture is youth by wearing outdated clothes, combing his hair just so to cover his thinning/balding hair, uttering out of character phrases - like "Fo Sho" and striking rapper poses to make him look cool.
Ick any time Bob is on screen I feel like I need a shower -if he came up to me in a singles bar I would stampede towards the exit - Fo Sho! Best part is Bob LOVES his job as a bus driver and aspires to do nothing with his life. He doesn't view being a bus driver as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things, he views it as the pinnacle of his career path.
The first half of each show is done as a story - one day the Doodlebops had promised to finish writing replies to fan letters (which puzzled me out of the box - how could they reply to 0 letters) - it cracked me up because all the pages on their fan letters were blank - as you can tell lots of effort goes into props on the show - then they spent 15 minutes figuring out how to do it - and it came down to - if we cooperate and each do one part (sign, stuff, and stamp) we can get it done - however it was done in such a boring and round about manner, I think the message was lost on kids.
In another episode The gang just got onto Bob's bus - and in listening to the lyrics of "Get on the Bus", I was very disturbed - the Doodlebops and Bob sing about how they have just met that day - so they are riding about with a total stranger - is that what I want my child to think - Fo Sho get on the bus because it looks cool inside - don't stop and think should I be talking to a stranger.
The other half of the show is live performance footage. Outside the theater the kids look all excited to be there but inside it's like they were all collectively told their pet had just died. I swear to get the kids to attend this the parents must have said, "We're going to see the Wiggles" and when they got there said - oops sorry the yellow one got sick - so you're going to see the Doodlebops instead.
The kids are supposed to get up and dance to the songs, and they looked bored out of their skulls, like it's an effort to be there pretending to have fun. I have seen live Wiggle footage and those kids are rocking out and having fun - these kids look like they are doing it to avoid an extra helping of Brussel sprouts at dinner.
Overall this show is scary and pathetic and never actually accomplishes its goal of being a fun and interactive show for kids. It's great to watch one time if you need a good laugh, but as a daily addition to a kids TV time, I'd say pass. I thank goodness for the Doodlebops - I have TiVo'd multiple episodes - this is my new punishment show, if my kids get out of line I say behave or it's the Doodlebops - and if given the option to watch that or behave, they chose to behave.
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Type of Program: Variety
Program Quality: Turn the TV off
Best Suited For: Other