Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh Nicktoons, Wither Thou? Part One

When I was a kid cartoons were my crack and Nickelodeon was my main supplier. I watched it all the way up through high school. Unfortunately, the quality started to slip pretty badly by that time, but there were still some awesome cartoons that kept me watching. I was thinking about this a lot today, so here's the first of a bunch of upcoming posts about all the Nicktoons I spent so much time watching.

Doug was the first real Nicktoon, premiering way back in 1991. To tell the truth though, it was pretty bland. It was one of those cartoons I watched just because it was a cartoon that happened to be on a lot. I was never big into cartoons about kids in school and could never understand why they were so popular. We had to spend most of our time there, why would anyone want cartoons about sitting in school?

Doug wasn't too bad though, as far as that kind of show went. The basic plot of every episode was that this dork in a green vest-shirt would have some sort of petty problem come up that usually involved the local bully Roger Klatt (who was green for some reason) or the object of his affection, Patty Mayonnaise (who was very very tan and had a dad who was in a wheel chair, for some reason). He would then fantasize about some weird way to solve his problem and ask his neighbors, The Dinks (Double Income No Kids, a nice little in-joke), for help. Mr. Dink would introduce some complicated gadget that would end up going haywire while his wife stood by and mocked him. As far as I can remember it was the only really funny part of the show. (Mr. Dink was purple and probably the most interesting character. He even had his own catchphrase, "very expensive!" which I guess was sort of funny. I like "YOU BROKE MY GRILL!!!" better though, but then I do love me some stupid Internet memes.). Of course by the end of a half hour, the problem would be solved very easily, making me usually want to punch Doug in his bland big-nosed face.

There were lots of other sort of memorable characters of various colors like the school principal named Mr. Bone, who was actually Don Knotts (my brother used to call him Mr. Boner), the town rich bitch Bebe, and Doug's beatnik sister Judy (Who I always thought was kind of hot. What? She was into Shakespeare and wore a beret which I thought was kinda cool. I was a weird kid.) Doug had a blue friend named Skeeter who was a spaz, a Snoopy rip-off dog named Porkchop, and was obsessed with a band called The Beats. This was a very odd aspect of the show as they were obviously referencing The Beatles but looked and sounded like bad New Wave "punks". The Beats had a couple of actually not that terrible songs which I can still sing parts of to this day (Why god, why do I still need to know the lyrics to I Need More Allowance and Killer Tofu? I'm going to be a tired old man that can't wipe myself and be singing those songs while the rest of my brain is completely gone. Oh shit, there was that other song on the show too, Banging on a Trashcan. Now it's stuck in my brain again! Excuse me while I slam my head into a wall for a bit....)

Alright, I'm back. They all lived in a town called Bluffington and there was lots of beet related humor. I didn't get it, but I guess the writers thought it was funny. That pretty much sums up a lot of the show, it wasn't very funny but I think the people responsible for it thought it was.

It was popular enough to spawn a feature film, ironically titled Doug's First Movie since it bombed big time and they never made another one. I never saw it since I could barley stomach the show for a half hour let alone an hour and a half.
It was picked up later by Disney which upped the suckage by re-doing the halfway decent theme song, updating the characters to high school, and letting Patty and Doug date, effectively removing any sexual tension from an already bland show. I watched one episode and then said goodbye to Douglas Yancy Funny (why do I still remember his middle name? Why????) for good. I have no desire to ever watch it again.

By the way, if you are of the female gender, wear a beret and are into Shakespeare, please respond in the comments section. I need to be dating you.

Next time: Good and bad times with smarty-pants toddlers or how to kill a good cartoon by running it into the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember watching Doug, but I don't remember a damn thing about the plot (and I do agree with you on Judy, wink-wink).

But, damn: Nickelodeon would've never survived with this show. What this network needed was a shot of one little psychopathic chihuahua and a huge dimwitted cat.

I think you know what I mean by that, Kurdt.