If your kids have been taken in by the do-gooder pups of Paw Patrol, we’re sorry. More than most children’s television shows, it’s excruciating for parents to watch, a political and aesthetic disaster, a monument to inanity that will have you wishing like hell for your kids to age out of the show’s target demographic—and fast.
The popularity of Paw Patrol is especially grating because there are so many actually great kids’ TV shows out there. Its ubiquity also means it’s the deserving target of many a takedown, including one just published in Vulture.
The author of the piece, novelist Brian Platzer, says the problem isn’t that it doesn’t make sense (which, to be clear, it doesn’t). It’s that Paw Patrol has “disdain for anything remotely edifying.”
It’s “one of the few children’s programs that neither tries to entertain parents nor encourages kids to become better people.” Parents who’ve spent time in Thunder Bay will have to agree. Shows like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street and pretty much every other kid’s show ever attempt to teach kids important information and/or life lessons.
Beyond this lack of purpose, Platzer says that Paw Patrol “is physically unpleasant to take in.” The theme song sucks and the puns are too complex for kids to understand and too idiotic for adults to enjoy.
The other conventions of the show are equally banal, from the horrid “Chase is on the case!” and “Paw Patrol! Go go go go go go go!” catchphrases to the cacophony of sirens, flashing lights, and revving engines.
Platzer’s final point is that there’s not nearly enough girl dogs, or as he puts it “roughly a thousand boy dogs and exactly on girl dog,” Skye, who’s a freaking cockapoo. The mayor of Thunder Bay is a woman of color, but she’s left reliant on a white boy to solve all of her problems. Awful.
None of this is news to parents who’ve been forced to endure this show, but there’s something comforting about knowing you’re not the only one.