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What I Really Think of My Kids’ Favorite TV Shows and Movies

From 'Paw Patrol' to 'The Boss Baby,' one dad applies a 'critical eye' to today's popular kids' shows.

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The following story was submitted by a Fatherly reader. Opinions expressed in the story do not reflect the opinions of Fatherly as a publication. The fact that we’re printing the story does, however, reflect a belief that it is an interesting and worthwhile read.

I poop on everything ⏤ or so my beloved wife likes to joke. She usually mentions it as we’re watching TV or a movie, in reference to what I would refer to as my ‘analytical eye,’ and she says I spoil everything. Honestly, she’s right. But I can’t help myself ⏤ I just look for the plot holes and inconsistencies and let fly.

And while I learned to rein it in a bit after we were married ⏤ no more pointing out that Jack died a pointless death in a freezing ocean when Rose could have easily made room for him ⏤ eventually the children came and took over the television. They took over Netflix and Amazon Prime. They took over the Blu-Ray. They took over 12 of the 15 viable television-watching hours of the day, and they subjected me to endless repeats of talking animals, cartoon superheroes, and fluffy monsters more interested in sharing and caring than in ripping off limbs and sucking marrow from bones. I’ve been held hostage to these “entertainments” enough times that the Geneva Convention statute on torture has clearly been violated. As one might have guessed, the beast in me returned ⏤ and it was hungry.

But since I don’t want to ruin my kids’ favorite shows for them ⏤ I’m not that cruel a dad ⏤ I can’t comment aloud on what I’m being forced to watch. Which is why I’ve put my thoughts down on paper. And while I’m assuming you have more than a passing knowledge of the set-up and plots of the following shows, be warned that there will be spoilers.

PJ Masks

I’ve collected superhero comics my whole life. This show almost ruined them for me. I get that it’s for little kids. I do. That doesn’t stop me from having the following questions: Where the hell are all the adults? No, seriously, where the hell are they? I don’t know about you, but the sun going down means the party’s just started. These kids are running around at night and there are NO adults. No cops. No emergency services. No hapless adults making their way home after last call. Is there a curfew? Are they cowering in their homes while these Machiavellian midgets tear up the town? Maybe we wouldn’t have so many night-time villains if an adult would actually step in and give them some of the positive attention and discipline they so desperately seek with their antics.

Also, who the hell built the HQ, the gear, and all their vehicles? Who taught them to drive? Who coached Owlette during the hundreds of hours necessary to get a pilot’s license? If they’re operating those vehicles without licenses, they’re no better than the villains. Don’t try to tell me they came up with all this stuff of their own. My kids can’t even get a cheap plastic toy out of a quarter machine without shaking me down first.

Paw Patrol

This show is even worse. Here, we have adults who are all shown to be grossly incompetent. Mayor Goodway needs to be impeached ASAP, as she obviously spends more time worrying about her damn purse chicken and being interviewed on television than running her town. Not only that, but she essentially allows a 10-year-old and his gang of talking dogs to handle all emergency services around Adventure Bay. Which, of course, makes me ask the following:

Where did the little freaks of nature come from? Look, I love puppies as much as anyone, but you can’t tell me that talking dogs, able to operate vehicles and make use of sophisticated technology, don’t freak you out a little. We’re always worried about the machines taking over. Obviously, these little pooches are far more dangerous. They’ve already taken over emergency services and made the humans completely reliant on them. Was this part of their creator’s plan? Are they the result of genetic experimentation gone wrong? They can’t be natural, because every other animal in town is just that, an animal. They’re the only ones who possess (obviously superior to) human intelligence. If God made us in his/her image, whose image are they made in?

The Boss Baby

Now this one I actually find quite cute. Also far more believable. I have firsthand knowledge of how a new little can take over every aspect of your life. I buy that. That said, I still have plenty of questions.

Where do babies actually come from? The movie notably pokes fun of this when little Tim mentions to Boss Baby that his parents explained it to him. And while the Boss Baby is obviously horrified, which is pretty much the reaction you’d expect from any kid, it doesn’t appear that BabyCorp is in charge of actual production as much as it is shipping and handling. Which raises the question ⏤ where do the babies come from? Are the management babies assembling the other babies? Does “Management” consist of all the defective babies, because they’re the ones who weren’t built with the easily activated tickle response and sent to “Family?” That’s got to be a little traumatic once they become self-aware.

Which leads me to my next question: If Francis Francis got fired and lost his formula, how does he even remember BabyCorp? Throughout the movie, Boss Baby makes it very clear that the only thing he truly fears is failing in his mission and being fired. This is because he will lose his special formula which bestows upon him all the benefits of adult intelligence without the drawback of things like going through puberty and eventually ending up with a mortgage. They also make it clear that Tim doesn’t remember BabyCorp. So how did Francis Francis remember? Is it because he was Management first? Is that why Boss Baby is really afraid of being fired? Because somewhere in his reverted mind he’ll remember what he once had and lost? That’s just sick. No wonder Francis was so pissed off. This is what happens when you let kids run things. Kids are cruel.

Coco

Finally, last but not least, my favorite of the bunch is Coco. If I have to be subjected to endless repeats of a current children’s movie (and, obviously, I do), then let it be this one. Beautifully animated, it has wonderful music and an incredibly endearing message on the importance of family in one’s life and vice versa.

That said, I did have one, teensy weensy little problem: Why does everyone in Miguel’s family die so young? Look at this picture. With the exception of Papa Julio, none of them appeared to die in their old age. Yeah, Hector was murdered by the scheming Ernesto de la Cruz, and sure Mama Imelda has a grey hair or two, but the rest all have dark hair and appear to be dead on their pictures on the family ofrenda. You know, except for the skin and stuff.

Even at the end, when we see Mama Coco in the land of the dead, she looks like she did when she passed: shrunken and grey-haired. So keeping that in mind ⏤ what’s been killing the Riveras so young? Were they killed in some horrible shoe-making accidents? Were safety standards in the family workshop not up to snuff? The family goes on and on about how music was a curse, but music wasn’t what put the family members in the prime of life six feet under! I don’t get it.

An overgrown man-child and connoisseur of geek culture, Jeremy Wilson is striving to raise his two sons to become more responsible, self-actualized men than himself. You can read more of his writing at fatherhoodinthetrenches.com