The most despised toddler-aged TV show, Paw Patrol, has suddenly become aware that everyone hates them. In the smartest move ever, the cloying, grating, irritating, non-sensical Paw Patrol brand has made a play at joining the haters of their own creation. In a new video, Paw Patrol has recruited Dax Shepard to officially welcome parents to the hellscape that is “The Paw Patrol Years.”
Even though there is something deeply cynical about the Nickelodeon series using parental hatred as a marketing campaign, this new video is undeniably endearing. As Shepard says at the end of the video, you basically don’t have a choice anyway. As the parent of a three-year-old who has never watched Paw Patrol, I get this. Even though my daughter has not seen this show (because I’m aware of its irritating qualities) my little one, nonetheless, is somehow aware of all the names of the characters, and their general mission to rescue other characters from various “emergencies” like going to the bathroom or walking outside.
It’s unclear why Paw Patrol exists in a perfect ven diagram of stuff toddlers love and stuff parents want to actively destroy. My personal theory is that Paw Patrol is so overtly tasteless that it reveals to parents that our kids are not as discerning and unique as we think. (This is a thought nobody likes to face.) But, there’s also a baroque flatness to Paw Patrol that is just visually insulting. Something like Frozen 2 (co-starring Dax Shepard’s wife, Kristen Bell) might be mainstream bullshit, but on some level, it is beautiful bullshit. Paw Patrol is not like Frozen. You only feel good about watching it because your kids love it.
Paw Patrol is the embodiment of that crappy plastic toy that you step on that makes you scream out in pain. So, when Shepard steps on a Paw Patrol toy in the new Paw Patrol video and screams out in pain, you almost feel like you’re getting an apology.
Paw Patrol sucks. But, now Paw Patrol knows it sucks. They’re sorry. But they’re also not sorry, too. We’re just thankful that everything is out in the open.
PAW Patrol, is currently in its 7th season. There’s an animated feature film slated for theatres in August 2021, so get ready for that.