Blame pinkpearbear. She, like abioborne, encouraged me in this! The Glasshouse Girls also share part of the blame. As well as encouraging my more sober, reflective side they also fanned the flames for this one.
My last rant on the terrible Paw Patrol show remains bizarrely popular and I almost feel sorry for the people looking for light hearted relief stumbling upon the slough of despond that is this blog.
“Max and Ruby / Ruby and Max”
I mentioned in that post that much as Paw Patrol annoys me “it is not Max and Ruby”, a show so poor that it is our calming mantra when we have to tolerate some terrible brightly coloured, relentlessly cheerful atrocity (Hi, Mother Goose Club!).
There’s a wider question about the need to rant and dissect children’s shows but given they often occupy so much of their attention we can’t help but try to find patterns in the repetitions.
@ShoeboxofM have you been overthinking this?! 😂 I’ve just banned it & erased from my mind…apart from the nervous tic! 😉
— Pink Pear Bear (@pinkpearbear) March 16, 2016
One viewing may be fine but with “again, again!” I start to notice the odd details, the quirks and unanswered questions and cavernous plot holes. All that and the grating voices, charmless animation, coma inducing plots and lack of anything approaching humour.
Weep not for their evil deeds but their lack of imagination
One thing I can’t accuse Max and Ruby of is imagination. Or creativity.
If drugs were involved in its creation they were probably sedatives. In a warm mug of Horlicks made with water instead of milk, served in a mug with an inspirational slogan or “hang in there!” kitten.
For the uninitiated (oh, how I envy your Max and Ruby-less existence) the show is a collection of dull suburban tales of the curiously parentless anthropomorphic sibling rabbits.
A small annoyance is the inconsistent use of anthropomorphism. Why is it only the rabbits that can talk?
Episodes revolve around the younger rabbit Max’s desire for a thing (toys, sweets, mud etc.) and his sister’s cavalier disregard for her brother as she obsesses, as all 7 year olds do, about centrepieces, piano recitals and home-made cosmetics made of mashed up fruit.
It can’t be that dull…can it?
One episode is devoted to Max continually interrupting his sister’s skipping rhyme about apple pie to ask for an apple. This means that Ruby repeatedly sing songs her tuneless way through.
“Brown sugar / Apple sauce / Spi-ces / Flour / Put it in the oven for half an ho-ur”
This is monumentally irritating because it’s a horrible whiny rhyme and it doesn’t even make apple pie. I’m all for poetic license but that doesn’t make a pie. It makes a floury mess. This may be a cultural thing but apple sauce rather than apples? That’s even worse. Apple sauce goes with pork (Hi, Peppa!) not pie.
There is no drama in this show and no surprises. Everything is signposted well in advance and its conflict free world extends even to fairy tales where the story of Jack and the Beanstalk gets edited to remove that pesky giant.
It is a show that manages the rare feat of being offensively bland and Ruby’s buzz-kill instincts are played out again and again in some form of rabbity purgatory or circle of hell.
Like kicking a puppy
It’s so very wholesome and I’m sure the makers would be baffled and horrified that such a nice, inoffensive show could elicit such fury in parents.
For me, it is too wholesome. Through a long adult life of watching David Lynch movies I have learned to distrust wholesome as it is often hiding a darker secret wrapped in plastic.
That secret could be where are their parents? Is there a tragic reason behind Ruby’s seven going on 87 outlook on life? Did the death of her parents mean she had to take on the role of mother to her toddler brother? If so why isn’t their grandma looking after them?
Is it because Ruby is responsible for their disappearance? Did her obsession with centrepieces and order become murderous?
Or is the truth sadder still that the (non) adventures of these rabbits in a bland, safe existence the result of a fugue state or delusion of a traumatised lab rabbit trying to find its safe place from pain?
All this speculation is a way of purging all that frustration that comes from watching something bad. Not so bad it’s good but just bad. Like Lindsey Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me bad. A film so bad it genuinely believes that ‘it was all a dream’ counts as a twist ending ( directors cut). If you haven’t seen it you needn’t complain about spoilers. If anything I’m performing my public duty on saving you two hours of your life you will never get back.
It’s not like it was in the old days…no, wait. It is.
What’s so rankling is that there’s plenty of better shows. More educational, more fun, more imaginative but just because I don’t like a show doesn’t mean I can stop my kids from watching it. It’s not violent or corrupting. It’s only crime is banality.
I won’t harp on that kids shows were better in my day because 1) it makes me sound 100 and 2) it’s not true.
It was as good and bad as it ever was with quality with clever and funny shows like Dangermouse and Round the Bend and Knightmare side by side with glorified toy commercials (gleefully satirised by Round the Bend) like He-Man, Transformers and the ‘will this do’ animation of Scooby Doo (and the less said about Scrappy Doo the better).
The case for the defence?
I have none but I have seen some unnamed souls that feel attacks on Max and Ruby are unfair. If you like it I’d be interested to know what about it interests you and keeps you from hurling your TV or device into the nearest fire.
If you are on the side of the prosecution are there any other reasons I’ve missed for declaring it the worst kids TV show? Are there show worse than this parade of banality?