It’s hard to believe that there was a time in my life when the words, “PAW Patrol” held no meaning for me. This was a time when Netflix binges were reserved for Orange is the New Black, The Mindy Project and other shows with themes that had very little to do with a group of puppies and their ten year-old leader saving the people of their town from disasters ranging in severity from locating missing chickens to helping runaway trains deliver the latest version of Pup Pup Boogie on time. Things have changed, however, and my desire to have something occupy my 16-month old for 30 minutes while I make something for dinner has begun to take precedent over my need to keep up to date with the comings and goings of the characters on my favourite grown-up shows.
To be totally honest, as far as children’s television goes, PAW Patrol is not so bad. The storylines are entertaining enough, the dogs are cute, and the ever-important themes of trying your best and working hard run rampant. None of the characters whine about the unfairness of having to leave their bones to go rescue someone in need, and they take turns showcasing their individual talents while also working as a team to get the job done. All of that, coupled with the fact that it’s pretty adorable to hear my son try to sing the Pup Pup Boogie have made this show the go-to choice when we need a minute to catch our breath.
That being said, watching this show on a fairly regular basis has started to get me wondering about a few things, and I felt that a blog post would be a good place to get them off my chest.
So here they are.
1. Do the residents of Adventure Bay have any say in how their tax dollars are spent?
Because I am a grown up person who follows the news on a semi-regular basis, I have come to understand that most people are concerned with the way their hard-earned money is spent (especially when that money is spent by the government on their behalf). The last time I checked, I’m not 100% certain that most taxpayers would be overly enthusiastic about their local government purchasing such things as a solid gold statue of a chicken, a solid gold statue of a former mayor, a giant tower with more technology than the Starship Enterprise to be run strictly by puppy dogs or a similarly well-equipped RV to be operated by a ten year old who is more adept at running a town than the elected mayor. It would also appear that said tax dollars have funded the above projects in the place of any actual law enforcement or emergency service providers.
2. And speaking of extraneous expenses, who is funding all of these ridiculous contests?
It seems that a day doesn’t go by when the mayor of Adventure Bay isn’t about to lose her damn mind because there is a chance that she might not win one of town’s ten thousand contests and needs to call the PAW Patrol in for backup (is this not considered cheating?) These contests seem to exist for the sole purpose of proving that Adventure Bay eclipses Foggy Bottom in all domains and include (but are most certainly not limited to) The Tallest and Tastiest Cake Contest, The Cleanest Town Contest, The Great Hot Air Balloon Race, The Fastest Fire Pup Competition, The Adventure Bay Sheep Herding Competition, a Frog Jumping Competition, and, of course, The Annual Mayor’s Race. Is the mayor using tax dollars to pay for all of these competitions and the solid gold trophies that come with all of them? Does anyone in Adventure Bay pay taxes? Does anyone in Adventure Bay care or is this just a town full of people who enjoy competition to such a manic degree that they are happy to fund their mayor’s thirst for global domination no matter what the cost?
3. Why is a 10 year old child in charge of the safety and well-being of an entire town?
The leader of the PAW patrol is a boy named Ryder who is 10 years old. Ryder trained the entire PAW Patrol to drive cars, fly hovercrafts, and operate other types of heavy machinery. He appears to live with a bunch of dogs and no parents or other adults in a giant tower equipped with millions of dollars worth of technology and a slide. His preferred methods of transportation are an ATV and an 80 foot RV (which he drives himself, obviously). Every person in Adventure Bay has Ryder on speed dial so that he can be contacted in the event of one of the town’s daily (hourly? minute-ly?) emergencies. Where are the real law enforcement agents in Adventure Bay? Why are the adults in this community completely reliant on a 10 year old child and his gang of car-driving dogs? Which leads me to my next question…
4. Why are all of the adults in Adventure Bay so utterly incompetent?
Case in point: Mayor Goodway. While it’s nice to see a woman in command for a change, who the hell elected this chick and what were they thinking? When the biggest and most constant concern of your town’s mayor is the fact that her pet chicken is missing, it starts to make sense that a 10-year old should be in charge.
Next, there is Cap’n Turbot, the marine biologist who is clever enough to speak in alliteration, but frequently forgets to change the bulb in the lighthouse and takes his boat out in a storm and is surprised when he gets lost in the fog. It’s not uncommon for him to call Ryder and the gang for help when a walrus has stolen his tuna sandwich.
Among others, we’ve also got Mr. Porter, the baker who somehow thought that single-handedly baking and decorating a cake tower requiring 900 cake bricks in two hours was humanly possible. About 5 minutes into his task, and realizing that his foolish decision had put the entire town at risk of the shame of losing the tallest and tastiest cake contest, this man who bakes cakes for a living simply could not figure out what to do next.
Obviously, in every scenario above, the day was saved by a ten-year old child and his team of dogs who possess the rare ability to speak and problem-solve that many of the grown-ups in town do not.
5. And now that we’ve dealt with the adults in Adventure Bay, I have something I need to clear up about the kids.
Mr. Porter’s grandson, Alex, is approximately 6 years old. Like most children his age, Alex frequently gets into trouble and occasionally goes to school. Then we have Katie, who is somewhere between 10-12 years old. For reasons unknown to me and possibly the parents that Katie doesn’t seem to have, Katie has forgone attending the sixth grade and instead is employed as a vet/animal groomer. We’ve already covered Ryder and the fact that he is 10 and in charge of the town’s fire, police, construction, recycling, ambulance and whatever-the-other-dogs-do programs. What is the deciding factor when determining which children get to live the fun and carefree lives of kids and which are in charge of running the town’s essential services?
6. Actually, I have two things to clear up about the kids.
I hate to be the one to spoil all the fun around here, but who is licensing these children to drive? As I mentioned before, our main man, Ryder, cruises around Adventure Bay in an ATV and can frequently be spotted chauffeuring his pups around in an RV worth more than my home. Ryder’s ten-year old pen pal, Carlos, is the proud owner of a Jeep that he and his dog, Tracker, use to cruise around in the jungle. Certain kids, like Alex Porter and Daredevil Danny, apparently don’t have what it takes to get their licenses, as they have been forced to trick out their tricycles or get to school the old-fashioned way, by taking the bus (which is, for some unexplainable reason, driven by an actual adult). Again, who decides which kids get to be the ones to operate motor vehicles? From what I can see, it appears to be the children who don’t have parents to tell them that this is a horribly dangerous idea, but, given the fact that the people who are traditionally qualified to drive tend to be the ones sending trains careening off the track and running their ships aground, maybe more kids should be taking the wheel.
7. Excuuuuuuuuse me, but why are there only two girl dogs?
I mean, we all know that traditionally, dogs are boys and cats are girls, but can we please teach kids that this is actually not true so that they don’t have to wait until they are 15 to learn this like I did?
8. And why are the cats evil?
The Mayor of Foggy Bottom is a Class A D-Bag, and, once again, we are forced to wonder who in their right minds drew an X next to his name on the ballot on election day, but I digress. Mayor Humdinger’s primary concern is not the well-being of his own constituents, but rather, the destruction of Mayor Goodway and Adventure Bay. As he twists his moustache in his truly villainous style, he leads his evil band of kittens to do his bidding in such dastardly deeds as stealing treasure from the prospector who uses a rusty shovel and bottomless pan while panning for gold. The kittens may be adorable, but, true to their feline nature, they are 100% soulless demons, just like their moustache-twirling leader.
9. Why are the PAW Patrol dogs the only animals in this universe who can speak?
I mean, the kitten CATastrophe Crew has a very similar (though opposite) mission statement to the PAW Patrol, but they are only able to meow, hiss, and cause general destruction in a disappointingly quiet way. It hardly seems fair that we can only guess what kinds of diabolical plans they are busy hatching, and yet, we are able to hear all of the ins and outs of how hungry Rubble is and how much Chase secretly loves Skye but doesn’t want anyone to know the truth. Similarly, all turtles, whales, owls, chickens, cows, and even mer-pups have not been granted the ability to verbalize their thoughts and feelings.
10. When is the next season of PAW Patrol coming out?
I basically have the entire dialogue memorized of all of the current episodes and don’t know how much longer my sanity will remain in tact. Please, creators of PAW Patrol, know that this post is all in good fun and realize that I don’t know what on earth I would do without you.