As the parent of a young child, I’ve gotten very familiar with the television shows that cater to the pre-school set. Most of them are, though repetitive and annoying (I’m still looking at you, Dora!) at least somewhat of educational value. Whether it’s teaching the basics of a foreign language, or concepts like teamwork and cooperation, there’s usually a point to all the inanity.
But one show simply makes my skin crawl: Max and Ruby. Am I the only one who finds this to be the most god-awful cartoon in existence? For those who aren’t familiar with the program, let me describe the goings-on for you…
You see, Max and Ruby are bunnies. Max is the younger brother, around three or so, and his dialogue in each episode is usually restricted to a single word or phrase repeated ad infinitum throughout the three-vignette-long show: “Mine!” “Dragon!” “Water!”
Ruby is the older-sister, just starting Bunny Scouts, which would make her in the neighborhood of 8-years-old. Each show, she is usually trying to do some arts and crafts project or handle a household chore such as cleaning the house, cooking dinner or taking Max clothes shopping… she finds her brother to be a nuisance and usually attempts to exclude him from whatever she is doing. Most of her dialogue is of a scolding nature: “No, Max.” “Not now, Max!” “Why don’t you go play in traffic, Max?”
Of course, the punchline of each episode is supposed to be that whatever Max has been repeating all episode is always the answer to the problem Ruby has been trying to solve, if only she would have listened in the first place.
For example, when Ruby wants to practice her piano, Max keeps saying, “Train.” Ruby tells him he can play with his train later and that it is time for him to be quiet. She then finds there’s something wrong with the piano, and after twenty minutes of screaming at Max to shut up and failed efforts to determine the cause of the lack of sound coming from her instrument, she finally opens it up to discover… Max’s train inside the piano acting as an unintentional damper. Wacky, wacky!
But here’s the real issue with this piece of dreck: Max and Ruby apparently live alone. She is in charge of putting him to bed, getting him dressed, buying him clothes, etc. She even has a part-time job at the local candy store to make a few extra bucks. In one episode she even sends him to the local store all by himself so she can stay home and finish prepping a dessert she is making.
All this responsibility heaped on a fairly dim third-grader, even though their Grandmother lives nearby and often comes over to visit unannounced, and always at a moment when Max is proving Ruby to be completely unfit supervisor.
Some people actually call this show cute. I’m calling child services.
Judge for yourself…
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