Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Doug

In 1996, when I was in the 4th grade, I dressed up as one of my favorite cartoon characters, Doug Funnie. When I showed it off to my classmates, none of them knew who I was, with the exception of Patricia. I couldn't believe what I heard. Even the show had been off the air two years before, it seemed that no one remembered Doug. I was so pissed that I didn't speak with the majority of my classmates for the rest of the day. Years later, when working on this tribute with Patricia, I saw Doug again for the first time since I was a kid. It brought me back so many memories and happiness that when the time came to put this tribute together, I said that I wanted to review Doug. So, here's my recollection on why Doug is still to this day a great cartoon.

Doug Cartoon Title Card.jpg

The show was about an average kid named Doug Funnie (played by Billy West) who moves into a new town called Bluffington with his family and dog Porkchop. He meets up with all the residents of Bluffington and makes some new friends. His best friend is Skeeter Valentine (played by Fred Newman from Livewire) who's this happy, sound effect sounding kid who loves listening to the rock band The Beets. The girl he falls in love with is Patti Mayonaiise who's an athletic chick with a kind, sweet personality. There's Bee-Bee Bluff, Patti's best friend and the snotty rich girl, Connie, who's the heavyset girl with a nice personality, Chalky, the jock of the group, Al and Moo, the AV nerdy science geeks, and Roger Klotz, the bully of the group. Roger (also played by Billy West) is an homage to the 50's with the goofy puns and the leather jacket.

Each episode shows a real life situation that kids would be going through like dances, playing video games, parties, going to school, dealing with family issues, and friendship. It was always relatable to see these characters go through the same thing you were going through. You could always find a friend that you actually knew in all of these characters.

There were also many Doug plushies. I wanted to get a Doug doll, but I came across a Patti Mayonaiise doll a few years ago. When I was in high school, I was dating a girl that loved Doug as much as I did and her favorite character was Patti Mayonaiise. I had the Patti doll and I decided to give it to her when we went out on a date at a restaurant. She was so happy that she had gotten that doll. We've broken up since then, but I don't regret giving her that Patti doll.

There was also a live theater show of Doug that my mom took me to see. I had loved the show so much that by the end of it, I went up to the actor who played him and told me that I was a huge fan of Doug and that I had loved the show. He smiled and gave me a hug. I knew that that wasn't the real Doug, but still, that was one of my cherised memories that I will never forget. I still hold it dear to this day!

I have talked to a few people about Doug a while ago and there are some who still have fond memories of it like I do, others said that the show is boring, dull, and forgettable. The people who had said that were the younger people roughly about 18 or younger. Now, I'm not going to critique their opinions, that's fine. If you don't like it, then okay. But for most of those people that I discussed with, they didn't talk about it more than 30 seconds of Doug with the exception of bashing it. I said to them, "Have you ever seen Doug?" They either said, "Oh, once and I didn't like it" or "No, but the Nostalgia Critic reviewed Doug and it sounds like it's boring."

I told them "Look, I respect your opinion, but I want you to give the show a chance. You don't have to take the Nostalgia Critic's opinion word for word." I said my two cents on that and walked away.

Overall, for all you readers out there, give the show a chance. It's one of the more realistic animated shows that came out in a time of unrealistic shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's the kind of show that speaks to you, shows you real life with real people, takes you into the mind of an average kid with a vast imagination and his many diverse friends, and gives you something to truly remember.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane.


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