The politics of Paw Patrol – I have some questions…

March 18, 2016

Paw Patrol! Who’s seen it? Who’s not seen it? Paw Patrol is one of *those* inexplicably popular kids TV programmes with a theme tune so catchy it digs a hole into your tired brain and then runs round and round forever. We sing it in the house, we walk down the road singing it. At this point I’m sure I’ll be a retired empty nester and still shouting out the dog names in the supermarket. Chase! Etc etc.

The politics of Paw Patrol - I have so many questions!

It never used to be like this, though. I was, predictably, the mum who was never going to let her children watch TV. We were going to read educational books and play with wooden toys and snack on kale, of course. Indeed we didn’t watch much until I got pregnant again and I needed secret nap time. But I quickly reached my Peppa limit once the baby was here and banned it all for a month in some kind of hormonal, rod-for-my-own-back rage.

We’ve reached a happy medium now where we only watch bits of CBeebies (no annoying adverts). Until last week when our loft scaffolding went up and scuppered the satellite signal and stopped us from watching live TV.

And like a stray dog looking for food, Paw Patrol quickly snuck up in our house.

We downloaded a couple of episodes, saw a few on Netflix and somehow, within a few days, it’s now all they want to watch. F even sings along to the theme tune, which is no mean feat considering her vocab is kind of limited.

And I’m right there in the thick of it. I wrote a list of questions about kids TV a couple of years ago but Paw Patrol brings up many more, mainly political, questions:

Questions about…Local Government

  • Who elected the mayor? Was the only other candidate Donald Trump?
  • Was the position of deputy mayor – Chickoletta the chicken – voted for? If so, by who? And how are the pups not upset that one of Adventure Bay’s authority figures is at least 1000 steps down from them on the evolutionary ladder?
  • Ryder controls the Paw Patrol – aka all the emergency services in the area – but is he even old enough to vote?

Questions about…the laws of nature

  • Why are the pups the only anthropomorphic creatures? Do they not find it odd that they are so advanced yet their pet and non-pet peers can’t speak?
  • What is going on with the Mayor and Chickolata? Would the mayor eat Chickoleta if she was hungry enough?
  • All of the adults are so useless, including Captain Turbot and his even stupider brother, that surely they’re bound to get into a situation where the pups can’t help. Will natural selection mean they die out, and only the dogs survive? (Also, why are the pups so keen to help when my old dog was v lazy and used to sleep all day?)

Questions about…child labour laws

  • Where are Ryder’s parents?
  • Does he not go to school?
  • Considering he takes emergency calls at all hours of the night, I presume he is always ‘on’ – so how many hours does he work a week?

Questions about…gender politics

  • So Adventure Bay must be fairly progressive, right? They have a female mayor, which is a good thing (even though she’s a complete idiot, it’s clearly very balanced as all the adults are useless, male and female)
  • But why are there only two girl pups, Skye and the newest one, Everest? Everest was clearly bought in after the fact in series 2 to balance things up a bit, but she can never be included in the main titles (as her name is three syllables) and she’s barely in it as only ever in snowy plotlines
  • Although she’s clearly the most kick-ass pup in the programme – as she can fly, which beats the recycling truck hands down – why is everything about Skye so predictably pink? Her outfit, her airstream / airplane, the giant vagina background she jumps out of? And why is she the small one?

Biggest question of all – am I thinking about this too much? Is this what happens when you go a year and a half without a night of sleep? Oh god. How long till the scaffolding comes down?

*** The 2016 MAD Blog Awards are open for nominations. It would be amazing if you could nominate me in the best pre-school blog category (here). Thank you so much! ***

More posts: the lost relics of an end-of-the-century childhood, everything I learned from Judy Blume books and the hidden perils of picking the bedtime book

7 Comments

  • Molly

    March 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    This made me laugh out loud. Love this post Gill!

  • Mel Wiggins

    March 20, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I am super impressed by your Paw Patrol knowledge. Seriously! Like, I could name 3 of them – tops! Any kind of proper content knowledge is completely lost on me though – I’m usually doing the secret nap when Paw Patrol is parenting my four year old! x

  • Emily

    March 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Aaaagh! I’m singing it now. STOP!

    1. gillian

      March 21, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      I’m so sorry! What have I done?! x

  • Kara

    March 24, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Bloody love this post, I spend many hours of everyday over thinking Kids TV and felt I was the only one.

    You have asked Q’s that have been in my head for over a year, we are Paw Patrol addicts here and Peppa is banned never even been watched can’t stand it!!

  • Ray

    August 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    You want politics? The show is Canadian. Foggy Bottom is a section of Washington D.C. near the Potomac River. Mayor Humdinger (US President with a top hat?) steals anything he wants with no ethical qualms.

    1. gillian

      October 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      This has given me a whole other perspective! x

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