Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dora and Friends: So Where the Hell is Boots?

So last summer, my youngest daughter (age 5) began seeing previews for a new Dora show called Dora and Friends: Into the City! Gone was the babyish, lame Dora with her ill-fitting tee shirt (that clearly needs to be like 2 inches longer). She's been replaced with the new, cooler, older Dora. With longer hair! And snazzy clothes! And a cell phone! And a gang of friends to run around the city with!

For the next few weeks, I listened to a rather tedious stream of: "MOMMY, I HAVE TO WATCH THE NEW DORA. IS IT ON YET? WHEN IS IT ON? CAN WE GET IT ON DEMAND? NEW DORA NEW DORA NEW DORA NEW DORA."

Then we actually watched it. Here's a quick run-down/review of the new Dora show.

She's older ("elementary school age" according to Nickelodeon) and she now lives in the city. Instead of traipsing through crocodile-infested streams and little blue hills, she now runs around the city with a gaggle of friends, no parents in sight and cell phone in hand. I feel I should also mention that they pretty much sing the entire time. You really should know that.

Occasionally you see her (now older) twin brother and sister, who appear to be pre-schoolers. Her parents, per usual, are rarely seen and remain committed to their laissez-faire, free-range philosophy of child-rearing.

Some of you may think it's strange that the show would depict a group of 3rd graders hanging out in a big city by themselves, texting strangers, and putting on street performances. I would tell you to think again. This is Dora we're talking about. She spent her preschool years as an explorer of both the natural world (jungles, oceans, the antarctic) and occasionally the supernatural world (mermaids, evil sorcerers, unicorns, etc). She did so largely unsupervised and in the company of self-aware, articulate, multi-lingual animals. You think she can't handle herself alone at night in a city park with her little blonde friend? She's fine.

There's a good chance your child will pick up some phrases or words en Espanol. There's also a chance that frequent watching will cause your child to think she understands Spanish, thereby empowering her to start literally babbling nonsense sounds to people that she perceives to be native Spanish speakers but are in fact from Israel and not amused to find a 5 year old screaming "HOLA! ABAJO!" at them in Starbucks.

But here's the big news: Boots? Gone. Backpack? Gone. Swiper? Who the hell is that? Not only are all of the supporting cast of characters gone - there is no mention of them. It's like they never even existed. I was like - what do I tell my kid when she asks? And also, as you know, I get a little weird about the backstory of kids' TV shows.

So I checked the Nickelodeon website. Here's what it says:
Where are Dora's friends from Dora the Explorer?
As always, your kids can catch Swiper, Backpack, Map and all of Dora’s other friends by watching Dora the Explorer every day on Nick Jr. and weekdays on Nickelodeon.  
In Dora and Friends, Dora is joined by a diverse new group of friends who are also her peers and serve as role models for your preschooler. Her new friends have many talents and skills and interests, which they share with each other. And using their special talents, Dora and her friends work together to get every job done! ¡Todos juntos!
Dude. They didn't even mention Boots. What in the helling HELL is that about? Did they fire him? Did Dora "outgrow" him and refuse to work with him again? They were supposed to love each other like family and be BEST FRIENDS and now he's gone and they don't even use his name? I don't think she ever really cared about him at all. And he knows it now. He knows that his career is over because Dora dumped him.

I imagine he's at a bar right now, on the outskirts of some jungle town, drinking and bitterly slurring his words about how he's going to write a tell-all. The he starts drunk tweeting about how much he misses her:
actual twitter account: https://twitter.com/WhatAboutBoots
Isa and Benny the Bull are there, too and they're trying to talk some sense into him but they get it, man. They gave that girl the best years of their lives and now no one at Nick Jr will even return their phone calls. Diego stops by the bar and orders a drink. He's not happy either. He didn't get a spot on the new show and they basically replaced him with a "Diego-type" named Pablo who Dora's not related to (if you get my drift).

As it gets later, they start to put a plan together. Swiper has underworld connections and a certain moral ambiguity that makes him useful to know. Besides, he's unemployed with a criminal record. He has nothing to lose. By dawn, the plan is set. They're ready for their sequel - Dora and Friends 2: Boots' Revenge.

Or maybe my imagination just ran away with me. Or maybe Boots and all the other animals were just in Dora's imagination and they were never actually real. Maybe they were just stuffed animals in the 100 Acre Wood and she was their Christopher Robin.

I really have no idea and I'm already tired of thinking about this and my caffeine levels are starting to drop so let's wrap this up.

Overall review: C+ 
It's just as irritating (for adults) as the old show but with older kids, more music, and fewer talking animals. Your kids will love every second of it.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2014

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