'Yo Gabba Gabba' Through a Grown Up's Eyes

This is the first in a series where a dad watches toddler TV shows alone and for his own entertainment. First up: Yo Gabba Gabba.

Most of us were raised not to talk religion or politics at the table. The last few years have brought a third topic to avoid: Yo Gabba Gabba. Unless you want to get a gravy boat across the jaw at Thanksgiving, don't bring it up. Folks got some strong feelings in both directions. DJ Lance Rock is as divisive as Sarah Palin.

I've seen dozens of segments, but I can't say I've sat through a whole episode. So with Mad Men over, and Friday Night Lights a few weeks away, I think it's time.

And we open with the arrival of DJ Lance and the preachy sex toys. Yeah, rubber pleasure givers was the first thing I thought when I saw the show's freaky characters and I just can't get past it. Of course Muno is studded for your pleasure (though those fangs wouldn't be comfortable).


But beyond that, Brobee's got a french tickler head with long, stimulating arms, and I'm fairly sure if you look on the back of Flex there's a vibrate switch. When you see them with the proper scale, they're even sex toy-sized.

These guys are good for a party in more than your tummy.

yo gabba gabba

Oh you hadn't heard about the party in the tummy? How could you have possibly missed it? And preachy maybe isn't a strong enough word. They're damn charismatic televangelists for vegetables, or teeth-brushing, or friendship. Love the lessons, I guess, but please, the groove grows sour when you're talking down to me.

DJ Lance Rock has an awesome look about him with that marching-band fur hat. The guy who played him used to work at Amoeba Records, the hippest -- hell really the only -- record store we've got left here. So if you had any doubt that those glasses were for his vision and not for hip cred, you can give it up.

But oddly, there's nothing ironic about him! The problem with DJ Lance and all his buddies is actually an abundance of almost sickening sincerity. They could use a dose of irony and self-awareness like Grover had. Hell, Dora is more ironic than Foofa.

But I'm not siding with the haters here. Because once the show gets away from the gleeful dildos, it's pure genius.

The "my name is Jordan/Jesse/Paolo/Gloria and I like to dance!" segments make me grit my old, yellowing teeth with cuteness overload.

Mark Mothersbaugh hasn't exactly aged well since Devo, but his little drawing-time is indisputably awesome.

And the Biz Markie beats bit is too cool for words. Dude was born to be a kid-world star.

Hell, even the costumed freaks are kind of appealing when it's time to do the dancey-dance. I watched two early episodes and Mya was super hot doing the Peanut Butter stomp in hers, but Elijah Wood was even hotter doing the Puppet Master in his (what an adorable little scruffy hipster vibe Frodo has in real life!).

But the real beauty of the show is the "what we did today" recap at the end, with the whole half-hour distilled into one tolerable minute. It's the perfect dosage for a grown-up. Highly recommended. Even for kids.

What do you think of Yo Gabba Gabba?

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