Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yo! Gabba Gabba (Hey!)

"Television: The Drug of the Nation," the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy once said. If that equation holds true, then Yo Gabba Gabba is a goofball of methamphetamine and nitrous.

Anybody else up on Yo Gabba Gabba? It's basically a Nick Jr. show aimed at preschoolers and adults who fall into the Grups category. A futuristic host in orange spandex opens a boombox to reveal the five characters (designed by Kid Robot). They flop around and sing songs about eating your food, the benefits of sleep, sharing, etc. The songs themselves are amazingly treacle-free and dammit, catchy. Peep "Party in My Tummy (So Yummy)" which owes a lot to Miami bass anthems as it does to the principles of good nutrition:

As you can see, Yo Gabba Gabba is full of hipster modifiers. There's cutting edge animation by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, wink-wink appearances by Mya, Tony Hawk, Elijah Wood, the Aggrolites, the Shins, Cornelius and Smoosh. Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh does a drawing segment. And for you hip-hop heads, Biz Markie introduces preschoolers to the "Biz Beat of the Day." Future guests include Rahzel, Salteens and Shiny Toy Guns. And some of the songs get actual remixes by DJs like Bassbin Twins.

So how does it translate? Wifey and I TIVO'd a couple episodes and found we liked the music and the guests, but found the format of quick short-attention span bits to be annoying and nonsensical, like watching a kiddie version of Sprockets. The four characters, one resembling a red vibrator, are on the ridiculous side. Then again, I grew up in the era of Banana Splits (Danger Island!), Land of the Lost and HR Pufnstuf, which were equally absurd. I get what YGG is doing, I just think they try too hard to snag adults and don't give kids enough credit for being attentive.

We gave Maceo a taste of the show and he quickly adapted to it (he doesn't get much TV, maybe an hour every other day, so that might play into it). Yo Gabba Gabba has yet to make his vocabulary like Elmo, but give him time.

(BTW, did you guys see the Chris Brown/Elmo collabo? Good stuff from the 2007 season)

Anybody else love/hate Yo Gabba Gabba?



kim said...

We tried to watch it once but couldn't get past 2 or 3 segments. While "Party in My Tummy" was slightly catchy, the sight of those carrots crying made my little one sob. Seriously. And Elijah Wood's dancing? No thanks! I can't see what good it could add to our day so we'll pass on this one. We're pretty content with our friends at The Wonder Pets, Jack's Big Music Show, and Sesame Street anyway. :)

SoulSnax said...

got my first taste of it last night, just as I was figuring out the TiVo Kids Zone thing... I got just a taste, and it was a bizarre acid trip, which I think is perfect for little kids. :)

Your post gives me the perfect opportunity to ask: which of the four friggin Kids Zone choices should I go with? I forget the names of the choices, but I think the one we arbitrarily picked was Common Sense Media.

Lumpyheadsmom said...

After Lumpyhead's first terrible day of preschool, once he had calmed down and was playing quietly at home, I asked him why he was so sad.

He said it was because he wanted to go to the party in the tummy.

Joe said...

Umm. Love it. Gabba Gabba is pretty trippy but it makes up for by having some seriously catchy tunes and that mixed with the fact that my daughters (7,5,2) all flip out when it comes on makes me happy. I actually just posted on this same topic. Oh yeah, Elijah Woods...what were you thinking? Peace.