I was trawling through Netflix the other day, searching for something vaguely edutaining for my little one to watch, when I came across something I’d never seen or heard of before. Pauper Troll. Finally, I thought, a TV show that represents the working class online commentators. I looked again. Paw Patrol. That sounded more kid friendly. I hit play. We watched it together. I’m not sure how long we watched it for, but it was dark out when we finally stopped.
Let me sum it up as best I can, for those of you who may not have yet seen it. An unschooled orphan commands an army of sentient, genius dogs who have for some reason replaced the emergency services in this twisted parallel universe. Every adult is depicted as a dithering buffoon of some degree who has to routinely be rescued by the aforementioned pups, who, besides talking, can also operate complicated, heavy machinery as well as drive trucks, boats and planes. No explanation is ever given for any of this.
The main characters are:
Chase – The leader and very much the Ross of the group. Has an infatuation with Skye, and the ‘will they, won’t they’ aspect of their relationship makes for scintillating viewing.
Rubble – He’s very protective of his food and is a big softy at heart, he is of course Joey.
Skye – She loves to look her best and has a flirtatious relationship with Chase. You guessed it, she’s Rachel.
Marshall – The Chandler, his many pratfalls make for hilarious slapstick and he’s always making the others laugh with his one-liners.
Rocky – This energetic pup loves to pick up rubbish and has a place for everything. Who else could it be but Monica?
Zuma – Phoebe, because that’s who’s left. Is there an episode of Friends where Phoebe drives a hovercraft? Or maybe Zuma’s mum killed herself, I don’t know. The analogy’s fallen apart a bit, if I’m honest.
Over the course of the series, the gang of plucky pups rescue chickens, frogs, monkeys & aliens, but the real irony is they’re unable to rescue themselves from their lives of servitude. They’re ruled over by a cruel master, a young boy called Ryder. He may not rule with a metaphorical iron fist or even a literal iron fist, but he does have unquestionable doggy dominion.
Why else would they obey his every whim? For fear of what would happen if they stepped out of line, of course. Add a touch of Stockholm Syndrome and you’re ready for action, Ryder, sir!
How many other pups have paid the price for their insubordination?
Why do we never see any other dogs in Adventure Bay?
Why are the Paw Patrol the only animals that possess the gift of speech?
Everything comes down to Ryder, that glassy-eyed little eugenicist. I’m willing to bet that deep underneath The Lookout there’s a room with failed experiments, discarded body parts and half-formed monstrosities that are neither human nor animal. Like The Island of Dr. Moreau, but for kids. And he’s able to get away with it all, due to an inept mayor and severe lack of any outside interference.
I think it’s high time Ryder was made to stand trial and answer for his crimes against humanity. Maybe a live-action sequel set in a courtroom, with the pups giving evidence against Ryder should be the next must-see series splashed across Netflix.
Chase is on the case!
The court case.