Analysis: Bubble Guppies

Analysis: Bubble Guppies

This show has a diverse cast of characters: 3 girls, 3 boys, a range of races and ethnicities. All the main characters are children, and they are mer-people. The show takes place under the sea. This is annoying. The boys’ fins are basically one piece, and the girls’ fins are two piece, like a mermaid bikini. This is dumb. Really dumb. Why not make them longer?

Along with the mer-folk, there are some fish friends. One of the fish boys,Avi, fell off his trike. First adult seen: a mom. Totally nurturing fish mom. She calls the hospital and talks to the female hospital receptionist. Very gendered lines here for a show with such promise. The Clambulance shows up and takes the fish to the hospital.

Their teacher learns of the Avi’s fall and says the fish will probably need an Xray. There is some discussion about what an Xray is, and the question arises: do fish have bones? The teacher said some do, and then the mer-children are discussing their bones and asking the audience to feel their bones. Yay! Throwing some STEM learning in. But, the fish possibly broke his bone by falling off a trike, which he was riding on the sea floor. I have no problem with silly narratives, but please don’t try to throw science into the middle of them. That is confusing for anyone, but especially children. And then they talk about where the bones are, and note that the mermaids have tail bones, just like the fish. Hmm, okay now you are trying to get children to believe in merpeople and equate them with fish.

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Oh ¬†wait a minute! Now they are saying everyone has bones and are singing a song about all the things you couldn’t do without bones! Please let a whale swim by right now! 95% of animals on earth do not have bones.

The show is also Dora-fied, so there is a lot of stopping to ask viewers to do something. There is creative play and dancing and then they go to the hospital to visit Avi.

Avi broke his tail. There is a female doctor, so props for that. Of course, she gets about 3 lines. They spent the bulk of the episode teaching about bones and it was all done with the mer-kids learning it from each other or from their teacher. With a slight reworking, they could have learned it from the doctor, who happens to be female.

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So, they gave Avi a cast. He is a fish. He lives in water. What is one thing that everyone knows about casts? Besides that they are itchy? Yes, that’s right! They should never get wet!
Yikes, the lessons on this show are not good.

 

Again, this is an ensemble cast, which did have gender parity in its main characters, even if there were lots of gender issues in the background.

 

 

 

 

TALLY SHEET

Count today- 1 show
Count total- 17 shows
Shows with male lead- 8
Shows with female lead- 5
Shows with a positive message for girls, starring a female lead-4

New categories:

Shows that have a male adult lead-6
Shows that have a female adult lead-1

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