What grown-ups need to know about “The Doodlebops”: Most would never, ever want to spend an evening at the dinner table with them. Unless, of course, they are heavily into cultural irony.
It’s very clear that everything about these three live-action people is fake, from their hair to their coloring to their playhouse or home or wherever it is these siblings without parents – Deedee, Rooney and Moe Doodle – meet and play.
But in their own weird way, Deedee (who plays keyboard and dresses like one, too), Rooney (guitar, with a guitar across his overalls) and Moe (the drummer, ‘nuff said) are endearing.
And if you happen to be a 4-year-old, they are flat-out awesome.
For one thing, they sing and dance in a way most appealing to preschoolers (that would be loud, with very simple rhythms and even simpler words).
They fall for the same joke over and over, and they have a pledge, recited in each episode, that young viewers not only will understand but be able to memorize and repeat.
It includes the parent-pleasing words: “We promise to share, we promise to care, all together as a team.”
Each episode offers a light lesson – maybe on whether a sound is high (piccolo) or low (tuba), or about the joys of being backwards.
Each “Doodlebop” episode includes the Doodlebop Express, a Sgt. Pepper-inspired, color-overloaded bus that takes the three characters to a theater for their stage performance. Much time is spent showing the theater’s young audience, who, not unlike viewers, thoroughly delight in the Doodles’ high-energy songs and dances.
Of course, the lyrics perfectly mesh into a young life. One song advises children “if you’re feeling mad, count to 10; a little frustrated, count to 10 … time to go to bed now, count to 10.” Appropriately numbered blocks spread across the stage, and a Doodle points out the numbers.
This might be classified as learning, but certainly of the softest-sell kind. And this might be “The Doodlebops’ ” most endearing trait (and most annoying to any adult hanging around for very long): Everything has a confection quality to it.
But actually, a little sweetness and light is just right for preschoolers.
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