In Defense of Yo Gabba Gabba


I realize that, to people without kids of their own, the idea of children’s programming is not likely to rouse a burning desire to procreate. In fact, I’m quite certain that Barney the Dinosaur can be credited with preventing planetary overpopulation, as millions upon millions of single people have taken one look at him and said, “No, thanks. I’ll pass. Dying alone probably isn’t as bad as folks make it out to be.”

I’ll admit that I, too, have had a fairly cynical attitude regarding such shows, and I have typically just endured them (begrudgingly) for no other reason than to appease my little crumb crunchers.

That is, until now. Enter Yo Gabba Gabba. It has absolutely rocked my world.

At first glace, I felt the same as most people — complete disgust accompanied by all the expected sighs, eye rolls, (and indigestion), but when I finally sat down and watched an entire episode, I discovered that ninety percent of what I found was fabulously refreshing and (gasp!) wonderfully entertaining!

Yo Gabba Gabba was created by two dads in California who had a goal of creating children’s programming that they could enjoy with their kids, introduced quality music, and taught strong moral lessons.

Mission accomplished. Choose your metaphor: homerun, hit the nail on the head, bulls-eye — all apply when it comes to Gabbaland.

In this day and age of iCarly and auto tuners, it thrills my little musician soul to hear the magnificent musical acts that seem to be lining up to come on this show. Paul Williams, The Shins, Jimmy Eat World, I’m From Barcelona, The Roots, and so many stellar indie artists, I couldn’t possibly name them all.

The animation spots are precious and beautifully done, and I’m not ashamed to say that some of them are so sweet, I find myself in tears — over and over and over. We have dozens of episodes recorded, and when my favorite songs come on, Jonah immediately climbs in my lap so we can give each other love pats — (even he understands the sincerity of these segments).

This show combines life lessons, clever humor, and a new twist on presentation — all with a hip, retro flair. That’s enough for me. I can see why it’s developing a cult-like following with older kids and even college students. I don’t doubt that, in collegiate circles, viewing time is accompanied by an occasional doob, but in the grand scheme of things, I’d much-prefer they being doing that instead of slamming vodka shots and having threesomes. (I’m sure I’m going to catch all kinds of grief for that last statement. Shhhhhh, it’ll be okay.)

So, in closing I’ll say that I was dead wrong in assuming that my pastor — an avid Gabba viewer, himself — was being sarcastic when he expressed how much he enjoyed watching this delightful show with his grandson. I should have been taking his words at face value and watching all along. After all, he’s the only other Spurs fan in Burleson. We are clearly aligned when it comes to the important things in life: Jesus, love of family, the Spurs, and now, Yo Gabba Gabba — a great little show that’s not just for little people. 🙂

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