Nickelodeon’s ‘Doug’ Gets Political

An election recently happened in the United States. Several of them, in fact, though the Presidential election was definitely the big one. I didn’t want to write about political pop culture in the leadup, because I was really anxious about what might happen. Now that the election is over, let’s just say I’m feeling a lot better. Also, let me say Donald Trump is human garbage and I’m glad he lost. There are many movies about politics, and TV shows as well. And yet, for some reason what came to my mind is the Nickelodeon cartoon Doug.

When Doug begins, Bob White is the Mayor of Bluffington. He doesn’t seem like the best mayor. There is an episode where Doug turns a recycling machine of the mayor’s into a monster in his monster movie. I still remember the mantra that blasted out of the garbage-removing monstrosity: “Stash our trash! Beautiful Bluffington! That’s right, stash our trash!” That’s not the episode I’m thinking of, though. I’m thinking of the episode “Doug Runs.”

On its face, that episode is about Doug running for class treasurer against Willy White, the mayor’s son. In the end, neither of them win. However, in this episode Doug’s neighbor Tippi Dink is running for mayor of Bluffington. She doesn’t just win, she beats Bob White! Mrs. Dink becomes the new mayor of Bluffington. As if being in a dual income, no kids family wasn’t a sweet enough deal.

What I really appreciate is that for the rest of the show’s run Mrs. Dink is mayor. It comes up from time to time. In cartoons for kids, at least in the ‘90s, these sort of changes in continuity weren’t common. Shows likes to stay stable, especially on Nick. That didn’t happen here. They decided to get rid of Mayor White and replace him with Mayor Dink. They got rid of a guy whose role was to be a lacking politician who isn’t doing enough for the city with somebody capable and worthwhile. Yeah, I wonder why this episode of Doug was on my mind.

About Chris Morgan

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