Nick On Toons 2: Doug Bags A Neematoad

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There’s a lot that can be said about the cartoon show, Doug. You could talk about how Disney nearly killed the whole cartoon and made it something people despised. You could wonder how Mr. Dink could afford all those “very expensive” items, while it appeared he never had a real job (He was a drug dealer, of course. I actually made a Facebook group called “Mr. Dink Was A Drug Dealer” because it was the only explanation my twisted mind could come up with) or how Roger Klotz was a bully on Doug while also possessing the ability to be the Honey Nuts Cheerio bee at the same time, but it is always right to start at the very beginning, which we will be doing today with our 2nd helping of Nick On Toons!

Ah yes, the very first Doug episode. This is going to be fun. Join me as we follow one young lad’s journey from Bloatsburg to Bluffington right here at Nick On Toons!

Doug-Season 1-Episode 1-Doug Bags A Neematoad

Synopsis: The Funnie family is moving from Bloatsburg to Bluffington, and as is apparent through the majority of Doug episodes, but especially the early episodes, Doug seems to have this apprehension and downright fear of the whole thing, seemingly to the point of an anxiety disorder or panic attack, not that we here at Nick On Toons or Retro Obscura would ever poke fun at such things, but as such a young age, one has to wonder why Doug, with his middle age receding hair line and taste for nothing but sweater vests and khaki shorts, isn’t seeing a therapist. Bluffington welcomes the new family by immediately adding them to their population count, which makes you wonder how much conformity and doing what you’re told to do is commonplace in this town. This mere re-tally of the local census already fills our new friend with fear, which once again makes you think that Doug could use at least a small dose of Bluffington Pharmacy approved Xanax if he’s already freaking the hell out when they’re just entering city limits. After some shenanigans with the movers and a family photo on their couch(while outside their new home, who said The Funnies aren’t hipsters?) Doug’s mother(who sounds a lot different then she does in later episodes) somehow associates cheese with everyone being hungry(are they mice people?) and Doug’s father asks his son to go find them some “fast burgers” which I suppose isn’t to be confused with fast food. The question remains, does he mean burgers that are going to make them sick, burgers that are cooked quickly, or burgers that you need some skill to track down, tackle, and then bring back with the use of Nike Pump sneakers and a copy of Space Jam? Be that as it may, Doug rides off in search of these fast burgers.

“Alright, kids, let me tell you the story of how your mother’s hair turned this bizarre cotton candy like color.”

So Doug and Porkchop run into Mr. Dink(who says he’s a writer-lies, all lies!) and his wife Tippy, who always seems so excited to have anything to do with her husband(was this a planned wedding?) While Mr. Dink shows class in ignoring the fact a dog has a bike helmet on, he also seems like a puppet for the system in not just asking Doug if he wants to watch the official Welcome To Bluffington video called “Bluffington Proud”(trust me, if I had purple and blue people living in my town, I’d be pretty proud too, wouldn’t you?) but he drags him into his house to watch it. Of course, instead of watching it on a standard 1990s style VCR, Mr. Dink has to show off with his “very expensive” video player, which by the technology used, has to have cost him no less than his spleen. The video opens with Mayor Bob White(VOTE FOR ME!) who is the first to tell Doug that he now lives in the Bumper Sticker Capital Of The World, which seriously how cool(see lame) is that? Then again, even the mayor announces that his very town is stupid for believing in neematoads, even smacking himself in the face with a fly swatter. You know, I don’t know about you, registered voters, but if a mayor smacked himself in the face with a fly swatter, I might be more inclined to cast a vote on their behalf. Politicians in Washington, take note.

“This young person didn’t vote for me, AND he made fun of my fly swatting techniques!”

So Doug is off to the Honker Burger, and sadly, his anxiety disorder takes over and he starts freaking out and having hallucinations of being put on stage by the Mayor, dressed down, called a loser, and honked out of town(you read that last part right). He even screams, finding himself in the middle of traffic. This just goes to show you kids, not only is worrying about other people’s perceptions of you bad for your mental health, but it can also get you run over. So Doug walks into The Honker Burger, and I guess seeing a kid his age with such little hair and that gaudy outfit is enough to stop the whole place to stare at him. Not only that, but it seems he doesn’t speak Honker Lingo. How hard is it to understand such things as cheeseburger, fries, and grape soda(man, I haven’t had that in a long time. Do they have grape soda in Texas, Aaron?) I have no idea, but again, this is a town whose major export is bumper stickers and a mayor who smacks himself in the face with a fly swatter while calling his town stupid. Enter Mosquito(or Skeeter if it makes you feel less disheartened by the fact parents would actually name their kid after a blood sucking insect) who orders for Doug, including one salad from the salad bar, which has no specific name. Come on, Honker Burger, be original. Doug is introduced to a whole bunch of unnamed kids, who eventually go missing, Jason Voorhees style I assume, after this episode. Maybe they didn’t like bumper stickers and were pushed off the top of Bluffco Industries? Ah, youth. Doug reveals his family never has beets at home, to which Skeeter informs Doug that beets are nature’s candy(sorry Mother Nature, but your candy tastes like butt). Doug and Skeeter race for the order, but Doug stops to admire a total stranger(enter Patty Mayonaise, with her own theme music). Doug is so enamored by someone he hasn’t even said hi to that he slips on some ketchup(curse you, Heinz), sending some of it flying into the air and landing on the shoe of one Roger Klotz(who also has theme music). Suede shoes must be pretty expensive in the 90s and Roger wants Doug to make amends, so they go in the back of the Honker Burger to chat(but shockingly not to pound Doug’s middle aged looking face in) about Doug becoming a hero(complete with poorly animated dream sequence) in bagging the first neematoad. Sure, no one knows what they look like, and one of the members of Roger’s gang has one big eye and then one little one, but really, does any of this matter as far as the credibility of Roger’s story is concerned? Besides, Doug caves in easy to peer pressure, if for nothing else than to impress the girl whose name he still doesn’t know. I mean, all of this is sound logical stuff to me, how about you? No? You’re not alone. Doug is to meet Roger and his goons at Stinson’s Pond for 7am sharp, or else face the wrath of Klotz and his suede shoes of doom.

“I don’t even like suede shoes, my mother makes me wear these, Funnie!”

Doug awakens and his parents seem more than ok for him to just go off and bag some imaginary creature no one has ever seen, his father even commenting wistfully that kids have more advantages than he did, which makes you wonder, did his father not get asked to bag a neematoad, but say a cerberus instead? Maybe a giant amoeba that sang Barry White?(Hiya doin’ Nick Stephens?)
Doug is off to bag the neematoad, and while the whole idea of Roger’s gang shivering AND swatting flies seems like there’s some severe climate issues in Bluffington, what isn’t a question is that Roger is setting Doug up to be humiliated, which isn’t that hard to do since whenever Doug sees a girl he’s attracted to, he has the grace of a drunken karaoke singer and falls down a big hill, not bruising himself at all, but landing at the feet of Klotz again, who informs him that Doug is developing some bad habits, which I don’t agree with, since Doug doesn’t drink or chain smoke, but I guess in this conformist society known as Bluffington, tripping over your own two feet is the equivalent of jay walking or a parking ticket. Doug is taught the neematoad mating call, which makes you wonder what Roger is up to outside of school, and he butchers it creating his own call that sounds like he’s trying to summon Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory, and all without knocking on a door and saying “Penny” over and over again. After this doesn’t work, Doug works in a stereotypical Midwestern call for a pig(sorry Chad and Erik) and that does nothing but scare the life out of Porkchop, and probably raise the price of bacon. Of course, Doug finds out this whole thing is a joke, goes into Doug Panic Mode, and somehow believes becoming a loser in Bluffington means donning a KKK mask(sorry it looks like it) and running after Patty like she’s a heathen before falling over on his face(Racism is bad, Doug)Of course, no one was counting on Porkchop to don some mud and become a neematoad to turn the tide in Doug’s favor. Porkchop and Doug play their gag, Doug “bags a neematoad” as Roger sets off to find of his own.

Because nothing is more attractive to Kaley Cuoco then a guy who looks like this getting down to the beat of his own voice. Penny.

Back at the Honker Burger, somehow having the name Mosquito means you have the short term memory of one as Skeeter can’t seem to understand that Porkchop, who he has heard bark before, AND seen his tail, isn’t a Neematoad. Doug finally hears the sweetest name he’s ever heard in Patti Mayonaise and Skeeter drags him over to meet her. Of course, Doug’s graceful steps rear their ugly head and he sends ketchup flying again(note to Heinz and Hunt’s, keep Doug Funnie out of your factories) and Doug thinks he got ketchup on Patti, but I guess, somehow, by the grace of the Bluffington Bumper Sticker gods, Doug can’t walk or ride a bike without messing up or freaking out, but he can shoot ketchup so well he might as well do it competitively. Doug loves Bluffington, or Patti, or both, and we are left with Doug washing off Porkchop(you know, so Skeeter knows who he is talking to) and Roger is left trying to call for a Neematoad(or Kaley Cuoco) by himself as the episode comes to an end.

Pros:
-It was nice to see how these characters met, and Bluffington is a unique place to live.
-The early theme music is pretty cool, including that little ditty playing at the beginning of the Honker Burger scene.
-People in Bluffington have cows in their backyard.
-The Welcome To Bluffington video is pretty funny, in a quirky, weird sort of way.

Cons:
-Skeeter is super dumb in this episode.
-Roger’s gang has one eyed guys and others that look like spikey haired kumquat boys.
-Mr. Dink is a writer? Not buying it.
-There are parts where Doug is speaking, but his mouth doesn’t move.

Watch It Or Skip It?
While there are far better episodes of Doug, you have to start somewhere, so on that alone you need to watch this one.

Final Rating: 3.8

Well, that does it for me. Join me next time as we take a look at an episode of Nickelodeon Guts, including something you never really noticed about the show as a kid, but is certainly worth mentioning now. Until then, I’m Nick, and I’m starving.

Anyone know where I can get some fast burgers?

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