I’ve always loved animation. As a kid, the first cartoon that got really deep in my bones, was among the first “Nick Toons” on Nickelodeon–Doug. The titular character was someone I could relate to, someone who reminded me of myself in many ways. For this reason, I’m going to be doing an episode-by-episode breakdown of the original Nickelodeon series here on the Retroist, while also giving a little bit of insight about the show, as well as ways that it influenced me, not only as a kid, but also as an adult.
If you’d like to follow along with me through this series, Doug is streaming on Hulu right now.
“Doug Bags a Neematoad” is the pilot episode for Doug. For a brief synopsis, 11 year-old Doug Funnie and his family are the new folks in the small town of Bluffington, population 20,001. The episode covers Doug’s first meeting with the main characters of the show–his best friend Skeeter Valentine, his love interest Patty Mayonnaise, and bully Roger Klotz, along with his gang of ne’er-do-wells. Doug learns how to order lunch at The Honker Burger, along with a lesson in learning to watch where he’s going, and goes on what is the Bluffington equivalent of a Snipe Hunt.
Here are a few highlights from this first episode.
Fun Fact: Patty was voiced by Constance Shulman, who is probably better known to modern audiences as Yoga Jones on Orange is the New Black. I think one of the things I appreciate most about Patty is that she is an extremely positive portrayal of a southern person, something that’s lacking in much of the mainstream media. Constance Shulman is a native Tennessean, from only about an hour and a half from my hometown. I always appreciated that Patty sounds a little like me.
I think the thing I love the most about Doug is that this was the first show that I felt truly spoke to my own experience in some way. Since watching Doug, I have never had a diary, always a journal. I became fascinated with voice acting because of the stellar performances by Billy West and Fred Newman. However, there’s one thing that I must confess.
I hate beets.