My son has recently become obsessed with what I can only describe as one of the most bizarre shows to hit Cartoon Network in his young life, The Amazing World of Gumball. Perhaps not the most bizarre show period, I think Yo Gabba Gabba holds the record for that (seriously, I can’t even describe how much that show creeps me out), but definitely the strangest one I’ve seen him watch on the CN. I actually sat and watched an episode with him, just to see what all the fuss was about (he likes he show so much, he shouted “Gumball!” in his sleep last night). I have to admit, it is pretty funny. But still bizarre. The show is such a strange visual mix of cartoon characters, computer generated realistic looking backgrounds, and other elements that I can’t explain because I’m not a graphics artist. Let’s just say it’s quite the visual buffet.
The show revolves around the adventures of Gumball, a 12-year-old cat (and I had to actually look it up to figure out that he was a cat, I thought he was actually a gumball with legs) that is constantly coming up with schemes that never quite work out for him. He is usually aided by Darwin, who used to be the family pet (he appears to be a goldfish) that suddenly grew legs and became part of the family, and Gumball’s best friend. His sister, Anais, is the smart one in the family, and she’s only four. Dad is a lazy giant pink bunny and mom is a responsible blue cat who works at the Rainbow Factory. Darwin’s school if filled with some truly odd creatures, from the paper-monkey-mask faced Miss Simian, who has been teaching second grade since for over 300,000 years to the truly bizarre Alan, the heartthrob of the school, who is literally a balloon with face drawn in marker. Alan is in love with Carmen, a cactus plant. Talk about your star-crossed lovers! There’s Tina, the school bully, who happens to be a T-Rex, and Alan, a piece of toast, who is an unwilling part of Tina’s crew. To really round out the oddities, there’s a talking banana, a potato, and a flying eyeball.
I really want to know what kind of mind comes up with these types of shows, because that would be one interesting guy (or girl) to hang out with. To be completely honest, after watching a few episodes, I have no idea what the show is really about. I suppose that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the target demographic. My son, however, is, and he thinks it’s absolutely hilarious. While I don’t find anything objectionable in the show, it’s not exactly educational programming in my opinion, so those who prefer to keep their children’s viewing habits tuned solely to shows that impart some sort of quality learning experience may want to look elsewhere. I have a more liberal approach to television than many parents do, as I take the same approach my mom and grandparents took with me. However, I understand that not all parents feel that way, so I wanted to give a head’s up that some may find Gumball’s antics a little less than savory. I always suggest parents watch an episode of any new show before allowing their children to see it, just in case it’s not in line with their way of raising children. That said, I personally thing The Amazing World of Gumball is a pretty fun show for school-aged children.