THE DARK SIDE OF DOUG
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Of all of the superb shows on Nickelodeon during the timeframe, I think my absolute favorite had to have been Doug. On behalf of all six continents, I believe it's safe to say that Viacom s refusal to release the series on DVD is one of the worst atrocities in the history of humanity, and that ISNT hyperbole. Well, maybe a little, but the fact remains that not having DOUG on DVD or Blu-Ray is absolutely UNFORGIVABLE.

These days, the only way you can catch Doug is if you scam it off the Internet or see the aberrational episode on one of the nine billion Nickelodeon offshoots on cable TV. During the heyday of Nick TV, about eight episodes of Doug were shown per day, and if you ask me, that still WASN'T enough Doug for me to get my fill. I guess my adulation for the show stems from the fact that the show s protagonist may very well be the most relatable character in the history of animated television.

We can all relate to Doug, but I ESPECIALLY related to Mr. Funnie. Like me, he was an avid writer. Like me, he was a closeted musician (he had the banjo, and I had my bongos). We were both daydreamers, and we both sought adventures in a world that was all but devoid of them. I would say that my hometown is comparable to Bluffington, but we did not even HAVE a cultural Mecca on par with the Honker Burger, so I suppose that is where the similarities end.

I recently got on a Doug kick, and while I still love the show today (perhaps even more so than when I was a kid), something suddenly dawned upon me: the world of Doug is actually a fairly dark, depressing, and disturbing world to live in.

Now, I know what you are thinking: how in the hell can ANYBODY look back on Doug as a dark and depressing program? How can the world of Mr. Dink and Quailman and Skeeter Valentine be a disturbing one?

Allow me to do a little psychoanalysis here.

As most of you know, I am a huge psychology nerd. In addition to knowing more about late 80s horror movies, Sega Genesis games and early 90s alt rock then any well person should, I also fancy myself as something of an armchair psychiatrist. Think my love of Tecmo Super Bowl and The Amazing Spider-Man is hardcore? Amigos, you ought to see my bookshelf: page after page of psychobabble conjecture from guys like Freud, Fromm, Foucault and Otto Rank, and I love ALL OF THEM. Needless to say, stuff like Art and Artist and The Denial of Death has greatly influenced my work even here at Retro Junk, and sometimes, I cannot help but carry over my love of psychoanalysis to my love of pop culture.

Thus, when I look at the world of Doug through those same psychological lenses, I come to the conclusion that there is FAR more going on with the show than most people would initially assume, and I assure you, these things are quite distressing and unnerving to dwell upon. Beneath the strings of Killer Tofu, a far
more disconcerting song plays throughout Bluffington, and today, I would like to expose you all to. . .