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First off, let me say how much I LOVE the original series. The first four seasons were brilliant. The storylines were great and the writing gets funnier over time. I sympathized with Chuckie, found most of Angelica's humor hilarious and glad Susie was added to give the babies an older ally against Angelica's nastier antics. I found myself as interested in the adults as much as the babies, particularly Angelica's shallow and overambitious parents Drew and Charlotte, Cool Old Guy patriarch Lou, Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy duo Betty and Howard and the long-suffering Butt-Monkey Chaz. Some of their best episodes include "At The Movies", "Pickles vs. Pickles", "Reptar on Ice", "Angelica Breaks a Leg", "Family Feud", "Cool Hand Angelica", "Susie vs. Angelica", "The Incredible Mr. Friend", "Tommy and the Secret Club" and "The Word of the Day" (all memes aside, and if you haven't seen any these episodes, do yourself a favor and enjoy. Or if you're like me and you've seen them plenty of times, go watch them again and have a good laugh or five on me).
That said, to me it started to go off the rails for me when the first movie came out, and yes I am talking about the introduction of Dil. I don't (and still don't to this day) like him. Unattractive appearance and stupid name aside, why add a baby who can't do anything, including talk, which was, y'know, the show's hook. He reminds me of Max from Pokémon, a Tagalong Kid who since they're too young to participate in the show's main premise, ends up being a boring Load who isn't germane to the plot.
Also, while I do like Rugrats in Paris because I like the Kimmy character for being adorable and her strong relationship with Chuckie, Rugrats Go Wild was pointless to me. Why were they even in the world of The Wild Thornberrys anyway? To give them better ratings? FWIW, I like the show, but i didn't like how Nickelodeon shoehorned in their then-biggest cash cow into a "lesser" Nicktoon (and I'm not alone on that: the lackluster reception guaranteed that there would be no more Rugrats films). All Grown Up lacked a lot the charm that made the first show success and that Pre-School Daze nonsense was a lazy and shameless attempt to squeeze one last drop out of the golden goose.
Thank God for the old DVDs. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make some chocolate pudding.
When this show first premiered, I though to myself "A show about babies? Sounds, well, childish." How wrong I was...
This show is by and large one of the best things Nick has ever done, it has clever writing, tons of Fridge Brilliance and likable characters. While the animation is a little, wonky, the storytelling is solid. And thankfully for a show who's main cast is in diapers, there is not too much potty humor. Which is a good thing, in my opinion. I hate excessive potty humor and gross-out. The plots are good and, while in the later seasons somewhat predictable, well written. Character interaction is good and never feels forced. The idea of showing the world from a babies perspective is refreshing and creative. None of the characters felt flat or one-note, and it is in my opinion that the show deserves its status as a cartoon (or at least Nicktoon) icon. The fact that people are still clamoring for its return is a testament to the shows popularity and special place in fan's hearts, more than a decade after it was canned. While (to my knowledge) the show has not had a full DVD release, it is available on Hulu plus, and I fully recommend that you check it out.
I grew up on Rugrats, and I loved practically everything that they did. The whole series is based on the premise of "If babies could talk, what would they say?", and watching it later on has allowed me to notice many examples of a baby's view on the world, many of them flippin' brilliant! I loved the offbeat animation and often Squicky Close Up shots, some of which have warped my brain in such awesome ways. I always liked the episodes involving transformation and imagination, oftentimes moreso than the plot, which is why I never really noticed the slow decline of the series until later on. While I hate the two Direct To Video movies for being overly Anvilicious (mostly about how even the villain should be treated with kindness), I never lost faith in Rugrats, who even after so many decades have given me the greatest feelings in the world. (That being said, Keep Circulating The Tapes! Until they release the whole series on DVD, I only have my old videos and the brave people who have the guts to post episodes on You Tube!)
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