Puppy Dog Pals – the Honest Parent Review You Need Now

Puppy Dog Pals | TV-Y | 24 minutes | Family, Animation | TV Series (2017– )

Rolly and Bingo are two fun loving puppies. But you know, throughout the series, I never really see them have any fun per se. They spend most of their time going on completely fantastical adventures to help their tool bag friend, Bob. So despite the irritatingly catchy theme song, I never actually see them play-ay-ay-ay-aay!

What’s Puppy Dog Pal’s Plot?

The theme song pretty much sums the daily plot up: “…But when Bob’s away… See you later pups! The pups will play, on a mission ‘round the world, gonna save the day!”

Again, I don’t know if I have ever seen them really play. Sometimes they play with Bob because he is a lonely, miserable young man. But when he leaves for the day, the dip shit almost always forgets something, loses something, laments something, whines about something, or otherwise is incompetent and the pups need to save the day.

Again. Shit gets old real fucking fast.

No distance is too far either. There are episodes where they literally travel to outer space. Others have them travel around the world. And still, they get back before the end of Bob’s day. The hell? Did these pups learn how to alter the space time continuum? Or is Bob so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t even realize the pups are gone, sometimes for days at a time?

Or is this just a Disney channel cartoon who’s plot you should not try to rationalize as an adult as you lay trapped under the weight of your 5 year old’s body trying desperately to escape with what little sanity you have left?

Probably the last one.

Where can I watch the show?

Puppy Dog Pals is currently showing on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney Plus, and DisneyNow.

You can also stream it on services like YouTubeTV. And if you really want to watch the show, you can rent/buy episodes on services like Amazon Prime Video.

Of course, this can change if the show gets cancelled or Disney decides to do something different with where it is offered.

Is Puppy Dog Pals cancelled?

Not yet. If you read other reviews, several people love the show.

I find it questionable, at best, as it generally lacks a real clear moral compass or teachable moments for kids. Example:

Bob: “Oh I wish I had some popcorn, I just ran out. How can I watch a movie with no popcorn? Oh! My life is over!”

Puppies: “We got to help Bob not come across as a little bitch all the time! Let’s go get him popcorn!”

{asinine adventure to gain popcorn ensues}

Bob: “Oh BOY! Popcorn! I guess I can watch the movie after all!”

Bob and puppies watching a movie and eating popcorn in Puppy Dog Pals
Look at her body language… Girl, there has got to be a better way to bum a Netflix account that does not involve suffering through a movie next to the over-grown man child and his array of dogs.

But, then again, that could be a good thing since it does not beat you over the head with morality. That shit gets old really quickly with children shows and movies, and it is probably the only thing Puppy Dog Pals really doesn’t do much of.

What kind of dogs are Bingo and Rolly?

Bingo and Rolly are a couple of pugs. Bingo is the greyish blackish one, and Rolly is the tanish brownish one.

They also have several friends and shit from around the neighborhood. They include such characters as:

  • Hissy – A purple ass cat;
  • Dallie – A Dalmatian that stereotypically works at a firehouse;
  • Cupcake – A purple shit-kicker dog that is fittingly the antagonist because she is dealing with low self-esteem due to her size and purple color;
  • Lollie – The undetermined breed that has its back legs up in a wheelchair;
  • A.R.F. (Auto-Doggy Robotic Friend) – Their robot friend that pretty much takes them everywhere they want to go;

What ages is Puppy Dog Pals for?

According to various sources, people seem to agree that 3 is the ideal starting age. Where I disagree (strongly) is the hanging plus sign (+).

Why the hell is it not capped? What 30 something parent is going to sit down one night and say, “What should I watch? OH! I know! Puppy Dog Pals just dropped a new episode! It’s going to be lit!”

But more realistically, a practical real world example is this. When my daughter was about 5, she stopped liking the show. In fact, now she asks to turn off Puppy Dog Pals and watch the Pioneer Woman on the Food Network instead.

Pioneer. Woman.

Let that sink in. My young daughter would rather watch a cooking show instead of Disney Junior’s Puppy Dog Pals.

Dad’s Take

In this Puppy Dogs Pal review, I tear apart another show designed for kids and mind-numbing for adults.

Puppy Dog Pals - Honest Parent Review
Overall
1.8
  • Plot
    (1.5)
  • Characters
    (2.5)
  • Watchability
    (1.5)
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Dad's Review

There are a couple of positive things I can say for Puppy Dog Pals. One is at least the shit doesn’t beat you until you are brain dead with a moral. Sure, Bingo and Rolly show kids how to be caring and considerate of others, but they don’t go overboard slapping you across the face with moral judgement in every episode.

For those interested in a show that feature diversity, they also do a decent job being inclusive. Among their friends includes a little puppy who uses a half wheel chair. They also include Hissy, the cat, whenever she wants to join them. And Bingo and Rolly are too stupid to realize the purple dog, Cupcake, is being mean to them. So even non-human Karens are accepted in the Puppy Dog Pals universe.

The adventures the Puppy Dog Pals go on are a bit over the top. And by a bit over the top, I mean nonsensical. But kids, up to a certain age, seem to enjoy the fact that the dogs magically transport with no explanation to various parts of the world and back before their owner, Bob, comes back home from work.

And then there is Bob. I cannot think of a single redeeming quality for that whiny ass hat. Every single episode he whines about some minor thing that went wrong in his day. The overdramatic little bitch then needs his puppies to solve his problem so he’s not “sad.”

It’s really fascinating, in some ways, that he is able to function on his own at all without living in his mother’s basement.

How could one man be so incompetent? The world may never know.

Puppy Dog Pals also earns a place as having one of the most irritatingly catchy Disney Junior songs. And that’s not a good thing. If the show comes on, I’m pretty much guaranteed to have it stuck in my head all day. All day.

Thankfully, as of late, the show acts as a catalyst to get my kid up and playing. She has come to dislike the show, possibly as much as I, though sometimes she will sit through it if she is desperate for TV time.

Pros

It’s less than 30 minutes of torture… not really a bonus here because most shows are. I’m just really stretching for positive things to say.
Moderate themes of inclusivity and acceptance of others.

Cons

Bob is a whiny-ass man child.
Mind-numbing
Minimal educational value. Basically none.

Other reviews to check out

If you are curious about other Disney Junior shows, check out these other reviews of “popular” shows:

What Common Sense Media has to say…

Common Sense Media provides common sense advice to parents who actually give a shit about what their kids watch. I think they exist to help prevent helicopter parents and Karen’s from having a full on meltdown when their child watches their allotted 23.3342 minutes of TV that day. I mostly focus on how the show will drain your soul through your anus. You know, same basic difference here.

They talk about topics like consumerism, bad language, and “sexy stuff” (yeah, that’s an actual category ranking). Don’t worry. Bob’s sex doll is never actual shown on the show, but we can all assume it is there.

Oddly enough, according to their score, Puppy Dog Pals is a solid 3 out of 5 stars for the altruistic organization. They also note “subtle themes” about working together and problem-solving.

I’m not sure what they classify as “subtle” here. The two pups pretty much just steam roll their pro-Bob agenda and force their companions to go along for the ride. That’s not teamwork; it’s authoritarian.

And do you love talking to your kids about asinine shows you watch too? Don’t worry! Common Sense Media has you covered! Some talking points they suggest for Puppy Dog Pals and I horribly butchered in paraphrasing them include:

  • Talk to your kids about team work and how, if you’re smart, you can get the nerd in the group to do 95% of the work.
  • What are the differences you see between your relationship with your siblings versus the way Bingo and Rolly get along? Does their nearly perfect relationship make you feel bad about your own inability to get along with your sibling? Do you feel shame? Do you?
  • Do you enjoy new experiences and such? Really? Tell me about all the new foods you like to experience and eat? How’s eating anything other than mac and cheese and chicken nuggets going? Do you want to try a non-mentally draining game? Maybe switch things up a bit here?

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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