I Think I’m Leaving

     No, not Long Island. This planet, if possible. But to where? Anywhere else that’s safe from this:

     In this age of reboots, perhaps it was inevitable: A beloved (by its target audience) and also reviled (by a sizable group outside the core demo) character getting a new look and relaunch.
     All of which is to say, Barney is coming back.
     Mattel announced Monday that it’s relaunching the franchise built around the purple dinosaur. The relaunch will include a preschool animated series set to debut in 2024 — Barney will no longer be portrayed by a human in a T. rex costume — and a range of consumer products aimed at the under-6 set. The relaunch will also cover possible films and YouTube content. “Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development,” Mattel notes.

     Oh God, no. Please no! I had two stepdaughters who were addicted to Barney. They had all the paraphernalia. They could sing all the songs…and they did, often and in chorus. And they insisted that the C.S.O. and I “enjoy” it all with them.

     If there are “adult fans” of Barney, count me in the opposed camp. I’d do just about anything to evade this looming disaster. Thankfully, the girls are grown now. Unfortunately, one of them has a three-year-old son. Perhaps she’ll have better sense than to expose the poor innocent tyke to Barney. But that won’t do anything for the rest of us.

     Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the bad news:

     “In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it,” said [Fred] Soulie, senior vp and general manager of Mattel Television. “With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”

     “Reflect the world that kids today live in.” “Deliver meaningful lessons.” You know what that means, Gentle Reader: Barney is going woke.

     As mind-numbing as I found the original series, there was nevertheless an innocence to it that distinguished it from the more politicized crap vended to a juvenile audience. (Captain Planet, anyone?) But it appears that is about to change.

     Would anyone like to help me terraform and colonize an asteroid? Ceres is looking pretty good from here. There’s plenty of organics on the surface, and the property taxes are really low. Serious inquiries only. Send picture of spacecraft and arsenal.

1 comment

    • Rod on February 15, 2023 at 2:41 PM

    Barney will no longer be portrayed by a human in a T. rex costume

    Can’thave any cultural appropriation if we’re woke!
    Are they negotiating with Jurassic Park?

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