Writing a review for the Rugrats reboot over on Paramount+ just seems silly. It’s ultimately a 3D animated recreation of the iconic show from the 90’s for children of today. It’s not for the generation that enjoyed it to begin with so sitting and critiquing it just doesn’t feel right.
That being said, for anyone that enjoyed the show and the movies back in the day, sitting down to watch a couple episodes to walk down memory lane isn’t the worst way to spend some time this cold Memorial Day weekend.
Besides recognizing the original voice actors for the brave babies you might notice something else; the parents now living in the modern world are millennials… Yup. THE ADULTS FROM THE SHOW WHEN WE WERE KIDS ARE NOW REPRESENTING US. F*** Me.
I have only seen the first extended episode, but it is enough to drive this point home. Tommy’s mom and dad are specfically mentioned to have moved back in with Stu’s dad. Millennials living with their parents; if that doesn’t hit home I don’t know what will! DeeDee seems to be creating trinkets and things in order to sell online; a trend that has taken the world by storm in recent years and a means to make some extra cash in a difficult economy.
Betty, the twins’ mom, is finally able to live the identity she wasn’t allowed to live in the 90s; an openly gay woman raising her kids. Not only that, she fits the millennial mold by owning a local coffee shop hoping her customers post about it on social media. Having this representation of a gay woman owning her business, raising her kids, and spending time with her friends is extremely healthy and am glad kids are getting the opportunity to see it in one of the most successful IP’s of the 90s.
Even grandpa Lou has been adjusted to no longer be a cliche of the Silent Generation, but rather a full-blown Baby Boomer who lived his young years in the sixties and seventies. I do miss the version of the character complaining about all the miles he had to walk to get to school, but understand that he too needs to represent a more likely grandparent for the Gen Z and Gen Alpha kids that are going to be watching the show this time around.
The other very noticable thing about the premiere is the choice to allow Susie and her parents to be prominent members of the ensemble where in the 90s she was featured as a side character showing up from time to time. If we’re being honest, she seemed like a token character of color called upon every once in a while. There was never really any reason as to why she wasn’t more prominently featured back then! Especially considering she lived in the neighborhood. I’m glad to see her front and center with the other kids to give a show that more closely represents where we’re at as a culture. Well, at least where were are aspiring to go.
Overall, the Pickles, the Charmichaels, Finsters, and DeVille’s seem to maintain a youthful air and attitude to them while also being parents. However, it still feels like time is b**** slapping me across the face to see these characters now be the representation of my age group but, alas, that is life.
Aside from the change in the adult character identities, the overall aesthetic of the show is still completely faithful to what was seen in the 90s. This is the element that has me curious; is a new generation responding as openly and acceptingly of the faithful choices? I suppose time will tell.
At this point, while recognizing the iconic IP is no longer for me, I do envy those fellow millennials with children of their own who are getting this opportunity to sit down with them and introduce them to something that meant such a great deal to our youth.
The Rugrats reboot is now streaming on Paramount+ with six episodes released.