We all know that Cartoon Network has had its ups and downs when it comes to children’s shows. Let’s face it, “Courage the Cowardly Dog” and “Cow and Chicken“ were probably the most terrifying and inappropriate shows on there that were supposedly made for kids. As the years passed, more and more shows were added and others were cancelled. The shows were funny, but at the same time they were not made for kids. The shows grew up with the generation that lived off of Cartoon Network. I personally found it difficult to enjoy many of the other shows that my friends enjoyed. I must admit that “Adventure Time” and “The Regular Show” were entertaining, but at the same time, I just did not find myself enjoying them. Then one day, while I was babysitting my neighbor’s dog, I turned on the TV and watched my first ever episode of “The Amazing World Of Gumball“. If you’ve never watched the show, I highly recommend that you do. It is about a cat named Gumball and his pet fish Darwin that go off and have adventures. Now, just describing it that way makes the show seem interesting, but not as grand as it really is, so I put together the 3 reasons why “The Amazing World of Gumball” could change the world. The pattern of how shows are run and created these days is evident in Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and even Nickelodeon television programs. The increased amounts of stereotypes within the programs have an enormous effect on society. “The Amazing World Of Gumball” actually takes a look at these patterns and destroys them, making it a television show unlike all others.
Theme of Friendship
Like in many other shows, the theme of friendship plays a big part in this series. However, what I noticed about Gumball and Darwin’s friendship is that no matter what happens, they are always there to support one another. Even in school, where all the different character’s interact, there is a very strong theme of friendship and sticking up for one another when the going gets tough. In one episode, Gumball and Darwin are being bullied in school and a classmate actually stands up for them. It is truly nice to see that there really aren’t any cliques in this series either. The smart kid isn’t put down or bullied, and there are no real stereotypes because there isn’t a single human in Gumball’s world. Gumball and all the other children in this series are accepting of each other, and when there is a problem, they get together and work it out as a team. It is important that more shows are done like this. Instead of having children who view this show learn that “being smart makes you an outcast” vs. “do your best no matter what” makes a huge difference on society. Too often in television shows we see the classic stupid pretty girl and the ugly smart boy. “The Amazing World of Gumball“ oversteps that and makes it something that doesn’t really exist and if it does happen, it’s usually addressed and turned into a lesson.
Theme of Family
Another pattern that is seen regularly in children’s shows is the absence of parents, or parents who are just plain idiots. One example of this would be the “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy“. Mandy’s parents were not always present and were actually terrified of her, and Billy’s parents were two morons. Granted, this is a television show and should not be taken harshly, but as a viewer it is still important to see how this could affect kids who are watching. Gumball’s parents are there in every episode along with Gumball’s little sister. Gumball’s dad is a big baby but he has a good heart. He always tried his best to become better for his family, even though he may mess up while doing so. Gumball’s mother is always there for her family. She works around the house and is always there for her kids. She plays a strong role in her children’s life. She stands up for what she believes in and is proud of her family. In one episode, we see that she and Gumball’s dad knew each other in school and she would stand up for him when he got bullied and picked on. Television needs more strong characters like this. Gumball’s little sister is a genius and is proud of her family. The strong family bond is what more shows need. No matter what, the unconditional love is what makes the family unbeatable and something worth striving and fighting for.
What makes a show funny? Is it the farting sound effects that are added here or there or the subtle sex pun? It is sad that this is what comedy has turned into over the years. Luckily, Gumball shows us that good, clean humor and fantastic writers really make comedy an art form. Here and there a few toilet puns will be added, but for the most part, the comedy is in the writing. Gumball and Darwin get themselves in these sticky situations that Gumball decides will be easy to get out of. The wholesome laughs and fun this show offers makes it easy to enjoy without laugh tracks. The writers really know what kids and adults would find funny. The best part is that 12 year old Gumball actually acts like a 12 year old, which is so nice to see. Gumball says and thinks things that 12 year olds would think, which makes it seem more realistic and relatable. The more people can relate to the situation, the more they will invest in it and even find it funny.
Although there are many reasons of why “The Amazing World of Gumball” is an amazing show, these are my top three reasons. I truly hope that more writers and creators will catch on to these reasons and start rethinking television. Television has a huge impact on society, and I believe that more studios need to become aware of this. If television start reworking their products and tailoring them to make positive and wholesome ideals and values, then maybe society will start being influenced and change how things are seen. “With great power comes great responsibility” isn’t just a famous Spider-Man quote. It is the truth. Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and even some creators on Cartoon Network, get your act together. Start paying more attention to your influence on society and do some good for once. You need more strong characters who are not afraid to stand up and just be who they are. We need more kid characters who actually act like kids. Writers need to stand learning how to actually write comedy rather than throwing in a fart noise or dumb pun. I am happy to see that Gumball is taking one step at a time to show that the media isn’t all that bad.