Babies in Rugrats





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Think back to the 90s. What comes to mind? DC Talk? Nirvana? Maybe…Rugrats?

Well, if those diaper-wearing babies do come to mind, you no longer have to sit through old reruns to enjoy the show. Paramount+ just released a reboot of the 1991 original series.

The Rugrats still features the same babies, but with the original voice cast. There’s kind Tommy Pickles, timid Chuckie Finster, wild twins Lil and Phil DeVille, witty Susie Carmichael, and of course conniving toddler Angelica Pickles.

As you’d suspect, not much has changed for the babies. Each episode, split into two 10-minute parts, features the littles laughing about toilet humor, mispronouncing words and shoving dirt into their diapers. And Angelica is still just as mean as ever, pulling pranks on the babies who take attention away from her.

But what has changed are some of the jokes and language that the kids’ parents use in the show. Angelica’s mom makes it very clear that she’s not a “councilwoman” but, rather, a council “person.” Phil and Lil’s mom casually mentions a girlfriend she had in college. And Grandpa Lou Pickles, a fun-loving hippie, makes a joke about a same-sex moment he had in his youth.  Those don’t seem like TV-Y7 jokes to me and yet they’re very present.

Mind you, the show really focuses on the babies and their everyday struggle to survive Angelica while learning lessons of kindness, bravery and friendship. And while those are great lessons, they’re not the only ones being taught in this reboot.

Episode Reviews

May 27, 2021: “Second Time Around”

Chuckie tries to be brave. Grandpa Lou Pickles is left alone with the babies and things go awry.

The babies make jokes about flatulence and nose-picking. Phil shoves mud into his diaper. The babies eat plates of mud.

A scary T-Rex chases the babies. An adult mentions a teacher who cut off his finger on accident. Chuckie has a nightmare that he’s a worm that gets eaten.

Angelica finds a dating app on Grandpa Lou Pickles’ phone and accidentally requests that multiple people come to meet Grandpa Lou. This includes women who speak and dress provocatively, as well as a man who makes his desires clearly known. Grandpa Lou turns the man away, saying he only had one same-sex “moment” in his youth. Phil and Lil’s mother mentions a girlfriend she had in college. Angelica’s mother makes it clear that she’s a gender-neutral, council “person.”

Angelica calls the babies “dumb” and “tickle heads.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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