A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Doug's experiences teach viewers about concepts and activities like riding a bike, visiting a farm, and volunteering, but more so the idea that hard facts can only tell part of a story about something. The more Doug learns about new things, the more he wants to try them, and the more he tries them, the more he learns.
The series emphasizes cooperation, courage in trying new things, and learning through making mistakes, as well as the value of balancing "plugged in" and "unplugged" time.
Positive Role Models
Doug and Emma's contrasting personalities complement each other and inspire the fun they have. Doug’s robot parents sometimes dismiss his need to have his questions answered because they are busy with their work, but that encourages him to seek answers and experiences himself.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doug Unplugs emphasizes the value of hands-on learning through the adventures of a young robot and his friend who acts as his tour guide for all kinds of human-world experiences. The series demonstrates a healthy balance between using "plugged-in" sources like the internet and "unplugged" methods like visiting new places and trying activities to learn about them. Doug and Emma show viewers that the learning process is best when it's hands-on and that doing it with a friend makes it all the better. As they do, they experience feelings like excitement, curiosity, uncertainty, joy, and fulfillment. This lively series reminds viewers that there's no substitute for learning by doing.
Is It Any Good?
Young Doug is an effective reminder to preschoolers of the value of experiencing life firsthand when it's tempting to turn to virtual information sources and call it a day. Doug gets all kinds of facts from his uploads and from his knowledgeably programmed robot friends and family, but he always gets the sense there's something missing from what he learns. What he discovers is that human emotions can't be conveyed by data dumps, and so much of learning comes from experiencing something first hand.
Doug's curiosity drives his adventures, but his gregarious and enthusiastic friend sure does ice the top of that cake. When Emma introduces him to something that she already knows about, she's a motivated guide who makes the experience extra fun. When both of them are learning as they go, they feed off each other's excitement and enjoyment. In so doing, they encourage each other to try unfamiliar things and to see repeat experiences in a new light.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.