Friday Night: Yo Gabba Gabba Live! At Verizon Wireless Theater

Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Verizon Wireless Theater December 2, 2011

Check out our picks of DJ Lance Rock and friends at Yo Gabba Gabba Live!.

As a parent, Rocks Off can tell you firsthand about the sacrifices involved in child rearing. Most of us know going in that there are trade-offs for raising your own personal organ donors, from simple things like no longer getting to sleep in on Saturdays to losing command of your own television.

Parents (those who admit to it, anyway) who let their kids watch television realized long ago that there was little to be gained from bitching about the quality of children's programming. We got beyond that years ago, sagely realizing such fare was not created for us, and should therefore be outside the realm of adult critique.

Some TV shows, however, are beyond the pale. Some offer so little nourishment to the child's mind they should be rallied against like big box stores in our affluent neighborhoods or Mark Twain in our school libraries. We speak, of course, of Yo Gabba Gabba.

At first glance, the YGG concept seems attractive. Created by Scott Schultz and Aquabats singer Christian Jacobs, Yo Gabba Gabba! certainly looks different than most kids shows. The Gabba Gang are slightly off-kilter amalgams of the Muppets, '70s toys and anime, brought to life by the orange velour-clad DJ Lance Rock. Typical shows feature "Cool Tricks" (in which kids and adults demonstrate particularly cool talents), the "Super Music Friends Show" (musical guests), and "Biz's Beat of the Day" (Biz Markie(!) teaches the little ones how to beat box).

Pretty harmless, and not really deserving further examination except for the show's peculiar popularity among those presumably old enough to know better. Jacobs and Schultz have gone out of their way to craft a program that appeals less to kids than their parents. YGG's interstitials typically include graphics inspired by 8-bit video games and musical acts catering to a, shall we say, more seasoned crowd than found at your typical Pump It Up. Past guests include Shiny Toy Guns, Hot Hot Heat, and MGMT.

You know. For the kids.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar