Esmé has asked me to relay the following complaint as an open letter to the producers of Yo Gabba Gabba, her favorite television show. I have written my own thoughts on the show–especially the episode Baby. But below I will do my best to interpret Esmé’s thoughts transmitted to me via cries, whines, a lot of assertions of Mamamam babba babba nnnoo, and, of course, mental telepathy:

Dear Yo Gabba Gabba,

I have been dedicated viewer of your show since 2013. I love it so much that even though I don’t talk so much I can tell Maman “ah babba babba.” Like yesterday morning she asked if I wanted to watch Daniel Tiger. I shook my head and said “Nnuh ah babba babba.” When Maman figured it out I was so happy that I gave her a big round of applause! I pay very close attention to your show…learning all kinds of things about germs, and family, and getting big. I applaud for all of my favorite parts to let you know what a good job you are doing.

In the beginning my favorite episodes were Band and Talent. Then Animals and Birthday. Then Clean. Then Green. Then Space. Now I pretty much refuse to watch anything other than Ride, Art, and Dress Up. If someone messes up and Band begins to play, I will cry. Believe me. This is serious business. Band is dead to me since I have not yet been able to join said Yo Gabba Gabba band.

However, while Dress Up is certainly (for the moment) some of the world’s best television. I would like to discuss some details about a specific part of this episode with you. I have watched Dress Up approximately 127, 893 times. Every single time I watch this show I register a telepathic complaint with you.

Usually my telepathy works well…but you seem to not yet be moved to action! So I thought I would ask Maman to share this strongly worded message in hopes that you will be responsive to her writing.

As your customer service department must, no doubt, know, the complaint occurs during the story when Brobee dresses up as a hero on a mission with the help of wizard Plex and unicorn Muno to rescue Princess Foofa from dragon Toodee. As soon as DJ Lance appears dressed as a knight to introduce the story, I begin crying…I’m sure you wonder why, just like Papa and Maman wonder why. You know what I wonder? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? SERIOUSLY, DJ LANCE, A KNIGHT? BROBEE A HERO? No. Just. No. No. NO! IS THIS THE APOCALYPSE?

The torture of these four minutes and eight seconds of television is unspeakable. However, I can say that it is an intensified version of the horror I experience at the end of each episode when DJ Lance says, “Yo, it’s almost time to go…” when, at the sound of those words, I sink into self-doubt and existential crisis, wondering what episode will come next, or if, in fact, any episode shall come at all.

Thankfully Dress Up soon redeems itself with the truly awe-inspiring and poetic cartoon of the Princess, her dog Max, her little kitty Mia, and the Dragon in which [spoiler alert] the Princess and the town’s people build a castle for the dragon because the Princess thinks that everyone is important. I happy clap through this entire story because it is spectacular from beginning to end. Hats off to you. Truly!

On some level I suppose it is the juxtaposition of these stories that elicits the response, but the precise words escape me. Maman asks, “Why don’t you like this part? Is it boring?” showing me my Yes and No cards. I select Yes. “Is it scary?” Yes. “Is the song bad?” Yes. “Are the costumes upsetting?” Yes.

Yes. It is all of these reasons and more. So much more.

I don’t understand why you’ve not yet seen this, why you do not understand. I cannot comprehend why my complaints have not retracted the episode and reissued (with an apology!) omitting this terrible part…and, might I humbly suggest, playing the cartoon Princess and Dragon story through twice. Perhaps, even, you could extend the subsequent counting segment with the odd desert space kids counting to four–why not explore such numbers as six or seven or 32? I, myself, am a fan of eight. It is a lovely number. (I’d prefer you would not count to five, however, as the astronauts in Space count to five and I find this deeply upsetting as well.)

You see, there are so many possibilities! Why limit yourselves? I know you are capable of so much more. In your own words: “Keep trying, keep trying, don’t give up, never give up!”

Your biggest fan,


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