Photo Credit: unsplash-logoAshleigh Robertson

"Whenever there's a problem, around Adventure Bay" starts the theme song. But the problem is Adventure Bay: Adventure Bay is purgatory, and we're all trapped in it.

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Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome kicking in. Maybe it’s the intricate and involved plotlines. I’ve been stuck watching Paw Patrol with the kids for the past two weeks and have a lot of thoughts. Paw Patrol Opening EN | Toys R Us CanadaAt Toys“R”Us Canada and Babies”R”Us Canada, we are all about creati…
our previous dive into the complicated world of Adventure Bay

The dwellers of Adventure Bay are trapped souls, who can only move on after growing as people - or, as dogs. (Or the highly intelligent cats, walruses, or as a visiting alien). We get a glimpse of this potential for growth when Yumi and Al happily get hitched back in Season 1, or in Season 6, when twin pups Ella and Chuck conquer their inner fear to become superheroes and finally come to peace with themselves. But the Adventure Bay folks are trapped, and it's somewhat the fault of Ryder and his team of talking canines.

A hint at Ryder's true nature is revealed when you consider that Ryder doesn't age at all in the series, even in flashback episodes where the doggos were wee pups. Or Ryder's ability to conjure complicated machines, and even complicated superpowers for others from seemingly nothing. (One particularly terrifying moment is in Season 6 when The Lookout lifts up to reveal a secondary base underneath - that came from nowhere.)

The driving core of the show's many conflicts are the two mayors – Foggy Bottom's spiteful mayor, Henri Humdinger, and Adventure Bay's image-concerned mayor, Gloria Goodway. Goodway's incessant event planning and obsession with her own legacy and image cratered the (functional) internal economy of the island. Humdinger, always the goat, has made ruining the events his life's sole mission, to the point of endangering the public with his ever more incompetent schemes, including the time he decided to bully kittens into carving his likeness into a mountain.

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In Adventure Bay, four tiers of consciousness exist: human, talking animals, intelligent animals, and critters. A world with talking animals has humans which happily eat animals and who feed animal meat to their talking animals, oh god why. It replicates the injustices of our world, but still, weird.

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I envy the alien family who appeared in all of two episodes, never to be seen or spoken of again, like the twin powered pups. I'm thoroughly sick of watching the show, which my kiddo unfortunately (or demonically, I don't know) wants to watch all day, every day.

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Ryder and his team of pups unfortunately have prevented more growth than fostered it; instead of learning to stand up for themselves and solve their own issues, the citizens of Adventure Bay instead rely on Ryder's constant help even as they dwindle into being less self-reflective than psychic chicken Chickeletta. Slowly, the citizens of the city become less of themselves to the point of becoming trapped as animals without their memories or abilities. But worse yet is the fate of Wally the Walrus: surrounded by the Turbot cousins, Wally meets true love and fathers a child, only to have his true love and child disappear forever (or at least, never depicted again), leaving him doomed to eternally witness the witless cousin duo become trapped in increasingly perilous situations brought on by their own incompetent actions.

In Season 6 - for two episodes, disconnected from continuity - superpowers are introduced in the form of a meteor hidden in the center of the tower(?!?). Shards of said meteor apparently litter the island and grant the wielders unique abilities - the pup Chase gains improved speed, Skye gains the ability to control wind, the twin pups gain the ability to shrink and grow, and a petty thief gains the ability to fly. It's a concept that is immediately forgotten about and never spoken of by the doomed citizens of Adventure Bay.

Even Sid Swashbuckle has moved on, having finally learned not to be a selfish dork. But Humdinger and Goodway never will, forever trapped in a purgatory of endless balloon races and chili cookoffs, forever inventing new ways to trap themselves and always having to call in the Paw Patrol. While Humdinger is crafty, his pride has doomed him - as Goodway's has doomed her - to an eternal battle of wits, which they unfortunately possess only half of each.

While Ryder and Raimundo can freely leave the island, none of the island's other denizens can or will until they finally learn to grow beyond their petty faults and be as selfless as the show's titular Paw Patrol. It will be only then that they can ascend - literally - into the sky, like the aliens, to begin a new life.

Paw Patrol is The Good Place, but in furry form. And we're trapped with it.