FETCH! with Ruff RuffmanSpring 2007 Television
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Producer: WGBH Educational Foundation
Review:Call it an unreal reality show or maybe a quasi animated game show. How about a dog-hosted talk show? Whatever you call it, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman is a whole lot of fun. FETCH, an animated orange dog with an ego to match his belly, plays host to a real life group of “tweenagers,” who compete in various thinking contests for fun and prizes. The contestants, Julia, Khalil, Anna, Brian, Noah and Taylor, are split into two teams and given surprise assignments designed by Ruff to test their knowledge of every day science. As FETCH barks commands from Studio G (whatever you do, do not call it a garage), the kids are sent around the city completing tasks that require resolve and patience as well as skill. For instance, one group has to prepare food for zoo animals while another has to design a kite that can lift a dog biscuit. Other episodes have the kids ballroom dancing or, much to Ruff’s horror, training cats. A refreshing aspect of FETCH! is that it isn’t all scripted and real life problems, like unexpected traffic jams, snack attacks and just plain goof ups are all part of the show. Each kid earns points for answering questions as well as for completing adventures. Teamwork is key, ingenuity is rewarded, but knowing how to play to Ruff’s ego is important too—he gives points for kids who name drop during the game.
Laura Fries ©2007 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and 20 year member of the Television Critics Association Laura has been writing about television and film entertainment for more years than she cares to admit. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alexandria, Virginia.