If ‘Dora the Explorer’ Were A Primetime HBO Series
For years Dora has cornered the children’s viewing market with her lighthearted, fun-filled, bilingual adventures. But her audience is growing up fast, and she needs to bring in new viewers. That’s why it’s time the entire premise be re-imagined for a new multiple Emmy Award-winning HBO series, complete with the following changes…
The Show Opens with Dora Uncovering a Body with Ties to Some Very Powerful People
On a rain-soaked early morning a weary-eyed Dora and her partner Boots watch as police divers slowly raise an abandoned car from the lake, containing the bloated remains of the Fiesta Trio. At first Dora’s informant Map is reluctant to explain how it knew to lead her to this watery grave, feigning a cold that barely covers a coke addiction. But the viewers’ constant chanting of his name forces Map to sing a song about illicit affairs, police corruption, and a rising gubernatorial candidate who just might have been behind the wheel of the submerged vehicle.
Dora’s Interaction with Viewer Replaced with Bilingual Psychiatry Visits
Her double life as a homicide detective and third-grader taking its heavy toll, Dora forgoes talking directly to the audience and now tries to find confirmation and conversation with a department-sanctioned psychiatrist. However, these sessions are still used to build basic foreign language skills, teaching viewers how to say such things as “delusional projection,” “magical thinking” and “co-pay” in both Spanish and English.
There Are No Heroes or Villains, Just Flawed Human Beings and Morally Compromised Monkeys
Gone are the days when viewers blindly cheered on Dora and hissed at every appearance of Swiper the Fox. Now with each episode we learn of the underhanded, unforgivable things Dora has done to bring in the guilty. We see how with each stolen item Swiper feels he is exacting revenge on a corrupt system. And we learn where Boots’ true loyalties lie. That is, of course, if Boots doesn’t get killed in the first season’s finale.
Multiple Story Lines Allow Us to Learn More about Backpack’s Dreams and Despair
Over the course of each 13-episode season the series populates its world of environmental and bureaucratic decay with a host of troubled secondary characters trying less to succeed than merely survive. This allows the show to focus on more than just the title character, going into depth about what makes Backpack willing to open up to Dora and share the things he keeps hidden from others. Plus, we slowly learn why Backpack’s previous owner repeatedly doodled “It’s too late” with weeping skulls in ballpoint pen all over its fabric.
Dora Is Not so Much Exploring as Escaping
Every day she hits the trail in a desperate attempt to leave behind her professional and personal woes. Every day she looks toward a new horizon with the hope of finding peace or at least a super bouncy ball. But every day her journey is littered with demoralizing obstacles and the demands of whiny livestock…not to mention a bull riding a hot air balloon, which Dora can only surmise is both a hallucination and a sign of her impending mental breakdown.
Every Episode Is Open-Ended, with No Resolution…or Relief
No happy cries of “We did it!” from Dora and her friends at the end. No sense of accomplishment for the protagonist or viewer. And certainly no congratulations and celebratory music from the Fiesta Trio, whose remains continue to baffle and horrify the staff at the city morgue. Instead, each episode concludes with Dora striking out on yet another path, her head filled with more questions than answers, as she tries to make her way through a mundo loco she can neither comprehend nor control.
What would you do if you met Dora in a dark alley, and she was eating her monkey companion?