Friday, April 19, 2013

A Journey Into the Psyche of DJ Lance

A while back I did an overview of Yo Gabba Gabba where I spent a good deal of time poking holes in the premise, the characters, the execution, and just about everything else about it as well. I was convinced that I would have all my readers firmly on my side regarding my feelings on the show. Come to find out, however, that opinions about it are actually pretty split. I got quite a few comments informing me that I might not have been fair in my evaluation of it. The most vocal and well thought out of these opinions came from my friend Rachel who I suspect would probably watch Yo Gabba Gabba even if she weren't the mother of two young children, and who has the capacity to evaluate it more intelligently than should really be possible for what it is.

Among other things, Rachel seemed to think that my assessment of the situation revolving the orange-suited MC of the show, DJ Lance Rock, was not a very accurate one. See, I was going on the assumption that DJ Lance is being held there against his will by some unseen, malevolent organization, and Plex, the little yellow robot, is programmed to activate the torture device in the DJ's fuzzy orange hat if the man ever decides to misbehave.

A picture of the DJ for reference

Rachel, on the other hand, has done some thinking on this, and she is of the opinion that DJ Lance is not a victim at all, but is instead the benevolent god of the realm contained within the Yo Gabba Gabba box. 

This thing

She maintains that DJ Lance watches over and guides the mentally challenged residents of Gabba Land with Plex the robot as his magic disciple to teach them to stay out of harm and to do the right thing. She urged me to reconsider my position and to try and think about it this way instead, so I obliged her and opened my mind to new ways of thinking. I did a lot of research and watched several full episodes of the show to give it a chance.  And I did reach a conclusion. Just not the one she wanted me to reach. 

First off, I really can't ignore that DJ Lance really looks like he's in pain. And not the pain of a loving god having to watch his creations descend in to sin and chaos either. The stakes of this show are far too low for that. I'm talking real physical pain here, which is what led me to believe that he was being tortured in the first place. 

DJ Lance exists in a seemingly alternate level of reality from the others, meaning that he lives alone in a completely white space, while the rest of the cast exists entirely (at least to my knowledge) within the couple yards of cardboard diorama set up on the table in the middle of the space where DJ Lance exists. This, in combination with the fact that the DJ constantly looks frantic, pained, or disturbed but trying to hide it, leads me to one conclusion: DJ Lance is an insane man playing with his toys alone in a white padded cell. 

There could be many reasons for his confinement, but I'm not here to speculate on that. It should simply be  assumed that DJ Lance is somehow enough of a danger to himself or others that he had to be put away, and the only thing deemed acceptable for him to have in the room without hurting himself is his orange costume, the table, and his set of toys. You'll notice, if you look, that none of the Yo Gabba Gabba beasties really seem to have very sharp edges except for maybe Plex with his antennae, and they mostly all seem to be stuffed or made of some sort of foam.

And so every day, in a fit of psychotic hallucination mingled with loneliness, DJ Lance plays with his box full of friends and they have all the adventures portrayed in the show, learning lessons about basic human kindness, safety, and friendship. All of this is part of Lance's journey to recovery. It obviously isn't a hopeless situation. DJ Lance seems only concerned with doing good and helping his friends to be happy and safe, but there's a long way to go yet, considering that he does still seem to be imagining things like cheerfully suicidal bubbles that just looove to be popped, intimate details of each of the characters digestive tracts (the red one has three stomachs), and this thing: 

Speculation is that, as DJ Lance continues to work through his issues and become stable, the Yo Gabba Gabba universe as we know it will become gradually more tame, and then slowly disappear, leaving only the table, and DJ's five motionless toys. He will then be able to return to society, reformed and functional, and live out the rest of his life very happily, provided there are no relapses. 

At any rate, I  think there is a lot of hope for DJ Lance, and that this weird, terrifying world he has created is a very important step on his road to full recovery. He is headed for a bright future in which he will not, in fact, bite his friends. 

I wish him well. 

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