I experienced a déjà vu moment — not in a good way — when I saw a story on social media about a “dark” live-action Barney the Dinosaur reboot.
I skimmed it without much interest because my kids are grown. But that night I had a bad dream about the giant purple Tyrannosaurus Rex and his annoyingly cheerful friends BJ and Baby Bop, to the point where I think my subconscious is preparing me for the horror that’s about to hit the big screen is unleashed.
Like all parents, there is one television show that you quickly focus on and that becomes the primary focus of your child’s attention. You indulge yourself in part because you’d do anything to see your kids laugh and dance, and mostly because, let’s face it, if you need 20 minutes to yourself you absolutely need to stock up on popular TV shows, to keep her calm.
I haven’t read a parenting book that encourages this habit, but there should be because it will save you multiple times a week.
In my time it was like that Barney and his friendsthis purple pastiche of love and unrelenting optimism that ran from 1992 to 2010. It only took me four of those years but, boy, can I honestly say there wasn’t a catchy song or character I didn’t know well.
One day the older child lost his toy, Baby Bop; a green monstrosity well past her prime with a stringy cock she used to suck (sorry, but that’s three year olds for you). It fell from a shopping cart and was never seen again.
She was heartbroken. I was heartbroken. I paced up and down the store pleading and begging, hoping they’d found him. A replacement would be sussed immediately. There were tears and tantrums – that was just me – and I started saving for later life for child therapy.
Anyway, all of this should explain why this pop-up on my feed is now giving me the night terrors. In 2024, Barney takes on a new, disturbing personality. And not a moment too soon. I always thought there was a dark side to the relentlessly cheerful blob of purple. I mean how could it not be?
Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther, Go out, Psychoville) produced. Given his penchant for horror suspense, I’m confident Barney and his cronies will be killed early on in a horribly horrible way, but I doubt it.
The Purple One has previously appeared in US documentary series i love you you hate me, a series tracing the rise and fall of Barneymania in the United States. It also describes how leaked CIA records exposed Barneys I love you was used as “utility music” by prison interrogators during the Gulf War.
Kaluuya’s early comments are not encouraging. “Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ What if that’s not true? I found that really heartbreaking,” said the horror actor, without even showing a wry smile.
“Right now, at this time, I think it’s really, really needed.”
It really, really isn’t, Daniel. I’ll stick with the less traumatic ones Dahmer – Monsters: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer on Netflix.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/remake-of-barney-the-dinosaur-sounds-scarier-than-jeffrey-dahmer-docu-drama-42077936.html Barney the dinosaur remake sounds scarier than Jeffrey Dahmer’s docu-drama