Unless you’re impervious to wistful nostalgia, you’d have noticed all of your favourite mid-90s cartoons are having a bit of a moment. Hey Arnold! is getting itself a reboot, while the original broadcasters of Arthur The Aardvark have earnestly asked the internet to stop pilfering the series for smutty memes.
Doug – reliable, relatable, bulbously-nosed Doug – is no exception. While current rights-holders Disney haven’t expressed any interest in a reboot, creator Jim Jinkins has recently spoken about that series’ future permutations.
Talking to EW, Jinkins (what a perfectly Doug name, BTW) said the residents of Bluffington haven’t been forgotten. In his mind, there’s enough material on the current lives of Doug, Patti Mayonnaise, Skeeter, Porkchop et al. to comprise a book, or even a play.
That’s ’cause Doug is somewhat autobiographical, with the creator saying many scenes from the series were lifted directly from his own life. Of course, that means the constant will-they tension between the protagonist and the ever-sweet Patti was plucked from reality too.
And that’s a reality Jinkins opened up on, when he discussed the time he met up with Patti’s IRL inspiration in the Big City, years after the series ended:
“She’s like, ‘I was at the reunion! You weren’t!’ and I was like, ‘Yeah…sorry…I had to work.’ And she goes, ‘I found out you live in New York. Guess what—I do, too!’ And she told me where she lives. We lived across Central Park from each other. And she says, ‘Why don’t you come over for dinner?’”
“So now we’re in a Doug show. I’m like, what do I wear? What will she look like!? All that’s happening as I’m walking across Central Park to her apartment, just wondering and just hoping, all those things. I was, at the time, very available.”
“…She opens the door, and she’s perfect. Just perfect. She just looks spectacular and she’s so happy, and her arms fly up and we hug, and I’m just like [frightened guttural gasping noises]… And she was just funny and fun and innocent, but it’s like Doug and Patti together again, ten years later, right?”
“So this is all wonderful, right? And then she wheels and goes, ‘Oh, Jimmy, I want you to meet my husband.’
And I don’t even remember the rest of the evening.”
If you’re still reading this, that means your heart has recovered sufficiently to hear Jinkins’ realistic appraisal of the sitch. He explained Doug + Patti “doesn’t happen because, really, most people don’t end up with their first love.”
That doesn’t mean Doug never welcomes another love into his pure little heart. Jinkins explains that in his reckoning, removed from the grounding of his lived experiences, it’s possible Doug and his ovoid noggin find happiness with another cartoon cutie.
Still, that story has yet to be written. All we’ve got for the moment is the cruel, canonical, crushing reality of unrequited love.
Doo do do, do do do doo, do do, do do.