For the past six years parents have been half-watching the misadventures of Oso, a yellow bear who works for an organization known as U.N.I.Q.U.E. (The United Network for the Investigation of Quite Usual Events). He helps children figure out basic tasks like brushing their teeth and cleaning their rooms using Three Simple Steps. Kids love how Oso struggles with the same problems as their cartoon counterparts, but upon repeating viewings, it has become clear to me that the world of Special Agent Oso features some incredibly disturbing and potentially disastrous elements. Let’s discuss the five most prominent, shall we?
Children Are Terrified Of Their Parents
While not overtly stated in any of the episodes I’ve seen, it’s clear to me that the kids in this universe are not comfortable asking their parents for help. Every single episode could be about three minutes long if the kids simply went to their guardians for an assist. So why don’t they? Clearly, they’re scared. This kind of parental fear seems so ingrained in the world that an entire organization was funded, built and proliferated with the express goal of helping children in place of their parents. Perhaps this version of humanity turns into vampires or multi-headed monsters when asked too many questions which might explain why UNIQUE needed to create (or at the very least employ) animals instead of human adults. The poor children are so used to this existence that they don’t even seem upset about not being able to go to their primary care givers for guidance through life and would rather be helped by someone who is clearly in over his head.
Oso Is Dangerously Incompetent
So, with the parents essentially out of the picture, U.N.I.Q.U.E. sends animals to help the youth of the world. You’d think with such an important mission, they would dispense the best around or at the very least agents with a middling level of intelligence. Instead, they get Oso, a bear who doesn’t know what shapes are. Or what clothes to wear. Or how to brush his teeth. This is a bear with access to a fully functional artificial intelligence, a talking train and the resources of a massive, global organization with intense levels of tech at their disposal. He might be able to stay (barely) one step ahead of the children he’s “helping” but what if he pushes the wrong button on his SPACESHIP or crashes the Whirly Bird into an orphanage? It’ll take way more than Three Special Steps to get around that kind of calamity.
U.N.I.Q.U.E. Is ALWAYS Watching
If you’re not familiar with the show, you might be wondering how a dunderhead like Oso can even find out about these kids and their problems. Well, the answer is simple: U.N.I.Q.U.E. has robot drones watching everyone, all the time, forever. Each episodes starts with a kid needing help (and not asking their parents, of course) which gets seen and transmitted by a robotic beetle called Shutterbug. The information goes to U.N.I.Q.U.E. where they instantly know who the child is, where they live and what they need. These drones have been seen all over the world in just about every location imaginable. So much for privacy! Also, if U.N.I.Q.U.E. — an organization that simply deals with “Quite Usual Events” has this kind of spy tech at their disposal just think about what U.N.I.T.E. (a group I just made up that stands for The United Network for the Investigation of Terrifying Events) is working with. Sure, U.N.I.Q.U.E. seems to use the Shudderbugs for good, but that kind of unchecked power can easily corrupt.
The Machines Have Gained Sentience
In addition to the spying ladybugs (that don’t appear sentient), U.N.I.Q.U.E. and Oso have, at their disposal, a variety of vehicles that can talk and an AI called Paw Pilot that knows exactly what Oso and the distraught children need to do to solve their problems. PP is also tapped into that Big Brother like information network so it’s basically the smartest mind on the whole planet that can check in on you through the bugs at any time. For the time being big-eyed, purple haired, talking emoticon seems perfectly happy helping a nincompoop shamble around the planet, but I bet if Oso asks one more time how to use the bathroom, Paw Pilot’s going to lose it and launch all of the world’s nukes. Even putting her aside, Oso’s talking train and flying machine — R.R. Rapide and Whirly Bird — could do a fair amount of damage before the authorities brought them down. If Stephen Hawking’s worried about computers realizing they’re smarter than we are, the people of Oso’s world should be even more so with that doofus so frequently interacting with the far superior intellect of the machine.
No One Ever Sees Mr. Dos
U.N.I.Q.U.E. has insane technology, a staff of brightly colored anthropomorphic animals and wields far too much power, but the scariest element of the whole operation? It’s run by Mr. Dos, a disembodied voice that is NEVER SEEN. Think about the dangers here: Oso and a variety of other agents from Wolfie and Dottie to gadget-maker Professor Buffo and super ninja Musa are sent all over the world and given missions by a completely unseen force. How do they know it’s really Mr. Dos? More importantly, how do they know Mr. Dos is really a good guy? I think he’s a nefarious megalomaniac who somehow took over this high-tech organization to steer its efforts towards mundane missions, ignoring the real evils of the world that they could easily deal with. I mean, this guy hired Oso of all people (bears?) to HELP CHILDREN, clearly there’s something going on there that doesn’t look good for humanity (bearanity?).