Can we all just agree? Ruby stinks
Can we all just agree that Ruby from Max & Ruby is the worst? We’re all reasonable adults here. I watch the show, or I am present when someone else is watching the show. Quick wiki check: I’ve seen every episode. And can think of only ONE in which I feel that Ruby (who is a seven-year-old rabbit, in case you don’t know) is being ill-treated by her little brother Max. It’s the one where she’s trying to give him a bath and he keeps getting dirtier and dirtier. Fair play there, Ruby. You kept your head when Max was for once being really annoying.
I thought maybe it was the point-of-view of the show: we are meant to side with Max against his priggish, bossy, fastidious older sister. She constantly tries to hamper his fun, or get him out of the way so she can do lame stuff with her dorky friends or her Bunny Scout troop. She is a stickler for rules – overmuch – while Max, in the end, prevails because of his intuition. What about when they have to put Baby Huffington down for a nap? First of all, who lets a seven- and a three-year-old put their baby down for a nap. That’s first.
But then, Ruby is being all uptight about it, thinking she knows what the baby wants, when Max just knows. He just understands. The cuckoo clock. Just like he knows a seven-and-a-HALF-year-old like Roger doesn’t want to play stupid croquet. He wants to play cars. You don’t know what’s best for everyone, Ruby. Listen to someone else for ONCE, just ONCE, for crying out loud.
These are unassailable arguments, right? It’s the intention of the show that we see that Max is just, and Ruby is a tiresome nag? But then I talked to my mother. Because that’s all we have to talk about, shows that our children and grandchildren watch. Shows that are five minutes long. “Ruby is the best,” she said. “She’s always trying to do right thing, and Max is just being a pain. Poor Ruby.” But then I realized, she has daughters, I have sons. Maybe a parent of girls has greater empathy for Ruby, say, and thus for all girls. And I like Max because of my own little boys. My mother has one granddaughter and four grandsons. “Even though she’s the oldest,” my mother said, “it still breaks my heart that little bit more to see J [the girl] cry.” While my heart, I admit, goes out just a tiny, tiny bit more to sad little boys.
But maybe it’s not just about gender. There are boys that act like Ruby and girls that act like Max. Of course. Maybe the parents on Team Ruby see their own kind of child in her, and the same goes for Team Max. So, maybe my mother sees not just a daughter in Ruby, but her own daughter…wait, this argument is starting to fall apart. Obviously Max & Ruby doesn’t bear close examination. Just forget it. Go play in the sandbox, Max. I’m busy.