A Call for the Youth
a short analysis of the Bee and Puppycat animated web series by suha
Bee and Puppycat is a short (hopefully just for now, but I am starting to lose hope) animated web series that follows the life of Bee, an unemployed young woman who makes a living by doing magical temp jobs with her friend, a mysterious creature called Puppycat.
I highly recommend watching the pilot before you read the rest !
The show’s art and music give off such a lo-fi hip-hop mix kind of energy, and the show uses very cute animation and dialogue, mixed with a few disturbing elements every once in a while, to tell its story. This makes watching the show feel very comforting, despite the chaotic and somewhat confusing events that take place in every episode.
I think this is because Bee is a very relatable character to many teenagers and young adults today. She can be very emotional and caring, but also lazy and lacks clear ambitions or goals, as opposed to her friend Deckard who applies to culinary school away from home.
The pilot opens with Bee informing us that she got fired. She later goes to a temp agency to look for a job but strikes out due to lacking in ‘document-able skills’ and a stable work history.
Bee does not fit in the reality she lives in.
This is certainly something that many of us feel at some point in our lives. Are the skills we have worth anything if they’re not valuable to an employer? Are the goals we set for ourselves worth anything if they don’t contribute to a successful future?
Puppycat’s magical temp jobs give Bee a chance to make a living by completing tasks that don’t restrict her to the use of ordinary skills, and she is free to act on her intuition. This gives the audience a chance to enjoy her character as she makes the most of her wacky adventures, but it also makes the show comforting to watch. We know that in this world, Bee’s decisions will be the right ones. Because in this world, expectations don’t matter. Norms don’t matter. Having a plan that’s sure to work and a backup plan just in case, doesn’t matter. You’re free to sit back and enjoy the moment for everything that it is, with no concerns for the past or the future.
Bee is quick to react to things that happen and she kind of has a short attention span. But she's good at adapting to the chaos around her and although she has animated reactions, she is unphased enough to take action without much hesitation.
We see her get flustered and become very erratic when she accidentally hits Deckard in the crotch, irrationally sliding ice to him from under the door, only to softly say ‘Oh, you’re awake’ to Puppycat moments later. We see her switch moods from ‘I’m a loser’ to childishly playing with her umbrella in a matter of seconds.
The way that her attitude towards things shifts from one thing to another and the speed at which it does really resonated with me and my very short attention span. Especially when she says ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t think that far ahead’. Criminally relatable.
Although I think my short attention span is the product of the extremely fast paced world that we live in, I’m pretty sure there’s a strong link between being young and rapidly changing emotions. There’s a certain amount of confusion in being able to process and understand your own emotions, and this gets more chaotic when we tend to try and run away from the low moments and chase the highs. At some point Bee says ‘I usually try to sleep to avoid thinking about it’, and I think that’s a sentence that hit close to home for a lot of the audience.
Despite being easily distracted and leaning towards the more fun option when she can, Bee cares about the people (and animals? Creatures? Outlaws? What exactly is Puppycat?) around her. She wants everyone to be happy and does a good job at making them comfortable. She is quick to react when someone needs help, and although her methods may sometimes be questionable (‘use the sword as a sword!’), she is able to create change and help create growth.
I’m writing this piece during the corona pandemic and the black lives matter protests. Needless to say, Bee’s ability to not let insane situations phase her and jump into action without hesitation rings very true to the experiences of young adults today. So used to the chaos that they’re almost hard to surprise, and can handle intense situations with a somewhat light attitude and a sense of humour.
Bee’s ability to roll with mayhem, along with her appreciation for snacks and naps, embodies an aspect of today’s youth, making her feel like a relatable friend to her audience, who want to see things work out.
Here's a link for the full series so far !