Toon Tunes: Vicky of the Fairly Odd Parents

curated by Luke Dowker

Like so many cartoons of its kind and era, The Fairly Oddparents present adults as totally inept. Even Denzel Crocker, with his investigative and technical prowess, garners zero respect from his students, and the threat he poses to Timmy Turner – the naïve-but-affable Boy Next Door whose misadventures are the backbone of the show – is rarely a serious one. Timmy eludes the adults in his life with ease; he’s got magic on his side, after all.

The Fairly Oddparents wouldn’t be interesting, though, if there were no constraints on the power Timmy wields via Cosmo and Wanda. Enter Vicky, a cunning miser and chameleon of a teenage girl; the latter descriptor puts Vicky in a class of her own in the Fairly Oddparents universe. It’s implied throughout the series that Trixie Tang, heartthrob, and the California English-fluent alien Mark Chang – are older than Timmy, but all three characters seem to attend the same school, so I figure the age gap isn’t too wide. That leaves Vicky as the show’s most candid depiction of the American Teenager. She’s outgrown the schoolyard, but Dimmsdale’s grown-ups haven’t offered her a seat at their table yet.

I’ll say this first, re: Timmy Turner: he’s not as sympathetic a character as the writers want him to be. He’s petulant, habitually ungrateful, and prone to treating his friends like garbage – or, when his tunnel vision kicks in, disregarding them entirely. Considering how often his parents leave the house without him, it’s reasonable to guess that Timmy might be a sizable pain. But he’s not mature enough to be home alone, so his parents pay Vicky (in literal wads of cash) to make sure he doesn’t fuck up the décor too much. Childcare is hard, thankless work. On paper, it makes sense for us to commiserate with the folks performing the labor. It makes sense for us to feel for Vicky.

Oh, but she puts Timmy through the wringer. He’s a saintly underdog when Vicky’s around, and we’re meant (as viewers) to take Timmy’s side, to look at Vicky like Timmy looks at Vicky: with dread and resentment. Like I said earlier, there’s no space in the show that’s designed for Vicky. She’s always Just Visiting, and she visits the Turner house more than any other locale. Butch Hartman and co. fashioned a rigid template for Vicky’s persona from the show’s outset (the conniving, two-faced bitch, a convenient and time-tested mold for creating unpleasant female characters), and our glimpses into the drab goings-on and minutiae of her life are few and far between.

This is a collection of songs that hazards a few guesses about Vicky’s interior world: her worries, her pastimes, her doomed relationships and passing crushes, and everything else that transpires when she’s not babysitting. More than anything else, this is an attempt to acknowledge Vicky’s existence as something other than a merciless hag, to look beyond her on-screen appearances and speculate about what Vicky feels and how she feels it. Villains, like teenage girls, are allowed to feel.

mp3: "Spell" - Emily Reo

mp3: "Dreaming" - Winter