There are a lot of cartoons from my childhood that wasted a really cool premise by making the lead character an absolute bumbling arsehole. The biggest disappointment came in the form of a cartoon conceived by the French (quelle surprise).
Inspector Gadget should have been badass, but the creators thought the kids would like him better if he was an incompetent twat. My 7 year-old self would like to vehemently disagree.
A policeman who fights crime with the assistance of a cybernetically altered body packed with robotic apparatus is cool. A mentally retarded man trying to catch criminals using an umbrella that comes out of his hat instead of his laser fingers is a travesty.
It’s probably just as well that the scientists who remodelled the Inspector’s body insisted that each of his augmentations could only be activated by yelling “Go, go, gadget…” because at least that gave people in his immediate vicinity enough time to get out of the way before he turned a bad situation into an almighty clusterfuck.
And Penny, whilst displaying incredible forensic skills for a child her age, should have been at school.