I Love You, You Hate Me: What To Know Before You Watch The Barney Docuseries

Sheryl Leach and Barney in I Love You, You Love Me
(Image credit: Peacock)

If you were a kid in the early 1990s or had young children of your own, there’s a good chance you are awfully familiar with television program Barney and Friends, which completely took over pop culture in the final years of the 20th Century. With infectious songs, kid-friendly and educational stories, and that iconic purple dinosaur, the PBS show (much like the direct-to-video Barney and the Backyard Gang series that preceded it) was beloved by many and derided by others.

The massive cultural icon that was Barney the Dinosaur is the subject of a new Peacock docuseries titled I Love You, You Hate Me (a play on the show's closing song), one that sets out to tell the story of how a former elementary school teacher took over the world and the price she paid for doing so. Here are a few things to know about the 2022 TV schedule release.

I Love You, You Hate Me Captures The Meteoric Rise Of Barney The Dinosaur And The Show’s Downfall

I Love You, You Hate Me takes a fairly straightforward approach to the creation, early days, rise, time on top, and downfall of the Barney and Friends TV series. Over the course of the docuseries, it is explained how Sheryl Leach came up with the idea behind the original direct-to-video series and how it went on to become the most popular program of its kind for an extended period of time. However, the series also dives into the darker side of the story, one with uncomfortable theories, ruined relationships, and acts of extreme violence.

The Docuseries Features Interviews With The Cast And Crew But Not Barney’s Creator

Throughout I Love You, You Hate Me, there are a tremendous amount of in-depth interviews with those who played major roles in getting the Barney property off the ground. The longtime voice of Barney, Bob West, appears throughout and explains how the show impacted his life. David Joyner, who served as the man in the suit for all those years, also provides key details about the show and some of the secrets he had to keep during production. But, the one person is who is noticeably absent is Barney’s creator Sheryl Leach, who declined an invitation to participate, according to the docuseries.

I Love You, You Hate Me Also Focuses On The Anti-Barney Movements

In addition to discussing the children's series and its success, I Love You, You Hate Me also dives into the anti-Barney movement that was almost as prevalent throughout the 1990s. This includes sections on The Jihad to Destroy Barney, an online community and board game in which the purple dinosaur was the villain, as well as the court case between Barney’s creators and the San Diego Chicken mascot.

There Are Two Episodes

The docuseries spans multiple decades, but it doesn’t take all that much time to watch the story unfold, as it plays out over two episodes. The first chapter of the new Peacock original series, titled “I Love You,” clocks in at 58 minutes and focuses on the success of the franchise, while the second episode, “You Hate Me,” sticks to the darker moments and backlash.

The Docuseries Is Rated TV-14 Due To Violence, Suicide, And Sexual Topics

Due to the subject matter discussed within, the series has a TV-14 rating. Though not as intense as some of the true crime options on Peacock, it does feature violence (especially threats received by the crew and actions by Sheryl Leach’s son), suicide, and sexual topics like David Joyner becoming a tantric massage specialist.

I Love You, You Hate Me is currently streaming in its entirety, but only if you have a Peacock Premium subscription

Stream I Love You, You Hate Me on Peacock.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.