Case Number 12920

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: TO LOVE A PATTY

Nickelodeon // 2007 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mina Rhodes (Retired) // February 6th, 2008

The Charge

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongebob Squarepants, etc, etc.

Opening Statement

Spongebob Squarepants. Equally popular among teenagers and adults as it is among the wee set, the show is the wittiest and funniest cartoon on television.

Well, it used to be, at least.

Facts of the Case

If you are like Patrick Star, and live under a rock, then perhaps you are not familiar with the undersea exploits of Spogebob Squarepants, a rectangular yellow sea sponge who does indeed wear square pants. Spongebob works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, run by the fanatically greedy Mr. Krabs. His depressed, passive aggressive, sarcastic neighbor Squidword Tentacles works the cash register. In each episode, Spongebob and friends face some wacky situation, and in the past, hilarity would ensue. Sadly, after Season Three, the show began to decline, leveling out to a depressing plateau of mediocrity in Season Five. Guess which season all the episodes in this set are culled from?

The Evidence

Spongebob SquarePants: To Love a Patty contains seven episodes from the shows season five run:

* "To Love a Patty" Spongebob falls in love with a krabby patty. One can almost hear the writers saying, "Hmm, which stupid, obvious idea have we not made into an episode yet?" There is also a horrible musical number which only serves to remind one of when the show's musical numbers were actually a) funny, and b) catchy as hell.

* "A Flea in her Dome" One of the better episodes included on the disc. Sandy returns from a visit to her native Texas with the most horrifying, disturbing flea one is ever likely to see. Locked in her tree dome with the rapidly multiplying menace, Squidward, Patrick and Sandy try various ways of fighting off the infestation! The episode manages to regain some of the series' former wit, and the fleas themselves are highly memorable -- mostly because they're downright frightening looking. Still, there is no getting around the fact that the episode is somewhat derivative of the episode "Wormy," wherein Spongebob and Patrick are left to take care of Sandy's pets while she is away, and encounter a rather disturbing butterfly.

* "Mermaidman vs. Spongebob" Plankton brainwashes Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy to destroy the Krusty Krab, after they begin to bring it success with merchandising and personal appearances. It's up to Spongebob to save the day, but he doesn't save the episode from being something of a dud.

* "Le Big Switch" Spongebob gets swapped with a snooty French chef, who then proceeds to run the Krusty Krab into bankruptcy with his demanding culinary requirements, while Spongebob finds he is unable to make anything other than krabby patties. Best moment? Spongebob's blushing reaction to being kissed by his new (male) cooking instructor.

* "The Donut of Shame" After a wild night of tea parties and binge eating, Patrick awakes before Spongebob, whom he sees is holding a deliciously alluring donut. Unable to control himself, Patrick commits grand theft pastry. Will he be able to live with the guilt?!? Luckily for him, a lazy resolution is on the horizon!

* "Blackjack" Oh no! Spongebob's parents have been "kidnapped" by his ex-con cousin, Blackjack! Easily one of the weakest episodes of the entire series.

* "Blackened Sponge" Spongebob gets a black eye whilst trying to get the cap off his toothpaste. To try and cover up this embarrassing fact, he embellishes a story that gets more tiresome and uninteresting with each retelling.

All seven episodes are presented in fullscreen, and look only a bit better than they would on cable. Audio is a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix, as one would expect. Special features include a full-length animatic of the "To Love a Patty" episode, for those who like that sort of thing, and a karaoke music video for the musical number from the same episode.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

There's no way of getting around it: what the hell has Tom Kenny done to his voice? After season three, Spongebob's voice has become annoying and incredibly nasally. The series itself has been dumbed down beyond belief; the pace of the newer episodes can only be described as whiplash, the voice acting has become loud and shrill, most of the jokes fall flat, and the series as a whole seems to be shying away from its more adult-oriented gags, rendering it mostly uninteresting to anyone who isn't a sugar-addled 5-year-old. The death of Spongebob as one of the sole bright spots on Nickelodeon's lineup is sad indeed.

Closing Statement

Skip this set, and instead invest in the first three seasons of the show, all of which are incomparably superior to anything found on this disc. Sure, those season box sets are pricier, but nearly every episode they contain is a gem, which is certainly more than can be said of this disappointing collection.

The Verdict

Guilty of being only a shadow of the show's former glory.

Review content copyright © 2008 Mina Rhodes; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 40
Acting: 80
Story: 80
Judgment: 69

Perp Profile
Studio: Nickelodeon
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Original Animatic: "To Love a Patty"
* Karaoke Music Video

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0206512/combined

* Official Site (Nickelodeon)
http://www.nick.com/shows/spongebob_squarepants/index.jhtml

* DVD Verdict Review - Season 1
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobseason1.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Season 3
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobsquarepantsseason3.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Season 5, Volume 1
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobs5v1.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Fear of a Krabby Patty
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/sbspfearkrabby.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Friend or Foe?
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobfriendorfoe.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Home Sweet Pineapple
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobpineapple.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Nautical Nonsense
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebob1.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Sponge for Hire
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebob.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Seaside Capers
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/sbspseaside.php

* DVD Verdict Review - Where's Gary?
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/sbspwheresgary.php

* DVD Verdict Review - The Movie
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/spongebobsquarepantsmovie.php