Judge Roy Hrab is reviewing. He's reviewing. He's reviewing. He's reviewing.
Our reviews of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (published November 10th, 2003), Spongebob Squarepants: Season 5, Volume 2 (published November 27th, 2008), Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Third Season (published February 8th, 2006), SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season (published December 11th, 2011), SpongeBob Squarepants: 10 Happiest Moments (published September 19th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Fear Of A Krabby Patty (published August 31st, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Friend Or Foe? (published August 29th, 2007), Spongebob Squarepants: Home Sweet Pineapple (published January 19th, 2005), SpongeBob SquarePants: Legends of Bikini Bottom (published December 12th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Nautical Nonsense / Sponge Buddies (published March 19th, 2002), Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge For Hire (published February 9th, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob Vs. The Big One (published March 16th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob's Pest Of The West (published April 25th, 2008), Spongebob Squarepants: Spongicus (published April 9th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: The Great Patty Caper (published March 13th, 2011), SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seaside Capers (published March 13th, 2004), Spongebob Squarepants: To Love A Patty (published February 6th, 2008), Spongebob Squarepants: To Squarepants Or Not To Squarepants (published July 27th, 2009), SpongeBob Squarepants: Triton's Revenge (published September 11th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Truth Or Square (published November 20th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: Where's Gary? (published December 14th, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Who Bob What Pants? (published November 13th, 2008), and Spongebob's Runaway Roadtrip (published September 25th, 2011) are also available.
"I don't want to face my fears! I'm afraid of them!"—from "Roller Cowards"
The most famous personality to live in a pineapple under the sea needs no introduction. So, let's get to it!
SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 5, Volume 1 presents the shenanigans of the forever childlike SpongeBob and the other inhabitants of Bikini Bottom on two discs, featuring the following episodes:
The first eight episodes ("Friend or Foe" through "Spy Buddies") appear on the SpongeBob SquarePants: Friend Or Foe? DVD that was released earlier this year and reviewed by my esteemed colleague Judge David Packard. The additional episodes on this release continue the zany and silly hijinks of SpongeBob and company with the occasional life lesson thrown in for good measure. All in all, there is nothing new under the sun (or sea) here.
As far as the kids are concerned, this season delivers the goods. The familiar mix of storylines from past seasons is on full display. In "Night Light" and "Roller Cowards," SpongeBob and Patrick reluctantly and manically confront their fears. "Money Talks" deals with the theme of avarice when the Flying Dutchman grants Mr. Krabs a wish: The ability to talk to money. The results do not meet Krabs's expectations. In "Sponge vs. The Patty Gadget" the story's narration and dialogue are entirely in rhyme. The evil, but microscopic, genius Plankton appears in "Friend or Foe," "Spy Buddies," "Krabs á La Mode," and "Bucket Sweet Bucket." Squidward becomes a nice and popular person (temporarily), much to SpongeBob's consternation, in "Breath of Fresh Squidward." Also, the "Fungus Among Us" and "To Love a Patty" episodes deliver some old-fashioned gross-out humor.
However, I do not think that adults will be as entertained as in previous seasons. The comedy is more targeted at the kids than in the past. In particular, "Rise and Shine," which centers entirely on Patrick's morning routine, will prove rather tiresome (for adults, anyway; kids will enjoy it). Also, the repetitive storylines will wear down older viewers (again, the kids won't mind). Yet, there are some scraps tossed at the adults: there are nods to James Bond and the wager from Trading Places in "Spy Buddies"; Gene Shalit provides the voice of food critic "Gene Scallop" in "The Krusty Sponge"; and Squidward's dance routine in "Slimy Dancing" appears to be inspired by the interpretive performance of The Dude's landlord in The Big Lebowski. However, none of these instances rises above being mildly amusing, mainly because they are quite brief.
The video is flawless. The colorful Bikini Bottom has never looked better. The audio is solid.
The extras are forgettable and almost non-existent. The "Friend Or Foe" and "The Krusty Sponge" episodes have a "Bubble Burst Trivia" option. It's a form of pop-up video, using bubbles containing not particularly interesting information. There are also some additional "Friend or Foe" clips of Plankton and Mr. Krabs as children. That's pretty thin.
Aside from the lack of extras, I have one grievance. As mentioned above, the first eight episodes appeared in SpongeBob SquarePants: Friend Or Foe?. Why wasn't that released as Season 5, Volume 1? This double-dipping has occurred before with the SpongeBob SquarePants series and I'm sure it won't be the last. How much must parents shell out? Have some mercy. Please.
Overall, there's nothing new here and adults will be disappointed, but the latest installment of SpongeBob SquarePants delivers a lot of silly and good-natured fun for the kids and there's nothing wrong with that.
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Scales of Justice
• "Bubble Burst Trivia": "Friend Or Foe" and "The Krusty Sponge" Episodes
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