Who reviews DVDs above the sea? Judge Roy Hrab-pants! Judge Roy Hrab-pants! Judge Roy Hrab-pants!
Our reviews of Spongebob Squarepants: Season 5, Volume 1 (published December 12th, 2007), 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), and Spongebob's Runaway Roadtrip (published September 25th, 2011) are also available.
Once upon a time, there was an animated series starring a zany, manic yellow sponge. He lived under the sea and his name was SpongeBob. In the early seasons, the show was fresh, fast-paced, and funny. I laughed heartily at the antics of SpongeBob, Patrick, Plankton, and Mr. Krabs.
Hmmm…I used to laugh. Not now. Those days are long gone and I don't think I can go on watching anymore. It's just not fair to the show or me to continue this way. Where did it go wrong? Why did it go wrong? Did I outgrow the show? Did the writers run out of ideas? Has the show simply run its course? I wish I had an answer. How I wish…
The relationship between me and the SpongeBob series came to a head with the DVD SpongeBob SquarePants: Who Bob What Pants?. A sticker on the package touted that Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) voiced a character. This was not reassuring. Indeed, it was downright worrisome. I removed the plastic wrap, opened the case, and slipped the disc into my player. All these actions I executed with trepidation. I never used to feel this way.
And so five episodes unspooled:
"What Ever Happened To SpongeBob?": SpongeBob has a bad day, managing to anger Patrick, Sandy, and Mr. Krabs. As result, he leaves Bikini Bottom. However, he has an accident and hits his head on some rocks numerous times, leaving him with amnesia in New Kelp City. While there he manages to vanquish the Bubble Poppin' Boys (lead by Ray Liotta) and become mayor of the city. Back at Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob's friends discover his absence and track him down.
"Goo Goo Gas": In his latest attempt to steal the recipe for Krabby Patties, Plankton invents a gas that turns adults into babies.
"The Two Faces Of Squidward": SpongeBob accidentally breaks Squidward's face. Squidward has plastic surgery that results in a new, handsome face. The new Squidward becomes an instant celebrity and he is hounded by adoring hordes of Bikini Bottom citizens.
"SpongeHenge": Strong winds cause SpongeBob's pores to produce music that attracts jellyfish. Lots of jellyfish. SpongeBob tries to figure out how to get rid of them.
"Banned In Bikini Bottom": The United Organization of Fish Against Things Fun and Delicious, led by Mrs. Gristlepuss (voiced by Andrea Martin, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), bans Krabby Patties and shuts down the Krusty Krab. In this era of prohibition, Mr. Krabs decides to open an illicit restaurant at SpongeBob's house. Plankton finds out and informs the authorities.
"Stanley S. SquarePants": SpongeBob's cousin Stanley (Christopher Guest, Best In Show) comes to stay with SpongeBob. Unfortunately, everything Stanley touches ends up in disaster, including a short-lived, disaster-filled job at the Krusty Krab.
When the credits rolled, I blinked a few times. My worst fears were realized. I was confused. Upset. I didn't know what to think. What had I just witnessed? This was not the same show that I used to enjoy. No. It was something else. It was tired. Unfunny. Unmemorable. Unoriginal. Where was the old zaniness and madcap fun? The silliness? "The Two Faces Of Squidward" showed the potential for a return to past greatness, but it was sabotaged by a rushed conclusion. The rest of the episodes felt like a series of pointless events strung together. There was no momentum. No payoff. Just going through the motions.
The DVD also threw in four 30-second shorts and an animatic. They were as unimpressive as the episodes.
And so, I'm sitting here, clutching my head in my hands. Writing my thoughts down and thinking about the good times of the past. I don't think those times are going to return. It makes me sad to think about how something so pleasurable has declined into something so tedious.
I guess that happens sometimes, doesn't it? I'll work through it. And something better will come around sooner or later, right?
Good-bye, SpongeBob. Best of luck, buddy.
Well, I think that's all for today. Thanks for listening.
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Scales of Justice
• "What Ever Happened To SpongeBob" Original Animatic
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