01b. Reef Blower

This episode is a fun little short. I feel like the best way to think of it is as an extension of "Help Wanted" (which is actually what it's meant to be, which is why its so short). When you think of this episode this way, it also becomes an extension of the character and show introductions that started in "Help Wanted".

This short is all about the neighborly relationship between Squidward and SpongeBob. Of course, this will be explored in much more detail later in season 1, but it's a good introduction to their dynamic, since "Help Wanted" only had them interact for a few lines, and not much directly. Additionally, the episode does a great job at showing more of both Squidward and SpongeBob's characters. SpongeBob is a very energetic character, clearly going above and beyond trying to get the shell off of his lawn. He's also a bit silly. We saw all of this in "Help Wanted", but "Reef Blower" extends this characterization, cementing these traits into the character of SpongeBob. As for Squidward, we see at the beginning of the episode (just like the previous one) that he's not exactly a pleasant guy, given the way he knocks what is essentially trash or a weed into SpongeBob's yard just so it won't litter his own. And then of course, the episode ends with a classic bit of universal justice, as many SpongeBob episodes do.

We also once again get a good peek into the atmosphere of this world and its zaniness, as well as how it ignores the laws of physics.

"Reef Blower" is remarkably funny for being an episode completely without dialogue, so huge credit to the storyboarders here. Also, I think it's...interesting that the reason the episode is without dialogue is so the studio could skip out on paying the voice actors (source, if you're curious). I know the long-standing rumor has always been that the recording got corrupted, but nah, that's the actual reason. Either way, the crew did great even with this mandate by the studio, so I'm not going to complain. I think the episode is great as it is. The only reason I don't put this episode in the "amazing" tier is because although it is very funny, I am a big word humor fan, so having no dialogue does make it a bit harder for this episode to connect for me, at least to the point where it's on the top tier. And also, it's just too short! It's a supplement, rather than an episode. Nothing wrong with that, but it means that "Reef Blower" just doesn't quite make it to the big leagues.

Episode Tier: Great
Episode Score: 8.5/10
after you're done with all the reviews, you should compile them all into one thread (that'll take too long tho, maybe only do pre-movie)
after you're done with all the reviews, you should compile them all into one thread (that'll take too long tho, maybe only do pre-movie)
ooh, that's an interesting idea.
Fine episode. 6.5/10.
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