Re-Evaluating my opinions on SpongeBob Season 1-8

EmployeeAMillion

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Tentacle Vision (Season 7, Episode 1a)
Original Airdate: July 19 2009
Episode 244 in standard order, Episode 242 in airing order
Plot: Squidward buys his on chat show on public access, only for it to be ruined by other characters
Written by Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash and Derek Iversen

[titlecard]127A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: SpongeBob Theme Song 2

Well, here’s the part of the re-evaluation I was dreading the most, starting Season 7. Like I said when I started Season 6, these two seasons are near-unanimously considered the worst of SpongeBob. Some others might say 8, but they’re a minority. Personally, 7’s always been in my bad books, not because its bad episodes are particularly awful (I thought Season 6 had worse episodes), but because of its lack of good, and as someone who looks for the good and bad in everything, this just leaves me with a whole lot of bad to cover. With that said, the season’s already started out in a sour note.

For the second time in a row, the premiere begins with Squidward getting ready to watch TV, only this time he’s interested in a public access show airing at 5AM called “Fab and Fancy”. Unfortunately, it’s cancelled on the spot to make room for a new show called “The Guitar Lord”, starring a teenager named Zeus. Zeus reveals his mother bought the show for him and he clearly doesn’t know what to do with it, aside from saying he wants a guitar over and over again, despite playing one in the title sequence. I tell you, special effects these days. Upon calling the show’s s number, Squidward finds out how easy it is to get your own TV show, and buys one himself which is set to premiere the following day. Already this is a flat set-up, but there’s still some hope the show itself is entertaining.

The next day, all Squidward has to do is wait through a work session at the Krusty Krab, where he acts rather gleeful to SpongeBob and never explains to him why. The joke is that he gloats about it, but blocks SpongBob’s ears so he isn’t tempted to mess things up. This joke doesn’t hold up however, because he finds out about it anyway due to Gary watching it in a relatively contrived plot ploint. Squidward seems to be hosting a chat show about the finer arts, which although I find boring, is nice to see him doing. The only problem is that he seems far too happy, so the episode has to knock him down and ruin everything, and it does so in a pathetic way.

SpongeBob head over to Squidward’s house to see if he really does have his own show and congratulate him for it, and then invites Patrick over. Instead of ushering the two out, Squidward decides to use them as a backstage crew, which only lowers the quality of the sound and camera. We soon get a chain reaction of other characters coming onto the show to outdo each other, Mr Krabs advertising the Krusty Krab, Sandy dancing, Pearl cheerleading and Plankton destroying things, none of which Squidward lifts a finger at. It gets even worse when Bikini Bottomites mistake this for a large shindig, and Squidward’s booted off the show and is replaced by Zeus as the presenter. It all around becomes a story that dissolves into wacky colours before your very eyes, instead of one that continues to develop until it reaches a sensible conclusion.

I know this is the first episode after what I can assume is a break for the writers, I’d expect one of two things- either they’re refreshed and ready to deliver more comedy, or they’re aimless without a backbone to support themselves. This episode dips more towards the latter, as the good jokes are rather sparse here. The joke I remember most is when Patrick says his stupidity varies, which is what people point to when they say how to do a fourth wall lean better than the one in The Card. That’s where the positivity ends however, as much of this episode relies on either the characters being dumb, like Patrick chewing on a camera, or being loud and mindless, like the end of the story.

The one thing I should mention first about the animation is that the colours are slightly brighter than in 6, but that’s the only major difference except for the absence of gross-out. As opposed to 6 where some disgusting image would be in nearly every episode, 7 is more a half-and-half deal. In terms of the animation for this episode specifically, there’s one alright moment at the beginning in the title sequence for “The Guitar Lord”, where it pans up a pile of bodies, but other than that, you have nothing good to speak of. Zeus’ design is unique, but how do his thin legs support his giant head? You also get SpongeBob donning his Springer cheeks when trying to massage Squidward, but that’s the only other thing I wanted to talk about.

I feel like this episode was bent on showing as many characters as possible as a sort of warm-up for the animation team, but that results in things getting pretty bloated towards the end. SpongeBob and later Patrick don’t have much of a personality aside from finding ways to bother Squidward, which is a notion that eventually carries into every Bikini Bottomite. Would Sandy and Pearl really do something to annoy him in any other context? Squidward himself is quite a doormat here, in contrast with what you’d expect from his day being ruined in episodes like Good Neighbours. Heck, perhaps even more considering his only real chance at stardom is slowly crushed to pieces. As for newcomer Zeus, he’s silly but not compelling in any way; he really should’ve stayed in the beginning of the episode as a sign any loser can get their own show.

I wasn’t expecting the season premiere to be this bad, but this kinda shows I’ve got some dark times ahead of me. Tentacle Vision is just another STP that’s hard on Squidward despite him not doing anything terrible, but it’s worse than most due to its near-lack of energy. Couple this with some jokes about characters being stupid that won’t appeal to anyone but children, and you get an episode that lacks the ability to keep my interest. There’s nothing worse than an episode that doesn’t even care about itself by the end, which is why it has to be the worst season premiere at this point. All I have left to say is I hope The Guitar Lord is soon replaced by excessive Teen Titans Go! reruns. One down, 49 to go.

Question of the Day: If you had your own public access show, what would it be about?

Who put tomorrow’s episode on the planet? Ugh!
:sbthumbs:
 

Honest Slug

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My opinions:

(9/10)
1, Not Normal

(8/10)
2. Krabby Road
3. Chum Bucket Supreme

(7/10)
4. Suction Cup Symphony
5. The Slumber Party
6. No Hat for Pat

(6/10)
7. Single Cell Anniversary
8. Krusty Krushers
9. Overbooked
10. A Life in a Day

(5/10)
11. Chum Caverns
12. No Nose Knows
13. Grandpappy the Pirate
14. SpongeBob vs. the Big One

(4/10)
15. Sand Castles in the Sand
16. Spongicus
17. Komputer Overload
18. The Krabby Kronicle
19. Patty Caper
20. Ditchin'
21. House Fancy

(3/10)
22. Nautical Novice
23. Penny Foolish
24. Grooming Gary
25. Porous Pockets
26. Shell Shocked
27. Gullible Pants
28. Plankton's Regular
29. To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants

(2/10)
30. The Splinter
31. Shuffle-Boarding
32. Giant Squidward
33. Toy Story of Doom
34. Professor Squidward
35. Pineapple Fever
36. Cephalopod Lodge
37. Gone
38. Sun Bleached
39. Dear Vikings

(1/10)
40. The Clash of Triton
41. Slide Whistle Stooges
42. The Card
43. Squid's Visit
44. Choir Boys
45. Pet or Pests

(0/10)
46. Boating Buddies
47. Truth or Square

The season is terrible.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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I <3 Dancing (Season 7, Episode 1b)
Original Airdate: July 19 2009
Episode 245 in standard order, Episode 243 in airing order
Plot: Jealous of SpongeBob getting a dance audition, Squidward tries to tire him out
Written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas and Mr Lawrence

[titlecard]127B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Old Hilo March

If I’ve learned something valuable from watching 52 bad SpongeBob episodes and counting, it’s that good things can and always will come from bad episodes, whether it be a background that catches your interest or a joke that feels like it belongs in a good one. This is an episode that can be put in the latter category, and I’ll try to explain this particular joke’s success later on this review, but if it weren’t for that line, I can see this episode just being forgettable, if not a waste of space. Is there more to it than I thought upon rewatching it, or is it just what I’ve been describing this whole time, and a candidate for 53rd bad episode?

The day begins just as you’d expect- Squidward and SpongeBob walking to the Krusty Krab, though the latter is in a much more energetic mood than usual, as he spends the day dancing. At first, I couldn’t get what made this such a special, interesting way to start the episode and introduce the day, but the longer SpongeBob dances, the more you understand what it is the episode’s on about. His energy, his passion and all his moves are pretty fun to watch, and it helps that it first seems like the story could take a turn for the compelling. However, it eventually turns out to be a little boring.

SpongeBob serves a music agent who asks him to audition for a production, which makes Squidward jealous. The story then takes on an approach similar to Slimy Dancing, only instead of wanting to improve SpongeBob’s techniques, Squidward’s aiming at tiring him out so he can take SpongeBob’s place. This doesn’t make Squidward out to be likeable, but once SpongeBob eventually collapses and Squidward somehow aces the audition, it’s revealed that his director is going to be Squilliam. It’s a neat twist ending, given how this is the first and only time Squilliam’s part to play in a story has been a surprise, but it falls flat when you realise this is the end. Overall, it’s a pretty weak story that’s too thin for 3 or 4 paragraphs, but the bulk of your enjoyment should come from the stuff they do in the parts where SpongeBob dances.

That one joke people remember is SpongeBob asking Squidward “Who put you on the planet?”, which is such a abrupt, mean thing for him to say that it comes off as fantastic. It helps that this isn’t SpongeBob being out of character just because, Squilliam shows later on that it’s part of a particular dance. Aside from that, much of the comedy comes from the dancing, and they don’t do a bad job of animating it. You get some cool flips, moonwalking, more interpretive dancing set to classical music, and some sort of abstract finger/magician trick that reminds me of the music video for “Seven Nation Army”. It’ll never give Jellyfish Jam a run for its money, but it’s goofy fun that gives you a smirk.

The characters are a mix here. The bad stuff comes from the main characters unfortunately. First up is SpongeBob who, despite being the source of the episode’s energy, can’t partake in balet without tripping up for some reason. He’s happy, but that’s about it, he’s just a sucker to Squidward, who acts particularly nasty here. Why would we want to sympathise with our straight man character if he’s going to bully SpongeBob through the episode? Of course this is balanced out by some pretty neat side characters, like the cute woman who discovers SpongeBob at the Krusty Krab, and I can’t get enough of Squilliam’s surprise appearance.

In short, I think there’s a reason people only remember the planet joke. The story’s far too easy to describe, and the main characters are simplified to an unrelatable degree. At least the animation with the dancing and motion is rather nice, but really, who else but me is going to notice that? I feel like some people will put a little more attention on the side characters here, but even then, the following for background SpongeBob characters isn’t as massive as that for contemporary toons. It’s certainly not a bad episode, as I’ll remember it for the positives over the negatives, but it’s not a good sign when the first two episodes of your season both aren’t good at all.

Question of the Day: Who put you on the planet? Ugh!

You may get a hint that this season isn’t growing on me. Until then, time for the stupidest dance moves you’ve ever seen.
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Growth Spout (Season 7, Episode 2a)
Original Airdate: July 19 2009
Episode 246 in standard order, Episode 244 in airing order
Plot: When Pearl hits a growth spout at night, Mr Krabs has to scurry around town finding food
Written by Aaron Springer and Richard Pursel

[titlecard]128A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: The Twin Sisters

With a character like Pearl, they were bound to do a story about adolescent growth at some point. I’m thankful this doesn’t touch upon the nitty-gritty aspects of that growth, but rather just a growth spurt (or spout as it’s called here). Thankfully this episode doesn’t get too gross with anything it throws at you, but does that immediately make it good? I remember being unsure over whether this was funny, and although some funny stuff has stuck with me, the story and how the characters act (even whether or not some characters were in it) was a blur.

The story starts as Mr Krabs is going to bed, but not before doing his teeth. Unbeknownst to him, a large grey appendage shoots out through the mirror of the bathroom, and he “wackily” makes a deal out of something else. Hearing her daughter Pearl yell in pain, he checks on her and sees that she’s going through a growth spout and needs food. I’d argue that this isn’t how a teenage growth spout works, but this is clearly a cartoon and it does its job to exaggerate real things. Pearl becomes a blubbering monster demanding food, so Mr Krabs has to find a way to keep her full. Since all the stores in Bikini Bottom are closed at night (this is what happens in a world without McDonald’s), Krabs has to resort to stealing. I can question his moral ethics for as long as I want, but there’s a big problem on his hands he has to sort out.

His first stop is Mrs Puff’s house, where he attempts to steal peanut/squash-looking vegetables from her garden, only to discover they’re sentient creatures who spit slime. At least they don’t make it as disgusting or vomit-like as in Pet or Pests, but it’s still a gross moment. Following his first failed attempt, he stops by at Patrick’s only to find that all the food in his fridge (and the fridge itself) is made of sand. He does manage to score some soggy Kelpo cereal that Patrick fell asleep in, which makes me wonder if Patrick was dumb enough to eat cereal for dinner, or if he just slept through the whole day, neither of which would surprise me.

He tosses the cereal, bowl and all, into Pearl’s mouth, but she still demands more. The next house he goes to is Squidward’s, meaning he walked all the way to Conch Street twice (and will do so later on). He grabs all the fancy deli meat Squidward’s saved, but is put under suspicion of the cops, disguising his sack of food as him practicing a Santa impression. His last stop after this is SpongeBob’s house, where the boyo mistakes Krabs sneaking into his kitchen for a sleepover, only for Squidward to yell at Mr Krabs for stealing his food, but otherwise manages to get off well with a promise of vacation. SpongeBob reveals he has a secret recipe that can make one Krabby Patty taste like several to help Pearl out, and after they wait until morning to feed her, he reveals it to be love. Corny, but a fun way to close this rather messy episode out.

The reason I call it messy isn’t just because the story’s all over the place, but because the comedy’s very hit-or-miss. My favourite part is where Mr Krabs is trying to pass off a Santa impression to the police, only for it to cut to them driving with the sirens on…taking Krabs back to his house excited for Christmas. However, there are some that don’t fly with me, like Patrick lying face-first in soggy cereal, and the whole ordeal with Pearl growing and being unable to move. It’s honestly disturbing seeing her so frozen in hunger that she has to scream and beg for food, but it isn’t particularly bothersome compared to the stuff I’ve seen from this show before.

I guess that mainly comes from the animation and how they show her growing. At first she seems to have different body parts growing at different rates, but still looks wrinkly and deformed. Once she has a Krabby Patty however, she just looks like herself only doubled in size. I also have to note some gratuitous use of CGi on Squidward’s door as Mr Krabs is opening it. Was the art team really at a point where they couldn’t be stuffed animating a door a couple times? I’m sure showing one thing from 4 or 5 different angles is one of the easiest things to do in animation. I know this is rather nitpicky, but it’s a problem that continues throughout the rest of the season as far as I remember.

Characterization here is also a bit too average to call good. First you have Mr Krabs, who’s going all over the place in search of food due to all the stores being closed at night, which is hard to believe in our modern world of 24/7 stores being all over the place (maybe he just doesn’t want to spend money, in which case this is rather horrible). Pearl just sits in “bed” and complains, though given how painful the growth spout must be, I wouldn’t argue too much about her behaviour. SpongeBob’s fine here, being a good civilian who knows how to bring justice to an out-of-hand situation. The other characters, like Squidward, Mrs Puff, her pets and the cops who spend 5 seconds writing stuff down in notepads, aren’t that memorable here, sorry to say.

Growth Spout is another episode that’s in the middle, for having some good things and some bad things, much like I <3 Dancing. The positives include some good jokes sprinkled throughout and a subject that fits well for a Pearl episode, but the negatives are the nutty story, questionable choices from Mr Krabs, pretty weak animation and other jokes that are either long or stale). If you’re prebuescent and are wondering if this is actually what teenagers go through, don’t worry. I’m just fishing for some subtext in the episode because I really don’t know how to cap this review off.

Question of the Day: Thoughts on CGi in the show?

The next episode has been put through quite the wringer by its critics.
:sbthumbs:
 

Honest Slug

Ink Lemonade hurts me.
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Growth Spout is pretty good.

Question of the day: It's mostly okay except for that stupid Atlantis special.
 

Night-Waker

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QOTD: A lot of times when the show does CGI, it looks out of place and awkward, but they don't use it too often, and when they do, it's usually only for a few moments at the most, so I don't mind it.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Stuck in the Wringer (Season 7, Episode 2b)
Original Airdate: July 19 2009
Episode 247 in standard order, Episode 245 in airing order
Plot: SpongeBob gets stuck in his bathroom wringer, and Patrick tries to help him
Written by Zeus Cervas, Sean Charmatz and Derek Iversen

[titlecard]128B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Wahini Wobble

Poor Patrick. When it comes to characters who were hit the hardest by one-dimensional writing without Hillenburg’s supervision, Patrick is easily the one on top. What was once a character that could take the show’s dumber, more ignorant sense of humour in a wonderful direction, had become an egotistical nuisance who could tarnish an episode if he played too much of a part in it. The seething hatred for Patrick’s character will often come back around to this episode and how idiotic they make him here, so this was a rather interesting character study upon review. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really bad episode, but there’s something intriguing to just how bad it is and how it could’ve been a lot better with some adjustments.

Everything seems to be going fine with SpongeBob during his morning shower, until his soap becomes too slippery. In fact it becomes so slippery that once he’s done washing up, wringer and all because he’s a sponge, he fears slipping on the soap, and a newly introduced rubber ducky, in cartoonish hi-jinks. It’s a shame that this fear becomes true and he’s lodged pretty far into his wringer. Patrick comes over to get his rubber ducky, but instead of helping to get SpongeBob unstuck from his predicament, he glues him in using “forever glue”, making him stuck forever. This is a clear-cut case of him only being used as a convenient way to make the situation worse, which is contrasted poorly with his chipper nature here.

SpongeBob doesn’t think he can safely go to work, but Patrick breaks the wringer, making him mobile again, and encourages him to do his job. I understand he means well in not wanting SpongeBob’s spirits to be dampened, but this should be the point where he calls 911, not telling his friend he’ll be okay with a clear brachial handicap. The wringer proves to be disastrous at work, as SpongeBob constantly hurts Squidward by accident and even knocks the cash register over, spilling money that the customers take without conscience or rational thought. This whole Krusty Krab part was a slow, mean part of the episode that could’ve been easily cut, as all it really shows is how hard it is for SpongeBob to function when he’s stuck in the wringer, which anyone who’s ever had their arms tied behind their back can relate to.

Upon being let off work due to his inability to work well, SpongeBob meets up with Patrick again and they try to cheer him up by going to various places. Their first stop is Weenie Hut Jrs, making its grand return after 7 years offscreen, but SpongeBob can’t eat the ice cream due to the wringer tightening his stomach. Granted the writers probably forgot sponges could filter feed by this point, this brought up how SpongeBob’s likely to starve to death if he can’t eat something as soft as ice cream. They then go to the carnival, but SpongeBob attains some injuries, including a black eye from a ball toss game and bruises from falling off a familiar teacup ride.

Patrick fortunately has the time of his life at said carnival, but SpongeBob’s reached his breaking point and yells at Patrick for his uncaring attitude. This remains one of the most controversial scenes in the series’ history, because let’s be honest, it’s satisfying to see SpongeBob tear into Patrick and call him out for his actions. On the other hand, there’s a reason the Post-Movie writers stuck to making him happy at default for 99% of the time. Patrick, who’d been trying his hardest to make his buddy feel alright all day, runs away crying. It’s clear the message had sunken in that he’d been neglectful, but he could’ve handled it in a better way. However, there’s no excuse for the Bikini Bottomites chastising SpongeBob and saying he deserved what he got. Yes, the same group of people who were seen stealing money off the floor minutes prior are now hating on SpongeBob for being frustrated about a possibly lifelong threat.

Patrick really takes SpongeBob’s words to heart and tries his hardest not to help him, but helpfulness eventually (and I mean eventually) prevails, and he sees SpongeBob’s bordering on insanity, having shut himself off from the outside world and just sitting in his chair, possibly waiting for Autumn. Sad that he’s ruined SpongeBob’s life, Patrick begins to cry, where they discover tears can melt the forever glue. It’s such a poorly written convenience this late in the story, and it seems it was only done so they could satirise the message of crying to solve your problems. Don’t get me wrong, crying can be a powerful tool in fiction to show just how upset a character has gotten, but it’s not the best message to put in a kids show, as they could take it the wrong way rather easily. As if the story couldn’t get any more ironic, both SpongeBob and Patrick get stuck in the wringer after it’s thrown in the air, with Patrick wanting to put on more glue.

One of the worst things I find about this episode is it rarely tries to be funny. It’s generally an episode designed to make you care about the story, and as such, the jokes feel like they come out of nowhere, which is not a good feeling to get when watching an episode of SpongeBob. There are some things here that can bring a smile, like Patrick encouraging SpongeBob to go to work as a Krabby Patty flag waves in the background, and the carnival having a sign saying it’s always around, but other than that, you get a weak joke about the wringer being a bike rack, and SpongeBob anthropomorphising his soap, brain and heart, with the latter two looking unnatural.

That brings me into the animation, which includes the worst art direction I’ve seen in the season so far. As I said, the anthropomorphic organs are uncanny, and there’s clear gross-out throughout the episode. Why would SpongeBob’s brain have mould and spider webs on it? There’s also a scene in which SpongeBob shoots mustard in Squidward’s eyes, and the shrivel and fall off his face, which I find to be creepy, but in a dumb sort of way. I know mustard tastes funny, but I doubt it’s acidic. You also get SpongeBob’s design as he’s beat up and tired towards the episode, which only serves to show how much Patrick’s destroyed him.

Now onto what I think about the characters, and this is often pointed to as what the episode does worst. Everyone here, except for one individual, has a mean streak at some point. SpongeBob, as previously mentioned, eventually yells at Patrick for how little he’d done to help him out, Squidward mocks SpongeBob for his “new attire”, and Mr Krabs kicks SpongeBob out of work without even trying to fix the wringer problem. He has big, meaty claws, he can do it with the right elbow grease. This isn’t even mentioning the background characters, who are extreme hypocrites through and through, making Bikini Bottom seem like a nastier place to live. These characters prove that the episode has an overall sour tone, hopeless even.

All except for one of them, Patrick. They seem to make him a puppy dog, being the only one who’s heart is in the right place for the entire episode, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he glues his best friend into a contraption he’s trying to get out of, pays little attention to how terrible his life’s going after the damage is far done, tries his hardest not to check up on him after a falling-out, and suggests for the same shenanigans to ensue all over again when he gets stuck in the mess himself. Sure, no character here is well and truly salvageable, but at least in Patrick’s case, and how much he wants to help his buddy old pal when he feels like it, there’s at least an ounce of heart put in that keeps it from being an 11 minute jerkfest.

So yeah, this episode is pretty high up there in terms of the ones I hate the most so far, but I don’t think it’s a Scummy episode. While the story sporadically becomes dreary and mean, making the bright spots seem like worthless fluff, the characters are all aggressive except for the one who causes a majority of the problems, and the animation could put much of Season 6’s gross-out to shame, I can see where the writers were coming from. This is clearly an episode that was made to test the two main characters’ friendship, and although these stories never been perfect, they at least put both of them on equal planes of relatability, perhaps putting SpongeBob slightly higher. Stuck in the Wringer makes both of them out to be a short fuse and a plot device respectively, which causes any route you want to take to be contaminated by horrible motives. This is easily one of the most interesting bad episodes of the whole series, because it’s a real study of how to flip the core basics of SpongeBob’s mood, humour and heart on their head.

Question of the Day: Who is your least favourite character in this episode?

The next episode pretty much has nothing to hide. Until then, enjoy SpongeBob’s favourite TV show.
:sbthumbs:
 

Depressed Luigi

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QOTD: The fish that says "It's not you that's the problem. It's your heart. You deserve what you've gotten"
 

Klu

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You know, I really hated this episode as a kid and that's says something. I tolerated toenail scene from House Fancy and entirety of The Splinter, for crying out loud.
This episode is complete garbage and easily top-10 worst episodes material. And you what's the funniest part? RUSSIAN NICKELODEON AIRED THIS EPISODE 24/7. :wut:
I hate this piece of trash.

QOTD: I hate entire main cast, which is also true for many episodes from season 6 to 8.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Someone’s in the Kitchen with Sandy (Season 7, Episode 3a)
Original Airdate: July 19 2009
Episode 148 in standard order, Episode 146 in airing order
Plot: Plankton steals Sandy’s fur as a disguise to get the secret formula from SpongeBob
Written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas and Dani Michaeli

[titlecard]129A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Tentically Speaking

With tons of episodes from this era, you can tell they were planned to be dark or risque, and it showed that the vision was intact by the time the episode went to air. This is a special case where it seems like Nickelodeon had to step in and censor it because it wasn’t looking safe enough to air on the First Kids Network. You can see remnants of this in the storyboards which are some of the few that can be found online, with Sandy looking a lot scarier without her fur and actually being naked. It’s clear that this could’ve just been a naughty joke premise that went too far into production, and it really shows in how directionless and dry it is.

The story starts at the Krusty Krab, where Plankton has disguised himself by hiding in a sesame seed on a bun. Is it bad when the best thing about this episode is the initial zoom-in reveal to this? I don’t understand how being on top of the bun is going to help him get the formula, as he’s in serious danger of being eaten. In fact, he’s almost eaten by Sandy, who lifts the patty through her shirt and eats it in her helmet like a pig, all without springing a leak or having her suit flooded with water. Plankton narrowly escapes getting eaten, but since there’s supposed to be no water in the helmet, he still faints.

After she finishes her Krabby Patty, Sandy goes back home and has a shower, and it’s here we see her fur is actually some kind of secondary suit, as she can take it off to wash her bare flesh, yet she still keeps her bikini on because Nick wouldn’t show one of its female characters naked on a dare…until Feral Friends. Because some of the shower water splashes into her helmet, Plankton regains consciousness and whips up a new plan to diguise himself as Sandy’s fur. He grabs the fur coat, as in the entire thing at his miniscule size, and fits it into the helmet and jumps out locking the door, with Sandy not noticing anything.

With some adjustments, he turns it into a robot and heads off to the Krusty Krab, with Larry bumping into him and mistaking him for Sandy. This shows how despite Plankton controlling something that looks like roadkill, everybody’s going to think it’s the real Sandy, including SpongeBob. Speaking of who, he’s at his comedic worst here, not delivering one funny line while stating how he’s not allowed to share the secret formula to hs friends, only to start giving careful instructions on how to build a Krabby Patty. Meanwhile, Sandy breaks out of her bathroom, and instead of grabbing her suit and a spare helmet, grabs a coffee jug and wears that on her head. Given how she’s simplified into just being “the smart one”, this seems like a character-related oversight.

Perhaps the worst part of the whole episode is how the citizens treat Sandy. They already don’t get along well, but with her fur stolen, she’s laughed at, insulted and seen as a monster. This is all topped off when she gets arrested at the end for public nudity. Bear in mind she caught Plankton, who’s trying to steal the formula again and has a criminal record. This would make sense if she were just skin, not wearing any clothes, but she is wearing her standard purple bikini. I get that’s still indecent exposure, but it’s nothing worthy of arrest, and all could’ve been avoided if she just put her suit on. To tell you the truth, the writing in this episode is nutty.

There are next to no jokes in this episode. The funniest you’ll see it get is Plankton practicing his Texan drawl in an attempt to imitate Sandy, which is dragged out to the point that you’re expecting it upon rewatch. Then there are jokes I just don’t find funny, like Sandy eating a Krabby Patty, or the ending reveal where she’s put under arrest. You also have SpongeBob explaining to Plankton how to delicately prepare a Krabby Patty to absurd degrees, which doesn’t make sense considering he previously said he couldn’t share his patty-making secrets. The rest of the episode lacks humour to such a degree that it’s hard to believe they did two more stories like this later in the season.


There are even pretty bad errors in the animation. Notice how when Plankton’s going into his lab, you see both mobile Karen and big monitor Karen in the same shot. You also get some Sandy-related gross-out, both in how she looks without fur and how Plankton uses her fur, making it look like a corpse. There’s also inconsistency with the Austin Powers-style censorship, where objects like seaweed will cover Sandy, which don’t make sense in the final version of the episode for obvious reasons. Other than those points, the only thing I liked about this whole episode, as I stated earlier, was the beginning zoom-in as a reveal to Plankton’s first plan.

The characters here are paper-thin when they’re not making nonsensical choices. SpongeBob goes through the same beats as he did in Imitation Krabs, though with none of the common sense and comedic timing present in that episode. Sandy’s shunned by Bikini Bottom sure, but what was preventing her from putting on her suit and a spare helmet? She has fish visit her in spare helmets all the time, why couldn’t she wear that instead of a jug? Even Plankton isn’t very interesting, as they put all their eggs in making his Southern accent sound funny. I could continue to argue about the behaviour of the Bikini Bottomites, but I’ve already typed what I needed to type. You also get a brief appearance from Larry, but he only serves to introduce the notion that Sandy’s fur without eyes or a mouth looks like Sandy to fish.

Overall, this is the first major screw-up this season. It’s littered with dumb and mean character moments, and worst of all, it’s not entertaining. Every time I think about how I feel with other episodes, they have something decent, yet all this episode has is a pan-in at the very beginning. Even with Stuck in the Wringer, if I could look into the episode hard enough, I could find some heart in it alongside all the reasons it failed. With this, the more I think about its problems, the more they pile up, making it look like a bankrupt man’s Imitation Krabs.

Question of the Day: You see a naked woman on the street trying to find her clothes, or someone who stole them. What do you do?

To devout fans, it should be a no-brainer what the next episode is.
:sbthumbs:
 

Depressed Luigi

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"To tell you the truth, the writing in this episode is nutty." I see what you did there....

QOTD: Panick because I'm no good at these kinds of situations
 
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