I think it’s high time someone speaks out against Spongebob Squarepants. The show has gone on for far too long and I’ve just discovered that there’s a Patrick Star spin-off. This needs to stop. Everything about the show has changed, to the point where I don’t even consider it the same show that I know and love.
I was a massive Spongebob fan as a kid and still proudly admit to loving the old episodes. I’m sure that many from my generation would agree it was peak cartoon comedy. Spongebob was silly enough for kids to enjoy and peppered in clever adult humor for older audience members. I still laugh when watching the old episodes and am amazed at how this was intended to be a children’s show because it’s genuinely enjoyable for all ages. Because of my deep admiration and nostalgia for the show, it breaks my heart to see the tragic path Spongebob has taken.
The show is completely unrecognizable. It’s unreasonable to assume that it will always be as good as it was in its early years, but this has gone too far. Spongebob became an average children’s cartoon somewhere around its fifth season. Fine for the kids to watch, but boring for adults. Had it stayed like this, I’d have no problem. It still looked like Spongebob. This leads me to my main issue and what I feel ruins its originality: the animation style and delivery of jokes are just plain absurd.
There are no more clever quips. Now the show relies on over-the-top animation. Everything is ridiculously loud and exaggerated. Characters’ eyes bulge out every two seconds and they’re constantly waving their arms around. And why is everyone yelling all the time?
The show is random to the point where it doesn’t even make sense. Randomness, when done well, can be quite funny. But it has to be calculated randomness, done at the right moments and not too far-fetched from the current situation.
Take one of my favorite lines from season 2’s “The Secret Box” episode, for instance, beautifully delivered by the one and only Patrick Star: “The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.” Spongebob and Patrick were fighting over Patrick’s secret box and in the midst of it all, Patrick lays this existential remark on us. Right after, we see a thought bubble of milk spilling, a visualization of what might be going on in Patrick’s mind. Absolutely hilarious. Lines like this were often delivered in a monotone, which adds to the humor because the jokes were witty enough on their own and didn’t need to rely on anything else.
This criticism comes out of a place of love. The continuation of Spongebob and now The Patrick Star Show is completely unnecessary and further ruins the good name of a much-beloved show. No show can stay in its prime forever, and Spongebob was more than enough for me and my generation. To keep it going is a true shame to its legacy.