The other night I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and she mentioned with an eyeroll that her son had been watching SpongeBob SquarePants. Her reaction, like that of so many parents, is that SpongeBob is just like candy – the kids like it but there’s absolutely nothing good about letting them have it.
I remember, long before having kids, watching a few episodes of SpongeBob and thinking it was cool-looking and funny. And then I didn’t think anything else about it. One weekend a couple months ago, we watched a lot of SpongeBob. Like, several episodes back to back. There must have been bad weather or Olive was sick or something because we generally don’t do marathons. Anyway, with each episode, I started to appreciate the show more and more. It’s very funny, as I remembered. The episodes are packed with weird little surprises, like live action bits with Tom Kenny (the actor who voices SpongeBob) and other photographic bits that add to the surreal nature of the show. It’s also wonderfully carefree. Even in the face of crabby Squidward or greedy Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob is always this happy little guy, totally content with life.
I’m happy when Olive watches educational shows, but there’s something to be gained from watching pure, unbridled creativity in action, too. And all that spongey joy. Listen, they must be doing something right because Nickelodeon just picked up the ninth season of SpongeBob SquarePants which will include SpongeBob’s 200th episode.
If you’re not convinced, here’s what I want you to do. Head over to your Netflix on demand and spend an hour or so in Bikini Bottom. Grab a couple episodes at random to get into the groove of the show. When you’ve done that, I want you to watch the Season 3 episode, “SpongeBob B.C.”, clearly some of the best TV of all time (You can also watch it on Nick.com.) Give it time to settle in before it goes all Stanley Kubrick on you.
Cheers to SpongeBob. Happy 9th Season!