SpongeBob Reviews: Season 1 (Hooky/Mermaidman and Barnacleboy II)

titlecard_hooky

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the implications of this show taking place under the sea. It’s not like the show strives for realism… ever. I like this episode because it takes advantage of its setting in an interesting way. It shows us how these underwater characters react to above water practices like fishing.

The episode begins with Mr. Krabs warning everyone that “the hooks” are back, though the only one that seems to be listening to him is SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs tells him that the hooks are dangerous, that if he goes near one he’ll be dragged up to the surface and never heard from again.

SpongeBob promises to stay away from the hooks, but Patrick convinces him to ditch work to come to a carnival, which turns out to be a fishing ground. Hooks are everywhere, and SpongeBob and Patrick discover that they can grab onto them, get whisked high into the air, then jump off and float safely to the bottom of the sea again. Finding this fun, they do it several times before being caught my Mr. Krabs. This time Mr. Krabs goes into more detail about what happens if they don’t jump off before being dragged to the surface, and they both promise once again not to go near the hooks.

The next day, however, SpongeBob comes by a hook on his way to work, and he can’t resist the temptation. Only this time, the hooks actually gets stuck on his pants. I’m not sure why he or someone else can’t just take the hook out, it looks like it would be pretty easy, but whatever. He runs to the Krusty Krab to beg Mr. Krabs for help, and Mr. Krabs says there’s nothing to do but take off his pants, and then take off his underwear when it turns out the hook in stuck in those too. SpongeBob is reluctant to be completely naked in front of Mr. Krabs as well as Pearl and her friends who happen to be there, and who can blame him? However, the underpants do come off and SpongeBob is humiliated, but his lesson is learned.

I’ve seen people complain about the ending of this episode. It turns out that Squidward was the one holding this particular hook, and he and Mr. Krabs were just trying to teach SpongeBob a lesson, and some people think that what they did was too harsh. I guess I see what they mean, it is a bit extreme, but at the same time… well, SpongeBob did need to learn that lesson. Clearly just talking to him about it wasn’t enough and Mr. Krabs was right to think that he needed an extra push. That said, humiliating and scaring someone is a pretty mean way of teaching them a lesson. But having said that, I mean, the ending is too silly for me to really care that much? I get where you’re coming from if you don’t like the ending, but I can’t be too bothered about it myself.

Anyway, I really like this episode. I kind of wish there were more episodes like this, ones that addressed how the underworld world is affected by our world. I find it interesting how they react to the fishing hooks. How Mr. Krabs is terrified of them but most think of him as overreacting and paranoid, how SpongeBob and Patrick actually have fun with them, how the hooks are actually really tempting which just makes them more dangerous.

When rewatching Hooky for this review, I noticed something that I hadn’t before. When SpongeBob is first brought to the hooks, SpongeBob remarks how there’s no one else at the “carnival”, and Patrick says something about how there was a kid there earlier but they appear to have left. I never noticed but the implication is that that kid didn’t escape the hooks. Y’all. That kid is dead.

I like that the fishing hooks are presented as something deadly and scary, because of course they would be to the underwater creatures. I just think it’s interesting idea for an episode.

Rating: 8/10

mermaid_man_and_barnacle_boy_ii

Hm. A Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode. I like it slightly more than I like the first one, but since I don’t think much of the first one anyway that’s not saying much.

The story is that SpongeBob wins a contest and the prize is a conch shell that summons Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. The shell is only supposed to be used in emergencies, but SpongeBob ends up using it all the time for minor favors. Barnacle Boy eventually becomes annoyed and tries to take the conch shell away from SpongeBob, which makes him cry. All SpongeBob wanted was to spend time with his heroes, he didn’t mean any harm.

Mermaid Man: Barnacle Boy, don’t squash his enthusiasm. After all, he could be the hero of tomorrow, or the villain. Besides, I remember another young whipper-snapper, who wanted to be a super-hero. [chuckles]

Barnacle Boy: You don’t even remember breakfast, you old coot.

This is actually a cute exchange. I like the implication that Barnacle Boy might have been somewhat similar to SpongeBob when he was younger.

Mermaid Man concedes that the conch shell may be too much responsibility for SpongeBob, but he offers to let SpongeBob patrol with them for the day. Things don’t go well and they plan on ditching him, but they change their minds when SpongeBob helps them defeat the Dirty Bubble. Well, kind of. It was an accident. But still.

I like that Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are a bit more kindly in this episode than they were in their first, particularly Mermaid Man. There’s actually some sweet moments between the two of them and SpongeBob and I like that, while they do eventually become annoyed with him, they make an effort to reach out to him too. They appreciate his enthusiasm, even if it is a bit extra.

None of the jokes in this episode make me laugh much, but I do smile at quite a few of them. The beginning of the episode has some good moments, like the whole montage of SpongeBob blowing the conch shell only to ask MM and BB to do something silly like open a jar of mayonnaise. Not super funny, but it’s definitely amusing and cute.

That’s a good word for this episode. Cute. I can’t think of much about it that I love and it’s not one I’ll watch over and over again, but it’s enjoyable enough.

Rating: 5.5/10

Whoo. That’s season 1 done! I’ll make a post going over my thoughts about the season as a whole before I go into season 2.

 

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