Thursday, April 22, 2010

SpongeBob Jumps The Driving Instructor

Over the last four-plus years, I've watched many an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants with my kids (and sometimes without them). While the show has brought no small amount of amusement into our world, there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of the episodes produced over the last couple of years, especially the "specials." Now, it seems almost certain that the show has passed the tipping point on its spiral into mediocrity :

SpongeBob SquarePants isn't trying to be greener than Al Gore, but he may have an advantage in reaching out to kids.

"He's funnier," jokes Steven Banks, the show's head writer.

In "SpongeBob's Last Stand," a special Earth Day episode airing Thursday (8/7c on Nickelodeon), SpongeBob and his friend Patrick learn that a superhighway is planned for Bikini Bottom--and that it's going to cut right through Jellyfish Fields. They start a campaign to stop it, even though everyone else seems to be apathetic or pro-highway.

The special, which follows two hours of nature-themed SpongeBob SquarePants episodes, features two musical numbers, including "Give Jellyfish Fields a Chance," a salute to '60s protest songs.

"Sort of Bob Dylan meets John Lennon," Banks tells

Sort of extremely lame meets excruciatingly insipid. When televisions shows are no longer satisfied with merely entertaining us their best days are definitely behind them.

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