Since we've reached the 40th half hour of SpongeBob, season 2 is now finished! So now I have to release my full thoughts on this season, because oh boy was this a real wild cart of episodes. Not as much as season 1, but there are still a lot of points where the quality can randomly shift from amazing to bad. This season is usually considered the best by pre-movie fanboys, but is it really all that great? Well if you've been reading my reviews then you'd probably know the answer but if you haven't, well you can read this one. Uhhh, <inserttransitionhere>.
To start off this review, let's talk about the fact that the animation style has changed in this season from cel to digital. But does it look better? My answer would be no. You thought I was going to say yes, didn't I? Well the animation here is freaking stiff and the expressions are nowhere near as bouncy or fluid as they were in season 1. I really don't know how the animators managed to go downhill in the animation department so easy cause it's not a long time gap and the animation style switching to digital doesn't seem like that big of a change. Another problem is easily something I hate that reoccurs later on in season 6: PALEBOB. I really hate when SpongeBob and other character's designs have this overly paled design and it looks so distracting and un-SpongeBob like. Even if you don't like the season 1 design, you have to admit at least the animation doesn't try to look ugly. PaleBob doesn't appear in every episode in this season but the few times he does, it can get distracting. I'll also mention Your Shoe's Untied since the animation there is at it's worst. It's this really odd combination of season 1 and season 2's animation and it distracts me from the actual episode because it a lot of the animation doesn't feel right. YSU is one of the weaker season 2 episodes anyways.
Next up, the humor! And here is where I get a whole lot more positive about the season because this is easily one of the most funny seasons in the entire show. It's even more funny than SEASON THREE, a season I prefer to this. While I do enjoy that season more for other reasons, there's no doubt this season is more funny. This season uses a lot of dialogue, slapstick, visual, and any other types of gags you can think of and they utilize them in such a way where the gags are always hitting and they add so many of them you practically drown in laughter. Even the weaker episodes of this season have their great gags simply because of the way season 2 throws the gags at you. One minor problem is that there seems to be more jokefests here than there is in season 1, examples being Life of Crime, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III, I'm with Stupid, etc. But considering how funny most of season 2 is, I just have to call these episodes good, even if admittedly their plots are lacking.
Speaking of plots, that aspect is quite a big problem in this season. Well, the problem mainly applies to about half the season, cause a decent portion of this season DOES have good plots. But what bothers me about these plots is their structure. Take a look at Welcome to the Chum Bucket. That episode has a really well done first half where they develop SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs' friendship and how they are more than just employee and employer. However, in the second half, they forget about that completely and make an extremely idiotic plot that tries to be funny but ends up being horribly unfunny. Another example is Squirrel Jokes. That episode tries to have a serious plot but ends up just being a collection of unfunny jokes. I could list more examples but you probably get the point. Many episodes in this season when their trying to have good plots fail because they are too focused on being funny and therefore the plot either fails or is completely nonexistent. The sad part is the plots here could've worked. There are a few instances where the plots end up being extremely genius like Bossy Boots, Frankendoodle, The Smoking Peanut, Jellyfish Hunter, and my personal favorite of the season, Christmas Who? The reason why these plots work is that they sprinkle jokes in instead of forcing them in, making jokes come and go and flow very nicely. This allows the audience to be able to focus on the plot cause you're not always wondering what the next joke is. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be the case for quite a majority of this season. I'm not saying episodes can't have jokes. I rate episodes like Survival of the Idiots and Gary Takes a Bath as genius episodes and all they do is make jokes. But the problem is when an episode actually tries to have a half-decent story, the jokes bombard it so much that the story ends up getting botched because of the way the writers try to shove in humor in an episode.
Despite all that, there is something I love about a lot of the plots: the twists. Many times this season will catch me off guard with it's twists. While usually the twists are executed in a way where it's supposed to be a joke, I don't think the twists being jokes effects them that much since they still end up being witty. In fact, it makes them even better cause there is an added laugh value to them and makes them even more interesting than if it was just a regular twist.
The characterization in this season is pretty decent. All the characters still have their witty one-liners and a lot of them can end up getting really good character plots like Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm introducing Sandy's adventurous side, or Bossy Boots developing Pearl's character. But in a couple of weaker season 2 episodes, the episodes in this season can feel pretty nasty, like the aforementioned Squirrel Jokes, as well as episodes like Grandma's Kisses, Patty Hype, Dumped, and even the famous Band Geeks. A lot of the time characters act so mean to each other I can't stand to watch. I'm not going to use the term mean-spirited cause that's a really dumb term and I'm not saying these episodes are bad solely because characters are mean. But there are moments where a character does something that shocks me in a bad way and the characters acting like this in certain episodes doesn't make me want to root for them. However, this only applies to a select few episodes and for the most part, the characters are fine and have their good moments.
Well, this review took quite a bit of time to make. But now the moment has come to give this season a rating, that rating being Solid (7.5/10). I know I've said so many cons about this season but really, that's all I can talk about. The main positive is that the humor is godly, and really if the humor is amazing, then I can't call the season truly meh. Plus, these problems don't effect me that much on at least half the season, and even if the other half does contain some of these problems, there are still many other miscellaneous positives that allow the episodes to strive. Not to mention this season is better than season 1, a season I called a low good, statistically, so it wouldn't make sense to rate this the same or of a lower rating than that season. Honestly, if the problems in this season weren't apparent here, this could've gotten a much higher rating, but the problems to bring the season down to just a solid.
We're now moving on to season 3! Stay tuned for the next 20 reviews.