By: Anthony Landahl
After hearing the news that Netflix will be releasing a new show featuring Squidward Q. Tentacles, SpongeBob Squarepants’ uptight and boujee neighbor, my opponent, Jade, seemed skeptical.
How can you spin a show off one of the most iconic cartoon characters ever? Simply by appealing to a niche audience, of course.
Squidward’s best moments come from when he is the victim of SpongeBob’s idiotic actions or when he is wildly fortunate.
Unknowingly, he may be responsible for some of the funniest SpongeBob moments out there. One example is the episode “Squidville,” where Squidward lives in a neighborhood without SpongeBob and discovers the classic “Canned Bread” product in the supermarket.
Another, which now sits in the Pantheon of all-time “SpongeBob SquarePants” episodes, is “Band Geeks.” In this one, Squidward needs to prove to his arch-nemesis Squilliam that he can lead a marching band full of musically-clueless musicians. This spawns the timeless quote from Patrick Star of “Is mayonnaise an instrument?” and a performance worthy of being broadcasted during this year’s Super Bowl Halftime show.
In this new show, Squidward will have more opportunities to triumph over his enemies or fail miserably at the hands of hubris. Will this spin-off take place in high school? College? Will it be the early days before SpongeBob and Patrick moved next door? Will Squidward have a love interest? Will it jump off of the original storyline?
There are many storylines that can be created with a character like this, while still being funny. There are those Squidward fans out there: the ones who root for his victories and the ones who want SpongeBob to hit him in the face with a door multiple times.
Regardless, Squidward’s dry humor and high-class standards will have the legs to take-off running in Netflix’s next experiment. Will this run as long as the “SpongeBob” series has? No. But it will certainly provide at least two seasons of comedy gold.
By: Jade Sewell
Let’s be honest: the Squidward spin-off series on Netflix will be tragic. Don’t get me wrong, I love Squidward’s pessimism just as much as the next person, but he’s just not capable of holding down an interesting series by himself.
If the series even hopes to succeed, it will need the entire original cast, which just doesn’t seem plausible. The choice to make it a musical also seems rather odd. Although we have seen music-based episodes and a Broadway musical, SpongeBob is a cartoon. My fear is that the musical aspect of the show will seem forced.
The best part of “SpongeBob SquarePants” is the nostalgia. I haven’t watched the show in years, but I’ll always remember my favorites. I mean, who could forget the necessary steps to protect yourself from a sea bear attack?
SpongeBob was a large part of my generation’s childhood and, perhaps, the most influential TV show. Today, the most popular Twitter memes are based around SpongeBob. That’s the language of Gen Z. However, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone my age who still keeps up with current episodes.
SpongeBob’s biggest fan base has moved on, content with reliving the nostalgia. Given what we already know about the new series, I don’t see it reclaiming many fans. Most aren’t really the musical type.
I have yet to meet someone who’s absolutely thrilled about this spin-off. Disney+ received huge hype from individuals of many generations, a Squidward spin-off is pretty niche in comparison. It’s not going to be enough to get viewers back.
At the end of the day, SpongeBob should be left to exist as we remember it.