SpongeBob SquarePants is a beloved show that was ostensibly for children when it was first released -- oh God, over 20 years ago? -- and has held up remarkably well as we all grew up. SpongeBob is an underemployed guy who doesn't own a vehicle, lives alone, and has never had romantic prospects, loves his cat-like pet snail, and his favorite hobby is fishing. Despite all that, he still largely maintains an upbeat, positive attitude about life and cares deeply about just about everything. We could all learn from SpongeBob.
And yet, we're about to get a wildly unnecessary prequel series, Kamp Koral.
It should be made clear that this would never have happened if SpongeBob's creator, Stephen Hillenburg, were still around. He passed away from ALS in late 2018 and was very adamantly against spinoffs and prequels and the like. He was hardly on board with the idea of more movies. He knew it would take away from SpongeBob himself and the mythology he'd built up to keep spinning things off. Horrifyingly, Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins once called SpongeBob Nick's "Marvel Universe." Now, the folks behind this under-the-sea dive into SpongeBob's childhood are going pee on Hillenburg's wishes to retcon the small amount of concrete canon this show had.
For example, that image shows a very young Sandy Cheeks. Some of you might remember that Sandy and SpongeBob didn't actually meet until a chance encounter in Season 1.
There are also some age discrepancies they're going to have to weirdly attempt to reconcile. According to these fan wikis, SpongeBob and Squidward are about 14 years apart, age-wise. What that means in sea-creature years, I can't say, but they probably shouldn't be sharing a bunk at summer camp. Also, in that photo, Squidward looks, dare I say it, happy? Excited? At what point did his spirit break? Are we going to have to see that on screen? No thanks.
But chances are, yes, we will see that because Mister Krabs is apparently a camp counselor at Kamp Koral. And if there's anyone who can break Squidward, it's him. Krabs is also uncomfortably ripped for a crustacean. Is this show going to address how Krabs went from war veteran to miserly restaurateur? Was that war before or after his summer camp job?
People sometimes forget how dark this show could get so far under the sea. No brightly-colored baby version is going to do the original show the justice it deserves, and it honestly just sounds like a Planktonian attempt to sink the franchise and steal the secret formula to successful children's television programming. On the bright side, it can't be any weirder than Iranian bootleg SpongeBob.
Top Image: SpongeBob SquarePants/Nickelodeon Studios