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TV preview

'SpongeBob' special moves at a snail's pace

Published November 7, 2005

"Where's Gary?" is the question SpongeBob SquarePants frantically asks in this episode.

But that is not the question we should be asking. We should be asking, where is the SpongeBob we know and love? He certainly isn't in this dull, melodramatic blunder of an episode.

In Where's Gary?, our beloved undersea sponge is taking on a new endeavor: paddle ball. He becomes so obsessed with his new hobby that he forgets to feed his pet snail, Gary. Days pass; then a week. SpongeBob curls up in a corner obsessed with the paddle with a ball attached, too distracted to notice that Gary has run away. Finally, his good friend Patrick snaps him out of his trance and they begin a search for Gary.

Meanwhile, the snail tackles the mean streets of downtown Bikini Bottom until a kind old woman takes him in, mistaking him for her long-lost pet. SpongeBob continues to search while Gary is treated like a prince. However, Gary soon discovers the woman's dark secret, and he becomes desperate to find SpongeBob.

I don't know exactly what the creators of the show were trying to do with this episode. It has about one or two laughs, while the funniest episodes of the show have . One scene midway through the episode is clearly supposed to be heartbreaking. Any tears shed will be from boredom.

Finally, when things get interesting and the big twist is revealed, the episode ends so quickly you wonder if it is really finished.

This was the biggest disappointment, and that's saying something considering there have been a recent slew of strange episodes. People don't watch SpongeBob to be sad. They watch it to laugh.

Someone needs to remind the creators why people liked the show in the first place. At least we can remember when SpongeBob was a hilarious adventure that was loved by kids and adults.

Personally, I'll take the 30 minutes filled with SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward talking gibberish in the caveman days to this.

- Michael Nader, 12, is in seventh grade at St. Paul's School in Clearwater.


Where's Gary?, a special 30-minute episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, airs at 8 p.m. Friday on Nickelodeon.

[Last modified November 4, 2005, 12:23:05]

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