Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rock-a-Bye Bivalve

S3 - E9b: Rock-a-Bye Bivalve

When Spongebob and Patrick find a helpless baby scallop, they decide to raise it together as a family. What soon follows is not only a funny sequence of events but also a very harsh criticism of current domestic issues. You heard correctly, folks. "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" is probably the most controversial episode in the entire Spongebob Squarepants series, and that is why I'm writing this significant review on it.

The show was at its peak when the third season premiered in the early 2000's. It had been nominated for several Emmy awards and had launched itself into American pop culture. So in other words, anybody who was anybody knew who Spongebob Squarepants was. So when this episode aired and millions of viewers saw Spongebob and Patrick clearly behaving as a couple, it was bound to offend someone. Along with a 2005 promotional video which showed Spongebob and other characters singing together to promote diversity and tolerance, this episode caused people (mostly Evangelists) like James Dobson to accuse Spongebob of being gay and promoting the "destruction of the family." Needless to say, the show's creators and performers were all surprised that such an issue had arisen. The show was never meant to promote or favor any kind of sexual preference.

In reality, the Evangelists couldn't be any more wrong. This particular episode very much promotes the idea that a good family is needed to raise a child. As Spongebob and Patrick act out married life, Patrick begins to come home later and later from "work," refusing to take care of the baby scallop. Spongebob on the other hand, is left at home to care for the scallop and all the stereotypical housewife chores. Spongebob and Patrick's domestic relationship quickly begins to deteriorate, and they eventually become so distracted by their arguing with each other that they fail to notice the scallop fall out of a second story window. If that's not a statement on dysfunctional domestic relations, then I don't know what is. How many children have grown up feeling lost or forgotten because their parents are too busy arguing to notice them?

In conclusion, I'll be the first to say that Spongebob episodes are pure escapism and humorous nonsense the majority of the time. But out of the very few episodes that actually have a moral or lesson, this one is the best and most daring.

Patrick: I get to be the mommy!
SpongeBob SquarePants: Patrick, I don't think you can be the mommy cause you never wear a shirt.


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