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Let's talk about Spongebob. Season 1 is a great season, with simple plots, mind you, but the episodes themselves are really funny. Seasons 2 was the first season to use digital ink, and it took complete advantage of it, as the good of S2-3 are some of the best shows I've ever watched.
Season 4 is where things get split. More polished animation (and by that, I mean more vivid colors), the introduction of plots that manage to be better than Seasons 1-3, yet the good was...not as good as before, more bad episodes, and the precursor to...well, you will see.
Season 5...what can I say? Some episodes (such as Krabs a la Mode, Roller Cowards, or Blackened Sponge) are just as funny and interesting as Seasons 2-3.
But episodes like Fungus Among Us, Atlantis Squarepantis, Waiting, and Spongehenge infuriate me to no end. If those weren't sure signs of seasonal rot, Season 6 will.
Season 6 takes the terrible things about seasons 1,4, and 5 (inferior animation/animation errors, lack of jokes, and torturing characters for no reason. Season 7 continued the terrible streak, , and made the terrible episodes worse (seriously, who wrote the crap where Plankton gets driven to suicide? The good slowly improves from Season 6 though (for example, Back In Time shows that this season is somewhat of an improvement).
Season 8 showed promise, but still has too many dreadful episodes for me to call a good season. Episodes like Face Freeze!, Demolition Doofus, and especially Pet Sitter Pat show that Season 8 can't be really good. But the good of the season was really good (I.E. Treats, Mermaidman Begins, etc.).
Finally, Season 9 returns to something of decent quality, something I have seen rising in Season 8, but this one is more consistently good. Overall, Spongebob is a show that has jumped the shark, went through seasonal rot, and meandered in quality. While it's improving in recent years, Seasons 6-8 (or 5-8 for some) will live in infamy.
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