Hello, Spongey here.
It’s a cliché at this point to talk about how Nickelodeon, isn’t it? We all know how of all the big kids Networks, this has fallen the hardest. You all know the reasons, mediocre cartoons, too many mediocre live action shows, etc etc.
You don’t need me to go into more detail then everyone else already has. Like I said, it’s a cliché. And like most cliches, it’s getting a bit old. Do we need another Nick rant at this point? Especially given how some people are under the impressions that because something is bad, means the people behind it are horrible or something like that.
Nick gets that a lot. Apparently making bad business decisions makes you evil and worthy being pulled from air forever. As much as people complains about Cartoon Network during it’s Dark Age, I didn’t see many people pulling the same crap, and hey, they got better.
I personally think we should be more constructive. Point out the positives and focus on those and try to help them improve. People wonder why some companies refuse to listen their critics. Well ,that might be because some people just yell and make insults instead of actually trying to be calm of constructive.
If I worked at Nick and saw half of some of these so called rant videos, I wouldn’t listen to a Critic ever again. It’s a bit harsh but it’s true. With all of that said, you can say what you want, just keep all this in mind.
The reason I’m going into this, is because it ties into the show we’re talking about today. It’s a Nicktoon that kind of represents Modern Nick as a whole. It’s similar to shows of yesteryear yet has plenty of the flaws of the modern fare, while still having the positives of said fare as well.
It’s quite strange in that way. I brought it up back in Bad Episodes of Cartoons I like list, which an episode of the show topped for reasons I will go even deeper into here. It had plenty of hate early but people have started to turn around on it.
Why is that? Why did I admit to liking it? What’s so strange about it? Let’s find out.
This, is A Look at Sanjay and Craig
Created by Jim Dirschberger, Andreas Trolf, and Jay Howell and premirng in 2013, Sanjay and Craig follows the exploits of the title characters, a 12-year-old boy named Sanjay Patel, and his best friend, an anthropomorphic snake named Craig as they go on crazy adventures.’
That’s…about it. Nothing too complicated when it comes to the story, really. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so buckle up. First, the superficial stuff, starting with the animation. And here’s our first bit of controversy.
The character designer for this show also worked on Bob’s Burgers which leads to the shows looking a bit similar. Some people just don’t care, but some people actually have a problem with it, since some well known animators can change up their styles greatly.
Well, for one I don’t see the problem with sticking to a style if it works. As long as you don’t just make the same stuff over and over again, it’s fine. And honestly, once you get into either show, they aren’t really THAT similar. Bob’s Burgers uses the style to fit it’s calmer tone and simpler writing style, and allows for some crazy movement in the rare moments it needs it.
This show uses it to give itself the ability to branch off and do tons of things with it. It is not a simple show by any means and the style compliments it by using the simple style to do a lot. Even early on it managed to look distinct compared to the other show.
The animation isn’t groundbreaking but it does look nice and when it wants to look good, it looks good. The Bob’s Burgers thing isn’t brought up that much but I felt it had to be addressed in some way.
There are some other things like music I can address, but I’ll address that over time…and there’s not much to say in that regard. So let’s move on to some important stuff.
This show had a bit of a bumpy start, thanks to what episodes Nick chose to air first, along with what direction the writers were trying to take it.
I can’t blame anyone for disliking the show at first, because the first half hour kind of sucked. The first episode is about these two jackasses running around a hospital because they wanna see a butt surgery.
Yes. It’s filled with dumb humor and is just two jackasses being stupid. It had a few amusing moments but otherwise was just dumb.
The sister episode was even worse, featuring the same jackasses trying to find the perfect laugh and annoying people with stupid laughter. That’s all it was, aside from a kind of funny opening. It’s everything people think Funny Pants is.
This was the worst possible first impressions, and to make it worse it wasn’t even the first one made. The first one made was…well, we’ll get to it and while it’s not the most appropriate pilot ever, it’s still way better.
This gave people the impressions that it was all the show was, but it really wasn’t…for the most part. It was very hit or miss in Season 1, but showed more promise than people gave it credit for.
Then starting with Season 2, it improved to the point where I could actually say it good, instead of a mixed bag. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at how the show is in general on it’s own…and begin with the general flaws.
Yes, this show has gross out and generally annoying antics sometimes. That first half hour sums up all the problems on that front. Sometimes the leads are your typically bad Nick Show leads where they annoy everyone and are the opposite of likable.
I usually go into characters later, but I’ll go into the two during the “General” section since they kind of represent the show in a way. They can also feel like the same character, seeing as neither is really dumb and both do the same things sometimes.
I know you need them to be believable friends, but you can still have them stand out on their own. They manage to do eventually but we’ll get into that later. Then there’s the gross out, oh boy.
That is easily my biggest problem with the show. I don’t mind gross out in general, but it’s rarely done well and this show just plain sucks at it most of the time. The strange thing is, it’s not as focused on it as you might think.
No, a lot of the time they just randomly insert it where it doesn’t’ belong. Some episodes are totally normal without the gross out jokes. And even in episodes about the gross out, you could have trimmed it down.
I think Unbarfable is the only episode with just grossout with no substance at all. A lot of the other bad episodes simply use too much bad gross out. One example is Old Farts which starts out with an okay premise of them pretending to be old people, but is ruined by needless bad grossout, among other things,
Yeah, Gumball’s The Crew pulled that off way better. Hell, even the title card for this ep is really gross for no reason. Yet it’s not as bad as the title card for Screamday. If you thought the farting on the Fart Baby title card was bad, this one has SCREAMING.
And the episode itself starts with the boys just screaming because it’s scream day as the title suggests. It is the one worst starts to any episode EVER. The rest isn’t much better. Apperantly Craig’s farts come from the heart.
One example of it taking away from the plot is Cold Hard Cash. It’s actually kind of nice in parts, but all anyone remembers is the big joke about the diaper full of shit. Yeah. I’m ranting, but this is a big problem with Season 1 especially.
The other things can be problematic but the gross out, and generally immature jokes make it all so much worse. Season 1 is frustrating, because it has plenty of good things, and even my favorite episodes, but also so much garbage.
I guess I can discuss other bad episodes here since I went into detail on it’s worst already, and thankfully no ep has outsucked it. I know people such as Mr Enter has gone into Fart Baby but I think there’s more to say.
For those who haven’t seen the episode, or his take, it’s about Sanjay becoming the Daddy of a baby fart. Yes. I won’t explain how because I barely get it. You already know the problems: It’s almost nothing but fart jokes with Sanjay and Craig being annoying jerks to everyone, and it somehow tries to be heartwarming in the end.
You can be sweet even with dumb humor, (the show itself has proven that) but this fails because of how badly written it is. But my biggest problem is actually the…baby thing. See, while the baby is a fart, to them it is a baby and they treat it as such.
And yet they spend most of the episode squeezing Sanjay’s belly to annoying people with farts. At one point Sanjay falls on his belly, and when it first appears Craig tries to…get rid of it.
You know what both of those equate to in real life. What the hell. In a show aimed at kids like this, that is just…not cool. It’s not a big thing at first but it really squick me out. This whole episode is messed up and not very funny either.
Thankfully, the bad episodes get better later on. When the series improves, there are some bad ones but they do get less bad. They did another fart episode that was annoying, but at least had a decent ending.
Season 3 managed to have just one “Bad” one and it involved no gross out. I won’t explain it, it’s just another ep with a character being a jerk, not much to say.
Okay, enough ranting let’s be more neutral to positive. Understandably, the show has been compared to other shows it seems to be ripping off in some way. It was at one point a subpar modern Nicktoon, of course it had recycled elements.
But as it went along, it managed to get an identity. Yeah, like plenty of modern Nicktoons it’s about two “Bros” annoying people on a surreal adventure, but there is more to it. There’s less emphasis on annoying people than in, say, Fanboy and Chum Chum.
Heck, the Megward the Wizard becomes more of an actual villain later on, who is even redeemed. The show’s own brand of surreal humor sticks out more as well, especially when it drops the gross out.
Oh yeah, I didn’t even mention how they go from toning it down, to flat out dropping it. Even some good episodes might have light gross out early on, but starting in Season 2, most episodes don’t have it at all.
But some did, which fully stopped in Season 3, at least in my memory. In general, they put more emphasis on the good elements of the show and tone down the bad stuff. Early episodes would have the two being assholes to everyone, as especially shown in the first half hour block.
Even in Season 1, there would be focus given to them genuinely having fun with their friends,and not annoying anyway. Episodes like Traffical Island and Cup 0 Universe showed the better side of their fun.
I personally prefer the episodes that have them with their other friends, as the characters stick out better in these situations and they tend to be a bit sweeter. Speaking of sticking out, Sanjay and Craig manage to work better later on.
While do they have the “Too much” alike problem, even later on, the little things can make them stick out more. Like I said, I’m going into them in this section. Sanjay, voiced by Baljeet himself, is the human of the two so of course he goes through more human situations and that’s basically his angle.
In most episodes focusing on their relationship he can usually be the more understandable one. Although he can certainly be the one to blame in the more interesting episodes. He’s basically the straight man. He’s the less interesting of the two, but I think he works just well enough, especially in episodes like Traffical Island.
Then there is Craig, voiced by Chris Hardwick. I think the actor alone makes him stand out. I don’t know, he’s just naturally funny sometimes, even in Back at the Barnyard. He’s the sillier one, meaning he’s more likely to get them in some crazy situations. He can also be a bit of jerk, which can backfire in episodes like Heartyface, but can also work if given the right motivation.
He works better than Sanjay because he does get unique comedy, made better by the local performance. As a snake, he has to disguise himself as a human in the GREATEST DISGUISE EVER. It’s so good sometimes I forget he’s even in disguise because they rarely bring it up.
Heck, I had no idea he was hiding the snake thing from Sanjay’s Parents until a Tail of Two Slither. At least it kind of makes sense, because their neighbor kind of hates snakes. Anyway, Craig manages to be the more interesting and amusing of the two, but together they can work even better when they are written well.
Infact, their friendship kind of drives the show most of the time. Especially later on they focus on the sweet-ness of their friendship instead of just having them be annoying. Instead of being just bros, they do come across as actual friends later on, and they get some sweet episodes out of them.
Sanjay and Craig is the last show you would expect, but that word can surprisingly to it sometimes. Which brings us to what the show truly is at it’s best. Like pretty much any show like this, the creators were very inspired by their childhood.
And the reason for some of the grossout is that, to qoute one of the creators, “Both Jim and I have moms who are nurses, and they’ve told us a lot of gross stories over the years. So that idea kind of came out of those stories.”
As much as I don’t like the gross out, there is technically a reason for it. Even the ever so terrible Unbarfable was inspired by actual experiences. (SOURCE: http://www.ew.com/article/2013/05/23/sanjay-and-craig-nickelodeon-interview ) But of course, they also tried to put in the heart from childhood, which comes in later on.
Early on the show was kind of see as a throwback too 9’s Nick which some didn’t’ agree with due to it’s poor quality. But at this point, it kind of is. Those shows were sometimes known for being gross or weird (Ren & Stimpy) while others were known for being down to earth or sweet (Hey Arnold).
This..kind of combines both. I’ve explained both sides, and it’s interesting how they both come into play. Sometimes trhat clashes, but usually it can mix in. Even the better told stories can have their wacky moments that keep things from being too saccharine. Sometimes it works, and sometimes there’s a fart jar.
They do clearly try harder later. They even said that Season 2 would have, and I quote, more heart, less fart. That’s the perfect way to put it. I’m not gonna pretend like it turned into some amazing show that you should all see.
No, it’s still not for everyone,. It has it’s bland elements and people tend to prefer quiter shows most of the time, especially nowadays. I’m just saying that show becomes closer to genuinely good rather than hit or miss like before.
Oh, and the show can be funny too. It is technically a Comedy show after all. And like everything else, it did improve. When it’s not trying too hard to be gross out weird, it can be amusing.
It’s hard to describe the humor without spoiling it too much, but it can use it’s surreal nature to good effect. Hell, even Unbarfable manage to get a chuckle with Hector’s Stomach, and some of Belle’s reactions in Fart Baby are amusing too.
Some of my favorite jokes are the really out there ones, like the endings to Middle Shame and Snake Parts Unknown. I won’t spoil them but they are so weird it’s hilarious. The humor in this show does tend to be weird and brash but usually it tends to work.
As I keep saying, it’s the gross or cruel humor that tends to bomb. I can only think of one example of the gross out working and we’ll get to that one. So yeah, the humor isn’t always the best, but it can work when they try.
I suppose the next thing to touch on would be the guest stars. Yeah, like any cartoon, this show has gotten itself some interesting guests, some of which I did not expect. There”s the usual sports stars no one’s ever heard of, and one time they got Anthony Bourdain to parody himself, and he’s even kind of the villain.
Yeah, they manage to use guest stars better than some shows I can mention.
But of course I have to mention the most famous ones on this show, starting with Snoop Dog. No, really. In the special Street Dogg, he plays a, get this, rapper. He’s actually used pretty well, as they get a solid story out of him instead of just being there to be there.
He’s not the best actor ever, but he’s okay and they do put his rapping skills to good use at least. But that’s the guest star that shocked me the most. No, that would be Dolph Lungreen.
Yes. The town is actually called Lungreen so I suppose this had to happen, but it’s crazy that it did, given that no kid watching this show has ever heard of him. Unless they saw Kindergarten Cop 2.
Yes, that’s a thing. He appeared in the Christmas Episode, meaning I get to go into more detail in 2018 when I review the Modern Nick Christmas Episode. (What, doesn’t hurt to think ahead). He even plays himself to make it even better.
My memory isn’t the best, so I can’t say anything about voice acting skills, but story wise he works. So yeah, this show can get some cool stars and even use them well! That’s a nice bonus.
And we’ve reached the part I know you love…the characters! Yeah, I know I usually leave them for last, but in this show I find the episodes more important, so they will go last.
I already went into the main characters so this won’t be too long. There are quite a few characters but they aren’t too complex, so I cam make this quick enough.
Let’s stay close to our heroes, with the parents. Veejay the Dad is surprisingly not quite the dumbass Dad. Sure, he’s a bit goofy compared to Mom but he’s mostly just a normal father. He has done some crazy things in the past which usually leads to interesting episodes like PartyBoy and Man of Sqeual. With that, you can argue he’s the more interesting the two, even if he’s not quite as cool.
Darlene the Mom, voiced by Grey Delise, is the badass Mom we tend to see in these kind of shows but it works since the Dad isn’t too dumb, so it’s not as typical of a contrast. There isn’t quite a lot to her but Butt’s Up Alone, and the other Darlene/Noodman Episode (Friend Card) make her okay in my book.
Next would be the friend, starting with Hector, voiced by Matt Jones aka Gunther from Kick Buttowski. He’s a mixed bag as the dumber friend. Sometimes he’s too annoying or gross (Beside the obvious, there’s Wolfie) but other times the voice actor alone makes him funny. There’s not a ton to him but he has enough fine moments.
For our female friend, we have Megan Sparkles (Insert NC reference here…or MLP if you prefer), voiced by Linda Cardellini. Being the female friend in a show like this, she’s kind of a badass and can be the voice of reason. She’s pretty enjoyable and can even be developed well shown in episodes like Susan Loogie. She can certainly be a favorite.
The boys’ obligatory hangout is the fry cade which has it’s own share of character, starting with Belle Pepper, voiced by Nika Futterman. Because no matter what I do, I can never escape the Rush Zone.
She’s the daughter of the guy who runs the place and Sanjay has a crush on her. Yep, it’s that shtick but to be fair….they really don’t focus on it that much. It’s there but in only drives a few episodes and it’s not qutie as annoying as it is in most shows.
It doesn’t quite progress but they never pretend like it will, it’s just a thing. Weird how this happens to be one of the things they pull off better than most shows. On her own, she’s not the most interesting but can have amusing reactions sometimes, and can serve the story well if the plot works.
Guess we can move up to her father, Penny, voiced by John DiMaggio. He has a hook for a hand or something, so you know he’s the kind of grumpy but mostly nice-ish owner guy. He can be pretty funny sometimes and he works well in his role, and the one big episode he has was good.
A frequent visitor to the Frycade is Chicken Chuck, voiced by Nolan North. He’s a weird one and can be used well for some amusing moments. His bigger roles are solid too, especially in one episode I’ll be getting. Like most of these guys, there’s not a lot to talk about, but he’s cool.
And then we have Noodman, voiced by Tony Hale. He’s one of the more…mixed ones. Sometimes he’s the jerk-ish neighbor, who hates snakes, while other times …he’s the Squidward of the show.
Now, it is slightly more justified than most, but it can be a problem, especially when he switches role a lot. In later episodes, he’s a more concerate villain, and tends to have less torture. And his final episode ended with him as a good guy!
But one episode did taint him a bit, and it would be Family Re-Noodman. It’s another one I don’t like, and I’ll explain here. Sanjay and Craig sneak into his family reion for reasons I don’t care about, and find out Noodman is the way he is because his father treated him like a dirt..
And as we find out later on, this is a Noodman thing as his father’s father treated him badly, and so on. I’m not sure how to feel about the latter part but the former makes Noodman a bit of a tragic character.
And through the episode, Craig starts bonding a bit with Noodman .The torture Noodman goes through is sad to watch and you really feel bad for him, especially because his Father might be one of the worst in all of animation, like ever.
Seriously, he keeps pranking Noodman into opening a jar of nuts that is actually those streamer things, and at one point he seems he actually has nuts, but they are actually snake eggs. He tells him this after Noodman has eaten some. Yes.
Sanjay and Craig take pity on him and get revenge on Noodman’s father which is beyond glorious to watch. So now Noodman is happy-ish and the boys realize he’s not so bad.
….And at the very last second, the two find out the wings they came to Noodman’s place for to begin with has Blueberries in them. Then they get mad and plan to prank him with the nut jar, the end.
….Remember what I’ve said about endings? This is a new low on that level. What the actual fuck?! I get that Noodman will likely be back to being a jerk by the next episode, but you could have ended happily.
If they were trying to do something ironic here, they FAILED. You can’t do all the crap you did with Noodman ,then have our supposed “heroes” go back and want to prank him, with something quite traumatic.
This creates the big Noodman problem in season 1, as he often would be tortured without doing anything to deserve it first. Heck, in the episode RIGHT AFTER THIS, that happened. Said episode was Fart Baby, by the way.
Thankfully, they fixed him in Season 2, and especially Season 3 with him being less evil. But man that episode is hard to bounce back from. And after all that, this is still a more dignified role for Tony Hale than Road Chip.
Next is up is the Dicksons, all voiced by Grey Delise, except for the Baby. They are Sanjay and Craig’s Neighbors, who have a band and are the “Cool” older kids. At first, they were basically poser jerks but as the series goes on, they become a lot nicer to the kids.
They are amusing but can be gross sometimes. Especially the baby who exists for shit jokes, but they shed that later on. They even become sympathetic in Enter Sadman. So with their nature and development, I like them.
Our final real character is Remmington Tufflips, supposedly voiced by __. I said that because the credits jokingly say it’s Tufflips as himself. That’s funny, but the only place that said the actual actors’ name was Wikipedia, which it’s always accurate, to say the least.
He’s a former action star who is a bit washed up but is still idolized by the boys. That sounds a bit like Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to an extent, but it’s different in that he’s an 80’s action star, leading to different jokes.
He’s also a bit jerk-ish but not overly so, making him pretty amusing. There’s a funny episode where they binge his movies and realize how dumb they are, and man are they delightfully stupid.
His nature makes him fun, with how he makes fun of 80’s and 90’s action stars. He’s the most consistently enjoyable character to me, and episodes about him tend to be fun. There’s one that’s basically just a Tufflips movie that we’re watching and it’s glorious.
So yeah, I like him fine. And that’s really it for the character, sort of. As usual, there re some very minor ones not worth getting into. I suppose I can mention Huggle Bunny. He’s some guy in a bunny suit, but you only see him as the suit, and he never talks so he’s quite mysterious.
Which is why he is so funny. He’s the focus of the Christmas Episode, and there they do some funny stuff with him, even if he’s intentionally creepy sometimes. But yeah, those are the character worth mentioning.
It’s not that greatest cast ever, but most of them stand out as solid and you’ll have a favorite or two. Even the weaker ones can pull through sometimes. I’m glad I didn’t put them last though.
And finally, The favorite episodes. Here, I get to get into examples that prove the show can be good.
This is the kind of show where the episodes I point to as the best are the ones that are the most notable period. It’s not the kind with like 30 amazing episodes, but more like 10 or so notably great ones, than the rest are just pretty good not as worth getting into.
But that applies to plenty of better shows, so it’s not a bad thing. And even as it is, I still had trouble deciding which ones were worth getting into as there are plenty of little examples of the show’s good qualities. In the end, I picked 11 or so episodes. Yeah, more than I expected but all of these get the “Great” rating from me. All are worth while in some way.
So let’s get into them. This is mostly in no order, except the last one.
Writers: Greg Araya, Carl Faroulo, & Andreas Trolf
As a general rule, any episode with a gross word in the title will be terrible. But then this episode came and defied that.
Sanjay and Craig must take care of Megan’s pet Gerbil but Craig keeps trying to eat him. Because you know, he’s a snake. I know it’s easy to forget, but this episode brings it up. This episode works from the conflict alone.
Craig wasn’t WANT to be a jerk but he can’t help his desires, it’s in his nature. There’s good tension as Craig tries to ignore his nature, and it causes some tension between the friends as well.
They could have made Craig a hungry asshole the whole time, but even at the start he seems to do this on instinct rather than having malicious intent. He clearly tries once Sanjay sets him straight, but he just can’t help it.
It’s an example of a simple conflict making for an engaging watch. The ending is a bit off, but it’s not too big of a deal. Otherwise, this episodes defies expectations and is well done, and even a little sweet.
The sweetest story to ever have Booger in the title.
Writers: Neil Graf, Jay Howell, Derek Iversen & Jonny Van Orman
The story of this one is that there’s a special comet that night and the boys want to look at it with someone, but no one wants to. On it’s own, it’s a fine story that can be fairly sweet.
But here’s the thing: This episode is a musical. Yep. An interesting one because it’s one song that plays for the whole episode, with only tiny bits of dialogue in most of it. It’s really unique in that way and it makes an already nice episode even better.
This show isn’t the most experimental but when they do one, it tends to pay off, and this is the best of them. What can I say, I love musicals, especially when it’s lampshaded.
“Okay,i guess this is a thing”
So yeah, very enjoyable one and the payoff is funnier than it should be…Oh, and it aired on the same day as that Steven Universe Musical episode. What.
Bike O Psycho
Writers: Jim Dirschberger, Neil Graf, Derek Iversen & Jonny Van Orman
Sanjay and Craig find an abandoned bike and take it in, but run into trouble when the original owner shows up. On the surface, this is another nice episode with the two bonding with a bike like you would a pet, with a nice bittersweet ending.
But there’s an…interesting layer to it. Chido, the original owner, is not very kind to the bike and not only carelessly left it in the bushes, but trashes it in other ways. But not only does she not care, but she claims the Bike “loves it”.
The bike is treated as if it were some kind of pet, to the point where they do “if you love something, set it free” thing at the end. Since the Bike is a pet in this situation….i don’t think I need to say what Chido’s actions equate to.
…Yeah, and usually that would make things more awkward and make me not like the episode. But it..kind of works. It’s actually kind of realistic to how this kind of thing works, down to claiming that they like it.
She may be a bit over the top about it but hey, it’s a cartoon. I think what make it work is that they don’t take it TOO seriously, and it never gets too uncomfortable since they don’t linger on her actions too much.
There’s also the ending where we see that the Bike belonged to the wild and was no one’s to own. That’s a kind of nice way to resolve this, and makes it different from the other episode like this, which we’ll get to.
Despite some awkward parallels, I think the execution was a lot more mature and asseciable than it could have been. A heavy on to have this early on our list, but ah well. Against all odds, this is a nice and solid episode.
(On a final note, Chido appeared a few more times in the Season 3. She’s a villain in the next episode…not so much in the ones after that. Not sure how to feel about that, but she’s fine on her in those eps so I can let it slide)
Writers: Derek Iversen, Blake Lemons, & Bryan Mann
Another episode that defies the gross word in title rule!
While playing a game involving a tenns ball and a grage door (which ends with someone being hit on the butt, hence the name), a random girl steals their ball and they try to get it back but find themselves face to face with…The Butt Master.
It turns out The Butt Master is Noodman and he takes the pets of kids who loose to him at Butts Up, so the two must help get the girls’ pet bird back. This episode is way more epic than something with butt in the title should be.
Noodman works well as a villain here, being kind of threatening and actually evil here. Yes, it kind of messes up any examples of him being good, but I don’t care.
The big thing that makes this episode great is the twist that Noodman’s precious cat once belonged to Sanjay’s Mom. It’s kind of a sad scene when this happens, and certainly puts both characters in a new light.
So yeah, this episode is fun, interesting and makes Darlene even more of a badass. Oh, and the girl is voiced by Tania Gundai, aka Sashi from Penn Zero. Nice.
Writers: Matt Layzell, Tom Parkinson, & Joe Stillman
In airdate order, this is the first episode I would call great and the one that got me a bit interested in the series.
The kids get trapped on a highway median thingy and hilarity, and drama ensues. They first see the situation as a chance to start their own soecity and just have fun, and this is where the first great element comes in.
The first half of the episode is just kids being kids, and it’s a lot of fun because it’s so innocent. The kids feel real here and there’s some fun and creative jokes with what they do. But then it gets a bit dramatic as Sanjay becomes a bit controlling and starts fighting with the others.
The transition to them fighting feels natural enough and where it goes is pretty engaging. There’s some real emotion here and goes beyond just another “character becomes a jerk” story. Normally him being a dick would bother me but the execution makes it excusable.
This is the first episode where the show started to reach it’s poteinol. It has kids just being kids and gets some drama out of the situation, as well as comedy. The characters are actually likable, and it becomes pretty sweet in parts.
I think for some people, this could be a good one to start with, for those reasons.
Writers: Jim Dirschberger, Neil Graf, & Blake Lemons
This has to one of the more “popular” episodes, for good reason. When a bug infestation kicks them out of their house for the night, they try to crash with Tufflips, but the Dicksons are already there, so they must compete with them in a game of Family Double Dare.
Yes, Double Dare. Complete with Mark Summers and Harvey. If anyone ever says Nick doesn’t respect their past, this episode proves them wrong. This episode feels a true love letter, and gets the tone of that show perfectly.
And because they are homaging the show, the gross out works because it actually belongs. Most of it is actually funny, and even has heart as Sanjay is the reason for the bugs and that leads to nice stuff at the end.
It’s a genuinely funny episode, that is a nice throwback, with some real heart in places. It’s another good one to start with.
They did a Guts episode later on and while it was also pretty good, it couldn’t top this.
Tale of Two Slithers
Writers: Greg Araya, Carl Faruolo, Neil Graf, Blake Lemons, Will McRobb, & Chris Viscardi
This was the first 22 minute special, but it fares pretty well, not being a ratings trap of any kind, like for real.
Craig meets his long lost brother, and naturally this causes friction between him and Sanjay. This is a fairly cliché set up but it mostly doesn’t fall into the whole dumb “third wheel” thing you often see. Well, it does but it’s written well.
For one, it makes sense that Craig wants to be with Ronnie given how long they have been apart, and he has been looking for him. Given the situation, I see why he wasn’t mentioned, and it’s early enough in the series. Also, Ronnie was added to the intro for this episode, which I didn’t even notice on first viewing.
Sanjay is okay with this at first, with both being aware of why this is all okay for now. And the conflict ends up happening because of a scheme by Ronnie, which works way better than if they randomly decided to bicker on their own.
And in context, it makes sense why Ronnie’s plan would work. Oh, and of course he’s kind of a bad guy, because he’s rather angry at Sanjay for taking Craig from him. So the situation actually fells pretty natural, and even the contrived elements work to make a nice story. Things even resolve naturally.
Also, there’s a hilarious parody of the intro later on. Ronnie works because he has a good motivation, and gets nice development in the end, turning to good. Add in a nice ending with the parents, and you have one of the better constructed episodes.
Besides being a bit cliché, and a dumb fart joke, this is a well done special that is sweet, and surprisingly well written. Since it was near the end of the Season, I think this is where the writers started trying a lot harder.
Hot Sauce Boss
Writers: George Gendi, Will McRobb, Tom Parkinson, &Chris Viscardi
This was the first episode of Season 2, and was a sign of things to come. I remember seeing this for the first time and this was the first time I thought the show was improving.
Penny catches Chuck using his own sauce on his wings instead of Penny’s sauce, causing a big bar between the two. First off, yes, it is treated like Chuck is cheating on him. The fact that he finds this out in a bathroom doesn’t make it any better.
I do have a soft spot for spoofs of cheating stories, and this is a good example of one. It’s a fun episode with the ensuing war, and all the amusing jokes that happen because of it. But of course it’s the story that makes me like this one.
There’s some real emotion in all the silly-ness and it’s a fun and engaging story, with a very satisfying conclusion. The cliché works here, as it’s just as fun as it is sweet. Some nice details make it even better and more well rounded.
On top of that, there’s no grossout and the bits that border on it are actually amusing here. I hadn’t seen every ep at this point, so this very much impressed me.
With it’s solid story execution, good character, solid humor, and story, this was a strong way to begin Season 2, and the good era of the show.
Alien Craig/Galaxy Geeks
Writers: Blake Lemons, Bryan Mann, & Chris Viscardi (Alien Craig) /Josh Engel, Aminder Dhaliwal, Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell & Chris Viscardi (Galaxy Geeks)
I put these together, because they happen to be connected. In Alien Craig, the boys and their friend pretend they are on a spaceship, doing Star Trek-y thing. Then one day Sanjay forgets to take out the trash…again.
Feeling ashamed, they head out to give the trash to the dump, and use their “Spaceship” to do it. First off, this is another one that is just plain fun. It has more of kids just being kids, ramped up with their imagine stuff.
There are some good jokes, and the whole thing is just fun especially with how they see normal stuff as space stuff. But it’s the heart that pulls this one through. Sanjay genuinely forgets to take out the trash, and isn’t just not doing it and he feels really bad for missing out.
His dedication is nice, and all leads to a nice ending. Not only does this episode show more of kids being kids, being genuinely creative and fun, but it shows it can be heartfelt as well in a very natural way.
If that’s not enough, then they gave this a sequel with Galaxy Geeks. Their spaceship adventures are back, and this time they need to get some wings for Dad, but Noodman actually wants in on this, and they aren’t sure if they can trust him.
Everything I said about Alien Craig applies here, with how fun it is and it’s just as fun as before, because I just like seeing them do this. I could watch a whole movie of this, it’s so cool.
But once again, the story works too. This is an example of Noodman’s development later on, and it working. At first it seems like he honestly wants in on the fun, which is quite nice. But of course it turns out it was all a trick to get their wings. Which actually works as twist he seems very genuine, and in a way it seems like there was a part of him that was being honest. And what makes it great is that it turns out he wasn’t really betraying them, he was doing that as part of the game.
Being the bad guy is fun for him, he didn’t really want to do this for real. It adds some insight into his character, and everything feels geuinge. Plus, any episode where Noodman is good is usually sweet like this.
Which one so I perfer? Well, Alien Craig is a bit funnier, and more releatable, but Galaxy Geeks works a bit better as a story, and has more to with a bigger villain and him betraying them.
Plus it’s more refreshing with the Noodman stuff. I’ll call it even, as both episodes show that this series can provide innocent fun, along with some heart. Both are very enjoyable.
And we’ve got one more left, and it’s a big one. My personal favorite episode is..
The Giving G
Writers: Will McRobb & Madeline Queripel
I know what I’m to say may sound a bit hyperbolic considering the show, but I think this episode is fantastic. Yes, really. There are plenty of episodes I consider to be somewhat great in some way but this episode is just…dang.
Allow me to explain why. Sanjay and Craig find an inflatable Gorilla and they, along with their friends, befriend it. The first great thing about this one is the Big G itself. It’s not alive at all, but they treat it like it’s the best thing ever, which works.
Because when they find it, we get a montage of them playing with it which is actually quite whimsical. We genuinely seem them gain a connection to the thing and the montage has more of the fun kids being kids stuff.
And despite not being alive, G is still personified in small ways. We see the ways it ‘helps” them and even plays with them. He doesn’t just do nothing, with the kids praising it. They have a reason for liking it, and the connection strangely feels real.
They also play it for comedy so it’s not meant to be taken too seriously for most of it. My favorite joke is when they hug it and Noodman yells at them to get a room. For most of it, this is just a surprisingly sweet little episode.
Then comes the ending, oh boy. The wind blows Big G away and The Dicksons find him, but aren’t willingly to give him back because they quite enjoy him too. Long story short, they fight over him and end up having to chase it down.
They get him but fight over him so much…that he pops. Then we cut to…a funereal for Big G, where everyone is sad over this, including the Dicksons.
“Big G, wherever you are, we hope that you’re happy, and you are far away and there aren’t too many pointy things. We didn’t know you that long, but you’ll always be our friend”
“And the best thing is, you’ve brought us all together”
I say this a lot after emotional moments but….DANG. And the episode proper ends with them seeing a shooting star, which is actually Big G. This show can have it’s sweet moments, as I’ve shown but…this is another level.
When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe it. There’s a nice moment, then there’s this. First off, on a story level, that works because unlike say Fart Baby, you actually have a connection with the thing before you’re meant to feel sorry for it.
We do see it as a friend to them, even with the montage being a bit brief. They do everything to personify it, so it’s not just some random object that they like. We really see it is a friend, which how it even touches the Dicksons.
So when it kind of dies, I did kind of feel emotional. It’s the kind of emotional manipulation that works, because they’ved actually earned it. What really helps is the song that plays. I have no idea what song it is or what it’s called, but it’s really sweet and sets the mood very well.
If it wasn’t for good for how good that montage was, this wouldn’t have worked as well. My only complaint is that if the montage was a bit longer, this would hit even harder. The connection is still felt, but perhaps slightly more of it and less of the Dicksons stuff could have helped.
Otherwise, this episode is damn great. Like, wow. It made me feel emotional over an inflatable gorilla. And it came from Sanjay and Craig. Before I saw this one, I found episodes I liked but I never thought it could reach this level.
And while I can’t say I cried when I first saw it, I did come close. Yes, it sounds silly but it’s true, and the unexpected-ness was part of it. But even now it is an emotional scene, but the episode is well constructed.
The characters are all likable and the connection is believable due to Big G being well character-ized. Some good humor helps bring it all home. But here’s the weird thing: I used to say to myself that a show has reached great-ness if it makes me emotional in some way,.
I rethinked that after this episode because…that would put this show on the same list as stuff like Avatar. Yeah, that would be weird. But still, the fact that it can do this means something.
Regardless of how the show itself is, this episode is still great with how charming and emotional it is. This episode alone makes up for Unbarfable , and that is why it is my favorite episode.
So there’s Sanjay and Craig. But let’s talk about it ending. After 3 Seasons it ended and on a good note with Hooray for Bollywood. They go to India and end up running into Ronnie who…wants revenge. Despite clearly being good at the end of his last appearance.
Yeah, that’s weird but otherwise, this was a good finale. It was pretty fitting on most levels. Going to India makes sense, and on it’s own it works with the comedy and the moral about Nostalgia, which fits in the context of the story.
But of course, the best part is the ending. No major spoilers here, but it fits perfectly as an ending to the series, with reflection and everything. I’m not sure if it was planned to be the ending, but it’s still well done as a finale, arguably more so than the other forced finales I’ve talked about.
I’m fine with the show ending for two reasons. One is that 3 equally lengthened seasons is a good number for this kind of show. Don’t want it outstay it’s welcome. The other, besides not really being my favorite show, is that this was a good time for it to leave.
When the show began, the Anti Nick had truly begun, and while 2014 was the height of it, this king of helped started in 2013, along with Sam and Cat and other minor things. Now that it ended in 2016, the hate has died down thanks to Harvey Beaks and The Loud House.
Nick has a long way to go, but there is less hate because good stuff is mostly what we seem to be getting. So it’s kind of fitting that the show that defines modern nick ends right now, on a very good note.
Kind of deep when you think about it. In the end, Sanjay and Craig was a strange show. It could be the exact same kind of terrible crap we see on Nick, but it could also be among their better recent works.
It managed to greatly improve as it went on, showing that even the weakest shows can learn their lesson. (Which means certain shows have no excuse). It is an odd for me. Even when it got better, it still had those minor elements of a weak Nick show.
I don’t know, some episodes still had that air to them that kind of prevented it from being fully good like other good Modern Cartoons. And at it’s best, certain flaws I bring up may still exist that could bring it down for some.
I managed to fully like it by Season 3, because it’s main flaws were gone by that point, and even the weaker episodes weren’t too bad. So in the end, I did manage to look past it’s flaws, in order to see the good and mostly enjoy it.’
Despite it’s weaker points, I see it as an important show in Nick’s lineup for all these reasons. While even Breadwinners has it’s moments, it never got to this point where it kind of became good, and could have amazing episodes like The Giving G.
Bad shows can have good episodes, but I’ve never seen this happen. Sometimes a good shows starts out weak, but this is quite different. And quite frankly, I’m glad. It shows people can learn from their misktkes.
Like all the networks have at some point. They can make mistakes but I see plenty of improvements. Like I said, it’s better to do what I’m doing and calmly suggest improvements, rather than just ask for them to be hanged.
This is thankfully calming down, and things have improved. I think if we keep all of of this in mind, things get even better. In the end, it’s no big deal if a network happens to be pleasing us, but a lot of people act like it is, so I have to comment on it.
Honestly, the main reason I did this post is to say what I said in the intro, as even now, it really needed to be said. Plus, the show itself really interested me with it’s quality, so it was worth getting into.
Now, I’m not saying the show is for everyone, or is great. I get why some couldn’t get into it, or still may not like it. Early on it can be annoying or gross, and even later on certain characters can be a bit weak.
And of course, it’s still a comedy show and that is always subjective. Most of the hate was around during Season 1, when I wouldn’t blame too much because most people wouldn’t stumble upon The Giving G after watching the pilot.
It died down a lot after Season 2, and now I only hear of it in passing from people who just lump it in with the bad stuff, clearly not having seen any of it since 2013.
And as I said in the intro, you can complain about Nick or anything as much as you want, just be civil. At least attempt to be constrictive in some way. The fact that it’s gotten better slgihtly just proves my point.
Again, you have every right to criticize something, but there is a difference between not being pleased with the direction something is going and having your reasons for disliking content, and just ranting forever about dumb shit no one cares about, and being an asshole.
I’m glad this kind of thing is dying down to an extent. You can argue it makes my point moot, but it’s something to keep in mind for the future. I doubt anything I say will change people’s minds but whatever.
Back on topic , Sanjay and Craig shows us that even not so good things can either have their moments, or even become good. I’ll go further on diamonds in the rough some other time (Hint Hint) but this show sums that all up perfectly.
It’s a mixed bag, but the garbage was almost worth it to see some gems, I might not have seen otherwise if I just stubbornly avoided it. That’s why I foolishly give anything a chance. I’m marathoning Planet sheen at the moment for that very reason.
I’m a madman, I know.
It certainly was an interesting show, and I wish Nick, and really all these channels and the hard working people who work there, the best of luck to give us more of Giving G, and less of Unbarfable.
If you either haven’t’ seen the show, or avoided it after watching some episodes, give it another chance. Watch the episodes I mentioned or just start from Season 2..
As for official releases, there is a Season 1 DVD via the Amazon Burn thing which is function l enough. Nothing beyond that in turns of DVDs though. The series is on Hulu, and all the usual places you buy TV shows.
So it’s not too hard to find. And yeah, that’s all I got. It’s a strange mixed show, but I think it’s worth it. The Nick Hate should slow down, stop being assholes, and yada yada.. You all get the point by now.
This is like the 3rd look at post I’ve done this year, okay? I’m tired. I wanted to do another this year but I’m starting in September I’m going to be swamped with tons of projects so that and the Disney Canon thing may have to wait til 2017 while I focus on Holiday stuff, lists, and of course the usual reviews and minor things I come up with.
I really did this just because I feel like this is all needed to be said, because I’m sick of the hyperbolic attitude regarding all this stuff. I never change people’s minds, but it’s nice to get my thoughts out there.
Hope I at least offered a different perspective, as well as the usual things my posts can have. You know, terrible grammar and shit. This is something I’ve had the idea for since late last year, so I hope this turned out well.
So yeah, that is all I got, enjoy this, check out the show if you want, and be nice in the future. Now to go back to vloging about ponies, fapping to Debby Ryan, and being pissed at assholes on the interest.
As god intended.