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kylie✨

SpongeBob's Harrowing Take on Consumerism: The Beauty of Rise & Shine

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There is so much to be said about the diamond in the rough of Season 5, the classic that on levels was ahead of it's time, the iconic episode that revealed the morning routine of one of television's brightest stars-- this episode, of course, is Rise and Shine. One may ask how is it possible to search for psychological undertones in an episode with a premise so mundane, something so unasked for and unwarranted? Our episode begins with SpongeBob asking Gary what he believes his four-pointed friend does in the morning time. With this, we're immediately treated to the crux of this episode; it is immediately made evident to us that our porous protagonist has a genuine curiosity in his soul on the lifestyle of his friend, and wishes nothing more than to understand the complexities of his habits. When Patrick draws SpongeBob's face on a pillow, this is no simple act of foolishness on his part-- no, something more complex is at play here. This scene delves into the psyche of the beloved starfish by showing that he values SpongeBob to the same degree that he values any other household item, and views him as an object, not as a friend. Further, Patricks consumption of Canned Coral proves to be a biting satire on consumerism. Patrick's lack of awareness of the food encased in the cans of coral that he has purchased is a biting criticism of consumer culture at its core, as it immediately directs the audience's attention to the haunting truth that Patrick purchased these coral cans not for the nourishment they may provide him, but for the brand value that the Canned Coral corporation possesses. His purchase of so many canned goods, his desire to own them regardless of function-- it speaks volumes about us as a culture. Are we not like Patrick, making purchases on a whim to satiate our own selfish, mundane desires? Can the common man not relate to the plight of the starfish? Despite this biting take, I believe the most truly daunting aspect of Rise and Shine is that Patrick considers to be this harrowing series of events to be a normal day in his life. He considers being unaware of how food is packaged, being physically incapable of brushing his own teeth, and interacting with a pillow as a mundane aspect of his life. Are we to believe that Patrick has become accustomed to this lifestyle? Are we to take away from this that the series' own deuteragonist willingly puts himself at risk for the sake of satiating a routine that has become his custom? What does this need for a routine, this need to satiate something that only he is in control of, say about our own culture?

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