Sunday, March 2, 2014

Regarding the Show's Potential, and What it Could Have Gone For

Something to consider regarding this show are the various factors influencing it. Of course, there is already a standard for wackiness, given that this is not only a cartoon but one for Nickelodeon. Furthermore, creator Butch Hartman worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions when Fred Seibert (also an executive producer on this show) encouraged creators to go nuts in their individual shorts/potential series. One show Hartman worked on during that time was Johnny Bravo, following the adventures of one larger-than-life character. There was never any doubt that The Fairly OddParents was meant to be a broad, free-wheeling farce, true to the cartoons of its home network and creator’s development.
But, let’s consider Johnny Bravo for a minute. On that show, it was clear that its overall setup was not so important. There may have been supporting characters with solid personalities, but they took a backseat to Johnny’s personality and the over-the-top consequences of his actions. Certain characters would only last a single episode, and the show itself was defined most of all by Johnny himself. The primary conceit was how much he wanted to pick up women.
By contrast, there were moments when The Fairly OddParents sought to be more serious in characterization. The supporting cast was meant to interact with Timmy Turner more, and there were supposed to be more serious consequences from interacting with him. There was something resembling a mythology to the fairy godparents, and rules and regulation to their magic. (It all served as a vehicle for life lessons for the kids watching, but still.) And sometimes, there would even be longer episodes striving for an epic tone, like a movie.
                One would think that even with the over-the-top tone of this show, more built-up characters would develop, as would a stronger consistency between their interactions with Timmy and the situations they would engage in. Instead, the show would use the supporting characters less and less over time. As it stands presently, the only characters who seem to matter are the core trio with a baby and a pet dog added in recent seasons. At best, Timmy’s parents would engage in a super-wacky scenario, and only two supporting characters ever had any recurring relevance (a villainous teacher seeking to expose Cosmo and Wanda, and an alien). The rest were grossly underdeveloped, serving little more than as a plot device when needed.
                This show could have built up a better mythology and developed its supporting characters a lot more if it wanted to live up to what it seemed to promise in earlier seasons. Trixie Tang could have softened to Timmy a little more and that would have tied into his relationship with Tootie. Vicky could have had more personality and rhyme or reason to her actions, instead of being evil just for the sake of being evil. I personally would have worked in more godchildren and set up spiffy fantasy concepts from that often, if only so Timmy can get a break from always keeping a secret. And this could have worked in a cartoony, very absurd style, without having to get too serious.
                Instead, we just get the same noise over and over, and at worst insultingly bad storylines.

No comments:

Post a Comment