Monday, April 20, 2015

The Case Against Jabberjaw

Ah, Hanna Barbera. You gave us tons of classic cartoons that everyone grew up with.
Then it became 1969, and you stopped.
I'm not entirely sure what happened to HB in the late 60s-early 70s, but here are a few examples of how they stopped caring for a while:
1) They churned out about 3, 999, 999, 999 new shows with unmemorable characters about twice a week.
2) The animation got even WORSE. How....I'll just leave it at, "how".
But here is, what in my opinion, was one of the most unwatchable HB cartoons produced, that, for some unknown reason (my bet is riding on Satan. I don't know how, but...Satan) has an actual fan following. Yes, that's right, people have actual nostalgic memories for this.
The cartoon in question, of course, is Jabberjaw.
All right, so you're probably either wondering, "well, you say this thing is so lame, but why?" or "you keep promising to update this blog more regularly, jerkface". Well, here's my case against Jabberjaw.

ICM's Case Against Jabberjaw
First and foremost, it suffered from the same disease every other 70s-HB cartoon had: plagiarism.
It was basically a version of Scooby-Doo with no interesting characters and no plot. The writers did this for the sole purpose of people not having to use a single brain cell while watching this. Like Scooby Doo, it was about a group of teenagers who have a talking animal that they travel with as they solve mysteries.
In Scooby Doo, the talking dog made sense (somewhat). That's an actual pet that people have, so using one as the sidekick could work. Here, it's a group of teens with...a shark. What game of drunk Mad Libs were you playing when you conceived this?
Also, they were a band or something.
Fifteen different types of drugs were consumed to draw this image.
Alright, so we already know that this is an even more campy version of Scooby Doo (again, how). But it gets worse. Of course you're probably trying to think of how a horribly-animated ripoff of Soocby Doo with twice the drugs (probably) involved about a group of campy teenagers who like to solve mysteries as well as play in a band in which a talking shark is the drummer gets worse, but again, the key word is "plagiarism".
And it's not plagiarism from one of the personality-less teenagers. Or any side characters. Or even the plot.
It's the main character. That's right, the namesake, the marketing angle for this abomination is a full-blown, 100% ripoff. That's awful.
And it's not like they took the character they were ripping off and changed them to fit the show like they did with Ralph Kramden and Fred Flintstone...he's a full-blown ripoff.
AND...and and and and's not like they're ripping off someone who isn't super distinctive, so people wouldn't recognize that they were ripping them off...they blatantly, without even TRYING to hide it, steal the personality, voice, and mannerisms of Curly (from the "Three Stooges").
Just, wow.
Here, look at a clip of this stupid shark and tell me he isn't completely ripping off Curly:
Still not convinced? Okay, here's his laugh:
The Verdict:
If I had to choose one word to describe this show, it would be "shameless".
First, they rip off one of their OWN SHOWS. Why would you do that? What is the purpose? Just make more episodes of the original show you're ripping off.
Next, they rip off an easily recognizable fictional character. Then, they make that ripoff their lead guy. Smart.
Aside from the lawsuits (that still haven't happened about forty years later, for some reason) this show is just generally uncreative, lame, and too campy. Emphasis on "too campy", because that really doesn't help this thing age well.
I sentence you to ten years of reading any book about how to come up with ideas, because you need it.
My final verdict?
Negative 6.1 points overall. You suck, Jabberjaw (except for your theme song).