Attention, child learning experts – put down your study and back away from The Sponge.
In case you haven’t heard, an online journal released an article today suggesting that SpongeBob SquarePants makes four year olds dumb. Well, maybe dumber. (No offense, but have you talked to a four year old recently about the 2012 presidential campaign? They don’t add much to the discussion).
Personally, I couldn’t completely follow the study – 60 four year olds given nine minutes of SpongeBob video each, or something like that – so maybe Mr. SquarePants has worked his brain-killing magic on me. I’ve seen my share of episodes over the years, and although I’m not a hardcore SpongeBob fan, I am definitely a SpongeBob admirer. The supporting cast alone is inspired: A sassy squirrel with karate skills and a Texas accent; a developmentally disabled pink starfish; a scheming plankton who operates a seedy fast food restaurant. This is imagination run amok in the best way.
Nickelodeon claims the study is b.s. because the show isn’t produced with four year olds in mind. I agree. The learning experts would be closer to the demographic target if they’d charted the brain activity of 60 stoned college freshmen watching SpongeBob.