The Fairly OddParents (Seasons 1-8)
The Fairly OddParents is an American animated television series created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon. Set in the fictional town of Dimmsdale, California, the series follows the adventures of Timmy Turner, a 10-year old boy who is neglected by his parents and abused by his teenage babysitter named Vicky. He is granted two fairy godparents named Cosmo and Wanda, who grant his every wish to improve his miserable life. However, these wishes usually backfire and cause a series of problems that Timmy must fix.
It was produced by Frederator Studios (2001–2017), Nickelodeon Animation Studio, and Billionfold Inc. (2008–2017). The series originated from ten shorts on Nick's animation showcase, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, that aired from 1998 to 2001. They were later collectively greenlighted as a full series that began on March 30, 2001 and ended on November 25, 2006, totaling five seasons. The series was revived on February 18, 2008 and concluded once again on July 26, 2017. Butch Hartman left Nickelodeon roughly seven months after the series ended.
Why These Seasons Rock
- Catchy and jazzy theme song.
- The visuals of the art style and character designs are visually appealing on the eyes, possibly inspired from those of Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo, given that series creator Butch Hartman used to work on the latter two series before deciding to create this show (albeit, first starting out as a series of shorts on Oh Yeah! Cartoons). Hartman would later go on to use the same visuals of the art style and character designs for his later works, those being Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy.
- Timmy Turner and his fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, make an interesting and memorable trio of a fairy god family:
- Timmy is the tragic, yet goodhearted kid who is somewhat self-centered.
- Cosmo is the typical simple-minded, yet entertaining self-aware humorist with many great fourth wall breaks.
- Wanda is the responsible, yet intelligent voice-of-reason.
- Memorable secondary characters like Timmy's parents, Jorgen Von Strangle, Chester, A.J., Elmer, Sanjay, Trixie Tang, Veronica, Tootie, Mark Chang, Cupid, Remy Buxaplenty, Juandissimo, Chet Ubetcha, Dinkleberg, Chip Skylark, Catman, Crash Nebula, and the Crimson Chin.
- Poof, the son of Cosmo and Wanda, is actually a cute character to begin with from season six onwards. Additionally, even though he was born at the beginning of the aforementioned season, the show was still good until season nine.
- Memorable villains like Vicky the Babysitter, Denzel Crocker, Francis the School Bully, the Pixies, Dark Laser, Norm the Genie, the Crimson Chin’s Enemies, and the Anti-Fairies (ex. Foop, Anti-Cosmo, Anti-Wanda etc).
- Memorable specials, and/or direct-to-TV films, such as:
- "Christmas Everyday!"
- "Information Stupor Highway"
- "Scary Godparents"
- "The Origins of Denzel Crocker"
- "Shelf Life"
- "The Big Superhero Wish!"
- "Channel Chasers"
- "School's Out!: The Musical"
- "Fairy Idol"
- "Fairly OddBaby"
- "The Fairly Oddlympics"
- "Merry Wishmas"
- "When L.O.S.E.R.S. Attack".
- "Channel Chasers", in particular, stands out as the best special episode in the series primarily because of its moral lesson at the end where you have to accept the reality of outgrowing things you once enjoyed as a kid while also holding onto those beloved memories that last a lifetime.
- It even had a trio of crossover specials with fellow Nicktoon series, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius.
- Very talented voice actors, even from the most well-known actors such as Tara Strong, Daran Norris, Susanne Blakeslee, Grey DeLisle, Carlos Alazraqui, etc.
- Lots of hilarious and entertaining jokes, especially from Cosmo, Timmy's Dad, Mr. Crocker, and Jorgen.
- Timmy's Dad, in particular, has spawned numerous memes such as "DINKLEBURG!" and "If I had one!".
- It manages to teach valuable lessons every time Timmy wishes for something that eventually backfires.
- Well established structure, Da Rules, that ties the show together. It also gives the show limited structure with magic to allow actual conflicts to occur in the plots in question.
- Despite all the backfiring Timmy gets in some episodes whenever something he wishes backfires, he does get some pretty good endings no matter what.
- Its first five seasons, the original run from 2001 to 2006 including the first ten pilot shorts that came prior, are considered the golden age era by fans.
- "Meet the OddParents", the final episode of season eight, was decent and could have been a perfect way to wrap up the series if it had not continued past that.
- After being revived in 2008 with the introduction of Poof, the show gradually declined in quality in its final nine years. It was not until the final two seasons, the ninth and tenth seasons, that eventually lead Nickelodeon into cancelling the series. Following the series' cancellation, the franchise as a whole sat in limbo until the announcement of a live-action reboot being in development as of 2021.
- Even before that, there were a few bad and/or average episodes, such as:
- "Love Struck!"
- "Just the Two of Us!" (depending on your view)
- "Timmy's 2-D House of Horror"
- "It's a Wishful Life"
- "Teeth for Two" (depending on your view)
- "Open Wide and Say Aaagh!"
- "Sooper Poof"
- "Vicky Gets Fired"
- "Crocker Shocker"
- "Frenemy Mine"
- "Playdate of Doom" (depending on your view)
- "Manic Mom-Day"
- "Take and Fake"
- "Cosmo Rules"
- "Lights Out"
- "Spellementary School" (depending on your view)
- "Timmy's Secret Wish!"
- "Timmy's Secret Wish!", in particular, was an awful way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the series.
- Speaking of the show's tenth anniversary, the live-action film adaptation and its sequels aren't all that great either.
- Seasons 6-8 had positive to mixed reception among critics and fans alike, and are generally better received than Seasons 9-10. However, they are still not as great as the first five seasons:
- Season 6 is decent and has a handful of good episodes, but this season was when the show officially jumped the shark due to the introduction of Poof, as Nickelodeon forced the staff to add the aforemention character. Since then, the quality of the episodes were often a hit-or-miss. While Poof himself received generally positive reviews, he was also not immune to criticism, as many considered him more-or-less of a plot device since he is just a baby and that they felt that a lot of the episodes following his debut relied too much on "baby shenanigans". The season also had a few bad episodes, with the Vicky-focused episodes being the worst offenders.
- Seasons 7-8 in combination, while not terrible, are arguably considered the weakest of the first eight seasons and the episodes range from good to average, to then just okay, to mediocre, to plain bad. Upon the introduction of Foop, who is Poof's anti-counterpart, the quality declined even more so than in Season 6, because almost all of the original writing team have moved on by then. On the other hand, Ray DeLaurentis came aboard as producer, story editor, and writer. However, DeLaurentis worked on projects that were not well received to begin with, prior to working on The Fairly OddParents starting in Season 7 onward. The writers also began to gradually sideline almost all of the secondary characters (yes, even Vicky herself). According to series creator Butch Hartman himself, this was a deliberate decision as he and the writers favored Timmy's Dad, Crocker, and occasionally Foop instead. Several continuity errors and inconsistences started popping up more around this time as well. Here are some examples:
- In the episode, "Crocker Shocker", a contrived plot twist of Crocker's obsession with magic is revealed to be the source of Fairy World.
- In the episode, "Spellementary School" (as well as later episodes), Poof and Foop are shown to be attending the same fairy preschool school together despite the latter being an anti-fairy, and the said school is filled with fairy children, despite previous episodes already establishing Cosmo being the second-to-last fairy to be born years before Poof.
- In the episode, "Love Triangle", Timmy's Dad is pointlessly shoehorned in several times for running gag jokes, a persona that continued until the show's aforementioned cancellation, including scenes of him face-to-face with the fairies (yes, even Timmy's fairies themselves), in the aforementioned episode.
- Depending on your view, Mr. Crocker's flanderization started kicking in (albeit, subtly) in the following episodes: "Formula for Disaster", "Bad Heir Day", "Take and Fake", "When Losers Attack", and the infamous 10th anniversary special "Timmy's Secret Wish!". For example, his obsession with fairies is only when the writers specifically called for it. Otherwise, he is more-or-less just there for pointless running gag jokes. This persona became the norm in Seasons 9-10.
- Depending on your view, Season 5 marked the gradual decline of the show mainly due to it having a very few bad episodes (with "It's a Wishful Life" being the worst offender) in comparison to the first four seasons, which had almost no bad episodes. Additionally, a handful, if not, all of the characters got pretty dumbed down considerably, though more can be said for how they were portrayed in Seasons 9-10. Even Season 6 can at times be better than Season 5, since the former season managed to restore the original personalities of the characters in question. Unfortunately, the characters in question started to become more dumbed down by Season 7 onward.
- The third and final Jimmy Timmy Power Hour crossover, "The Jerkinators", despite being the original end of the show, is arguably considered the weakest of the three crossovers, as it did little to wrap up loose ends, had a very generic plot, and some of the characters (mainly Jimmy and Timmy themselves) were out of character. However, it isn't terrible in the slightest and is rather decent. It's just the weakest.
- The characterization, while decent, isn't the best, because Butch Hartman and/or the writers seemed uninterested in developing the characters past their stereotypes (the same can even be said for his other shows) that could have allowed for some more potential creativity down the line and, as said before, repeatedly kept dumbing the characters down for the sake of humor. Even on the rare times where they actually do break from this mold, it's generally for comedic purposes since almost none of the characters have actual depth or charm in comparison to other more popular and iconic shows such as fellow Nicktoon series, SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Veronica, the best friend of Trixie Tang, in particular, is badly underutilized since she could have served as a potential third love interest for Timmy as an in-between of Trixie and Tootie (lacking the former's narcissism and the latter's obsessiveness) instead of the later characters of Missy and Chloe Carmichael, but Butch Hartman and/or the writers seemed to have ignored her as the series progressed.
- Even though the show has good morals, they are often not well carried out because they'd just rather tell the morals instead of showing them. Likewise, it has had some pretty bad and misleading morals:
- The moral of the infamous "It's a Wishful Life" states that you shouldn't do things for people to be appreciated, but because it's the right thing to do. This is incredibly wrong because being appreciated means people are graceful for the goods that you do, being appreciated makes you know that you did something good and you should feel proud of yourself for doing something good, and how can you tell if you did something right or good if you aren't appreciated for it?
- The moral in "Vicky Gets Fired" is an incredibly dangerous and misleading moral that states that if you are being bullied and tortured up to the point of attempted murder, you should keep quiet and not tell anyone, especially authority figures.
- It gets pretty mean-spirited, annoying, dumb, cliché, and juvenile at times.
- The humor, in particular, can at times be offensively stereotypical as it tends to make stereotypical jokes at British people (the antagonist character, Anti-Cosmo being one example since he speaks in an English accent and wears a monocle) and portrays smart people as insufferable and insensitive.
- Speaking of humor, depending on your view, you may find it predictably repetitive and annoying at times.
- Occasionally in the first five seasons, the show can be inconsistent with Da Rules, though this is much more better understandable unlike in the later seasons, especially in the infamous ninth and tenth seasons.
- One particularly baffling example comes from "Fairy Fairy Quite Contrary" (Remy Buxaplenty's debut episode). In the episode, Remy showed concern that Timmy could wish to be richer than him, but its sister episode "Nectar of the Odds" establishes that poofing up money is counterfeiting.
The series received generally positive reviews in its first five seasons. Seasons 6-8 gathered a positive to mixed reception.
- It has the most seasons and episodes out of all the Butch Hartman shows.
- Having ran for 16 years and nearly four months, it is currently the second longest running show on Nickelodeon, behind SpongeBob SquarePants and before Rugrats.