The Fairly OddParents (Seasons 9-10)
The ninth season of The Fairly OddParents began on March 23, 2013 with the episode "Fairly OddPet" and ended on March 28, 2015 with the episodes "Fairly Old Parent" and "The Fairy Beginning", which aired back-to-back. The season introduced a new HD opening sequence that included Poof and is the first season to be produced in HD. It also introduced Sparky, Timmy's new fairy dog. However, Sparky was completely removed from the show for the following season due to poor reception from both fans and the people at Nickelodeon.
The tenth season premiered on January 15, 2016 with the episode "The Big Fairy Share Scare" and ended on July 26, 2017 with the episode "The Kale Patch Caper". Seven months later, series creator Butch Hartman left Nickelodeon, thus ceasing production of the series altogether. The season introduced Chloe Carmichael, Timmy's new neighbor, who had gathered an even worse reception than Sparky.
The show in general, which used to be a smash hit, has later become criticized for a number of reasons aside from just Sparky and Chloe alone, and it has gone down to some of the worst examples of seasonal rot and flanderization in these seasons.
Why These Seasons Suck
- The primary criticism is directed towards Nickelodeon for forcing series creator Butch Hartman to add pointless new characters like Sparky and Chloe Carmichael for ratings stunt. Another issue is Hartman's seemingly lack of talent or interest in the series, even though this can be excused by the fact that the series had been prolonged for too long and ran its course several times prior. As a result, these seasons don't stay true to the original source material and clearly lack the magical charm and cleverness of the first five seasons, and to a lesser extent, the sixth season, and even the seventh and eighth seasons. It also doesn't help that the writing team in these seasons were new to the animation industry and, therefore, have never worked on any cartoon prior to The Fairly OddParents, with the exception of Ray DeLaurentis, who had worked on other mediocre projects like the infamous Bubsy pilot in 1993, Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, and Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, before he had worked on this show as producer, story editor, and writer from its seventh season onward.
- The writing downgraded from being amazingly creative to being completely lazy and nonsensical, which totally broke the show's premise of an average kid who no one understands and, most importantly, its entire concept of "Da Rules", which has now been reduced from a cornerstone that give the characters access to limited magic to a walking plot device for the sake of a specific episode to further extend the series. A notable example is Timmy's fairies are often seen out in public without disguising themselves, as if this was always a casual thing. Regardless, Timmy's fairies also stay objects most of the time, which really makes it even more jarring. If anything, considering them being exposed is no longer an issue, it makes you question as to why they still need to change forms.
- These seasons in combination are filled to the brim with bad episodes, such as:
- "Fairly OddPet"
- "The Big Fairy Share Scare"
- "I Dream of Cosmo"
- "Dumbbell Curve"
- "Finding Emo"
- "Let Sleeper Dogs Lie"
- "Love at First Bark"
- "Desperate Without Housewives"
- "Jerk of All Trades"
- "Fairly Old Parent"
- "Man's Worst Friend"
- "Girly Squirrely"
- "Return of the L.O.S.E.R.S"
- "A Sash and a Rash"
- "Booby Trapped"
- "Married to the Mom"
- "Chip Off the Old Crock!"
- All of the remaining 13 episodes animated in flash (with "Certifiable Super Sitter" being the worst offender)
- The characterization has become incredibly lackluster in comparison to the first eight seasons:
- Most of the secondary characters (ex. Chester, A.J., Sanjay, Elmer, Trixie, Tootie, Veronica, Francis, Crimson Chin, Anti-Fairies, the Pixies, etc) are either completely absent or in the background with almost no speaking lines. Butch Hartman admitted that he and the writers no longer had any interest in these characters, favoring Timmy's Dad, Mr. Crocker, and occasionally Foop instead.
- Poof and Vicky are barely even relevant despite the former being photoshopped into the intro and the latter still appearing in said intro.
- Poof is either absent or has cameos only in almost every episode in the second half of Season 9 starting with the episode "Let Sleeper Dogs Lie" onward, while in Season 10, he is absent in all but one episode. The reason being so that Season 9 can focus more on Sparky and Season 10 can focus more on Chloe. There are also several episodes where Foop appears without his counterpart, Poof.
- Vicky is in only four episodes in each season. In combination, that's eight episodes total, and it's only three of which she has an actual major role. Additionally, she has not been redeemed from flanderization from Season 6 onward and kept just as she has been since then.
- Catman returned, but he was retooled and no longer voiced by Adam West, due to his old age and later death, thus, ruining the joke. In fact, he was 84 when Season 9 premiered. West was since replaced by Jeff Bennett.
- On that note, Catman got four episodes with major roles within these two seasons, while another superhero, the Crimson Chin, got zero episodes focused on him since "Chindred Spirits" from Season 6. Even if they couldn't afford Jay Leno, Daran Norris could've still voiced the Crimson Chin, since he voiced the character in the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts and in the episode "Fairy Fairy Quite Contrary" from Season 2 when Leno was unavailable.
- Almost all of the remaining characters are even more flanderized than in Seasons 7-8, to the point of becoming intolerable and lacking any of the charm they had back in the first six seasons:
- Timmy Turner himself has gone from a tragic and unpopular, yet goodhearted and relatable protagonist who had moments of feeling sorry for others' misfortunes, summoned his fairies to help improve their lives, and expressed remorse for the disasters that his wishes were causing whilst resolving them with his own cleverness and learning almost every lesson, into a bland and generic spoiled brat who only summons his godparents for fun, wishes many things for himself, and expresses an apathetic reaction for the disasters that his wishes were causing until the plot conveniently called for it each and every time with almost no lessons learned.
- Cosmo and Wanda went from a cute and lovable fairy godcouple with the former being simple-minded, yet charming and the latter being the brains and voice-of-reason, into a generic idiotic husband and nagging wife-type characters who share an equal amount of stupidity and carelessness, and are constantly rendered useless and unable to help Timmy by frequently losing their wands for what can only be described as plot contrivance.
- Mr. Turner went from a bumbling, yet goodhearted father into a literal manchild who rarely acts his age and causes destruction everywhere he goes.
- Mr. Crocker went from a mentally unstable school teacher, yet funny and intelligent villainous fairy hunter who wanted to prove to the world that fairies exist, into a carbon copy of Mr. Turner and his obsession with fairies is only used whenever the plot called for it.
- Timmy's Dad and Mr. Crocker are also unbelievably overused in almost all of the episodes, even in ones not directly focused on them, since Hartman stated that they were his favorite characters, leading many fans to grow sick of them.
- Other leftover characters, despite having little screen time, have suffered from flanderization as well:
- Jorgen Von Strangle has been reduced to a generic plot device and is used for little more than for the sake of just bending around Da Rules and setting the plots in motion.
- Foop started out as a typical, yet entertaining villain wanting to destroy Timmy and his fairies in his Season 7 debut. But as time went on, he himself has also seen some levels of inconsistency within his characterization here and there, in which he has become less of a villain and more of a pointless moronic comic relief in the same way as Mr. Crocker. He has also become the only anti-fairy favored among the writers.
- Dark Lazer went from a typical, yet entertaining villain wanting to destroy Timmy, his fairies, and the town of Dimmsdale, to then just an incompetent and idiotic villain in one episode in Season 10, to then a typical heel-face turn villain in his remaining two appearances afterwards.
- The voice acting, while still good, can be obnoxious and unsettling to hear at times, particularly from Cosmo and Chloe Carmichael themselves.
- Cosmo's voice is at its worst in these seasons, likely due to Hartman forcing Daran Norris to pitch up the aforementioned character's voice higher than in Seasons 3-8, up to the point where he sounds flamboyant and as if he's on helium.
- Chloe Carmichael is no better, due to her voice actress, Kari Wahlgren, yelling at the majority of her lines.
- Stale and repetitive jokes, mostly ones surrounding Cosmo, Timmy's Dad, and Crocker acting like idiots.
- Overuse of contradictions, particularly when the characters say that things cannot go wrong and then the exact opposite happens, probably even more so than in the previous seasons.
- Like in the first eight seasons, the morals are still not well carried out or are badly misleading.
- Ended the series on a sour note after sixteen years before Butch Hartman officially left Nickelodeon several months after the show ended.
- This season introduced the pointless new character, Sparky, who nobody wanted or asked for. He was so hated, that the next season completely removed him without any explanation.
- This season introduced many new (usually one-time) characters, who were created for the sake of a cheap story. Many of these roles could have easily been taken by already established characters, ones that were severely underused in this season. Episodes like "Finding Emo", "Lame Ducks", "Love at First Bark", and "Desperate Without Housewives" have just a few examples.
- Not to mention, a few new random background characters have also been added in Dimmsdale Elementary School. They, too, serve nothing other than to provide scenery. The same trend happens throughout Season 10. Any of Timmy's friends and classmates could have easily hold that position and there wouldn't have been a single difference.
- Much of this season lacks any originality, as about 50% of the episodes lazily reused plots of episodes from the previous seasons in some way, shape or form, even if they have minor differences, while also watering down the charm and cleverness of the episodes that they try to be like in question. For a complete list:
- "Fairly OddPet" is a version of "Fairly Odd Baby" from season six, except this time, it replaces the concept of babies with dogs.
- "I Dream of Cosmo" is "Genie Meanie Minie Mo" from season four, but instead of Timmy and Norm the Genie, the main focus is Timmy's Dad and Cosmo.
- "Dumbbell Curve" is a version of "Pipe Down" from season three, except it replaces the concept of silence with idiocy.
- "Force of Nature" rehashes "Talkin' Trash" from season five.
- "Anchors Away" rehashes "Mother Nature" from season three.
- "Finding Emo" is "Emotion Commotion" from season four. It also introduced a pointless Mary Sue replacement of Trixie Tang named "Missy", who served as a generic and bland love interest plot device for Timmy. However, she was a one-time character and never appeared again. Speaking of Trixie, both she and Tootie have no physical appearances whatsoever in this season.
- "The Bored Identity" is "Action Packed" from season two, but with Timmy's Dad being the main focus and his son as a supporting role.
- "Turner Back Time" completely rectons "Which Witch Is Which?" from season three.
- "A Boy and His Dog-Boy" rehashes "A Dog's Day Afternoon" from season one, except without the mind/body switching concept.
- "Crock Blocked" is "Timvisble" from season two, except that Crocker is the one who turned invisible and not Timmy.
- "Tons of Timmys" rehashes the Oh Yeah! Cartoons short, "Too Many Timmys".
- "Let Sleeper Dogs Lie" completely retcons "The Origins of Denzel Crocker" from season three for the sake of shoehorning Sparky onto Crocker's backstory, portrays all of the characters (including Crocker himself) into complete morons, and it has a nonsensical story.
- "Desperate Without Housewives" is "Love Struck!" from season three and that episode itself is no better.
- "Jerk of All Trades" (while not taking elements off any episode from the previous seasons) is "SpongeBob, You're Fired!" from season nine of SpongeBob SquarePants. It does not help that the aforementioned SpongeBob episode aired several months prior and that episode itself is no better.
- "Turning Into Turner" rehashes "Presto Change-O" from season five, except without the mind/body switching concept.
- "The Wand That Got Away" is a clone of yet another Oh Yeah! Cartoons short, this time being “Where’s the Wand?”.
- "Man's Worst Friend" is a version of "Anti-Poof" from season seven due to the easily predictable eventual introduction of Sparky's anti-counterpart, Anti-Sparky.
- Almost all of Vicky's headgags in the intro for this season lazily reused all of the ones from season one, which are the toilet, fire hydrant, walrus, octopus, and parrot headgags.
- The toilet headgag, in particular, is repeated nine times in a row.
- The only new headgag is Sparky, albeit two different versions, the other of which is Vicky being fully turned into Sparky. Nevertheless, both of the Sparky headgags in combination are repeated nine times in a row like the aforementioned toilet headgag.
- Da Rules were constantly broken in this season, such as Sparky trying to date Peaches despite her being an earth dog in "Love at First Bark" and Jorgen forcing Poof to become the godparent of Mr. Crocker's mother despite her being too old to have a fairy godparent in "Fairly Old Parent".
- Several missed, really good opportunities to use Anti-Cosmo/Anti-Wanda, especially in "Scary GodCouple" and "Man's Worst Friend". Instead, we get the Anti-Fairy Council and the Grim Reaper. Anti-Sparky wasn't too great either. Likewise, it can also be said as a negative for this season that Foop continues the bad trend of always appearing without his parents, Anti-Cosmo and Anti-Wanda, after his debut episode in season seven. This becomes really forced in this season with the introduction of the Council and the Reaper, and this trend continues into season ten as well.
- Remy Buxaplenty does return in one episode, that being "Country Clubbed", but his entire character has been completely retooled.
- In the episodes focusing exclusively on the Squirrely Scouts ("Dinklescouts" and "Dimmsdale Tales"), Chester, A.J., Sanjay, and Elmer have almost no lines, yet there is another random kid character who gets almost all of the lines. The same thing happens throughout season ten ("Girly Squirrely", "Space Cadad" and "Goldie-Crocks and the Three Fair Bears"), except only that time around, the four boys altogether have been swapped out for four random kids, including the aforementioned kid character from both "Dinklescouts" and "Dimmsdale Tales".
- Poof starts to speak in "School of Crock" and later followed by "Fairly Odd Fairy Tales". However, that plot line barely had any time to play out, since he still continued to be inexplicably absent even after that.
- Repetitive and forced pop culture references (especially Scooby-Doo ones). The episode "The Wand That Got Away" has the highest number of Scooby-Doo references in this season.
- This season replaced Sparky with another pointless new character, Chloe Carmichael, and worsened almost everything else that the previous season started. As stated earlier, reception and viewership declined so drastically, even more so than in the previous season, that Nickelodeon had to move the show to Nicktoons midway through this season's run and the network did nothing else with the show afterwards, despite that not necessarily being a bad thing.
- On the subject of Chloe Carmichael herself, she is a Mary Sue character. For example, in the majority of this season’s episodes, the writers give her a different persona for whatever profession the episodes in question require, essentially depicting her at being the best as they can make her be. Meanwhile at the same time, Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda themselves have been reduced to plot devices or filler as Chloe became the writers’ pet for the main spotlight. The writers also made many lazy excuses to keep Cosmo and Wanda from the main plot so that they’re unable to help Timmy whenever he is in danger and to give Chloe all of the spotlight as needed because the writers clearly wanted it that way. Episodes like "Girly Squirrely", "Return of the L.O.S.E.R.S.", "Booby Trapped", "Dimmsdale Daze", and "Certifiable Super Sitter" are notable examples of this.
- This season's new theme song is horrible and only sung by two people in lieu of a full chorus. All of the other music in this season is mediocre at best. Worse, the intro is lazily edited, using clips of several episodes within this season, as well as some from the previous season’s intro; a couple of clips from said previous intro are used in the wrong context. Vicky's "yeah, right" line is even mistimed so she says it too early.
- This season has the worst jokes in the entire series. It tries way too hard to be modern, hip, and trendy with selfies, duck lips, and Donald Trump references. However, all these attempts failed miserably.
- During production, the series was hit by massive budget cuts, forcing Billionfold Studios to switch from traditional animation from Yeson Entertainment in Korea, to flash animation from Elliott Animation in Canada. That said, The flash animation itself (in the final thirteen episodes) looks horribly out of date and is a complete downgrade of the series, with constant frame rate drops. As a result, some of the character designs are rigid and ugly. Not helping matters is this type of animation would later be used for Butch Hartman’s next and final series for Nickelodeon, Bunsen Is A Beast, and that show itself is no better.
- Speaking of which, the crossover special, "Bunsen of Friends", wasn’t all that great either and basically is a combination of everything wrong with both shows.
- Not to mention, the season originally had 13 half-hour episodes, but Nickelodeon forced the staff to make 7 more half-hour episodes with budget cuts. This is an inverse of what happened with the third season of Danny Phantom, where they cut that show's budget as well and reduced the amount of episodes.
- Several more episodes in this season lazily reused plots of episodes from the previous seasons, while also watering down the charm and cleverness of the episodes they try to be like in question:
- "Whittle Me This" is "Cat-Astrophe" from the previous season and that episode itself is no better.
- "One Flu Over the Crocker's Nest" feels too similar to "Tiny Timmy" from season one. Only this time, Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda (and including Chloe) go inside Crocker's body instead of Vicky's.
- "Married to the Mom" is a direct carbon copy of "The Odd Couple" from season four, except this time, Vicky is replaced with Crocker, and the song "Vicky's in Love" for Vicky from that episode is reprised for Crocker in this episode, only with the song replacing Vicky's name with Crocker's.
- "Which is Wish" is "Manic Mom-Day" from season seven, and that episode itself is no better.
- "Fairy Con" is a downgraded version of "Cosmo Con" from season three.
- "Dimmsdale Daze" is a clone of "The Big Problem" from season one. The only difference is that this time, Chloe is the one who wishes to be an adult instead of Timmy.
- "Dadlantis" is "Something's Fishy" from season five.
- "Summer Bummer" is a rehash of "Dream Goat!" from season one. Additionally, it has a giant doll named Gender-Neutral Jessie, whose entire existence is a mockery of gender-neutral people.
- The episode "Return of the L.O.S.E.R.S.", the sequel to the episode "When Losers Attack" from season eight, was terrible, and an insult to the aforementioned original episode.
- The episode "Chip Off the Old Crock" introduced another pointless new character, Kevin Crocker, Mr. Crocker's nephew, who is just a miniature version of Mr. Crocker himself with a higher-pitched voice.
- The episode "Certifiable Super Sitter" is the worst offender of all the episodes animated in flash (and possibly the worst episode in the entire series) as it showed how much the staff (including Hartman) no longer cared about the show.
- The final episode in production order, "Fancy Schmancy", ended the series on a whimper. The last one to be aired, "The Kale Patch Caper", is no better.
- The new HD opening sequence (albeit, in Season 9) is amazingly well done. Likewise, both of the art visuals and the animation (albeit, in Season 9 and the first half of Season 10) have gotten even better than before.
- The voice acting is still good (except for Cosmo and Chloe Carmichael, as said earlier) and if there is no yelling or screaming.
- Depending on your view, both seasons in combination still had decent episodes such as The Terrible Twosome", "Cosmonopoly", "Fairly Odd Fairy Tales", "Birthday Battle", and "Blue Angel".
- Some of the jokes are still worth a chuckle, such as Cosmo's line, "Poof, you're home, and you've been framed! Wanda, we gotta get a baby lawyer!" in the episode "Certifiable Super Sitter".
- Some of the references are still good, such as Dudley Puppy, the protagonist from T.U.F.F. Puppy, appearing as a balloon in "Dimmsdale's Got Talent?".
- There were still a few heartwarming moments, such as in "The Fairy Beginning" and "Mayor May Not".
- Despite their characterizations not being executed well, Remy Buxaplenty, Catman, and Shallowgrave all return in HD for the first time.
- Vicky's headgags in the intro for Season 10 at least were all different, some of which being original as well, unlike Season 9.
- Sparky, while generally intolerable, didn't steal the spotlight from Timmy nor is he a Gary Stu unlike Chloe Carmichael (Mary Sue). There have also been a few episodes where he is either a minor character or completely absent.
- Chloe Carmichael, while generally intolerable, became less of a Mary Sue as Season 10 went on, which was a slight improvement for her characterization.
While the first five seasons were well received and the sixth through eighth seasons had positive to mixed reception, the last two seasons have received mainly negative reviews, with certain episodes panned by many fans and critics alike. Criticism was primarily directed at the new characters (Sparky and Chloe respectively) that the executives at Nickelodeon forced the show’s staff to add.
Characters that have either been dumbed down to their stereotypes or demoted to extras were also criticized, as well as the complete disregard of the show’s continuity and consistency from its earlier seasons. As a result, many fans and critics stopped watching the show entirely as Season 9 went on. Others have stayed on until the show’s cancellation but have criticized it for its decline at the time.