The Downfall of the Fairly OddParents

Written by Timothy Johnson
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Timmy is an average kid that no one understands … Mom and Dad and Vicky always giving him commands…

Ah, The Fairly OddParents. The adventures of a boy named Timmy Turner and his misadventures with his fairy godparents named Cosmo and Wanda that can grant him nearly any wish he wants.

MeetTheOddParents620This is a Nickelodeon show that I’m sure many remember and grew up watching. It premiered in March 2001 and is the network’s second longest running animated series behind SpongeBob SquarePants.

The show exploded in popularity over the years and garnered a huge fanbase; the trio of Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda were unstoppable as they journey to Fairy World, stop Timmy’s evil babysitter Vicky and his insane teacher Mr. Crocker from their diabolical activities, hang out with Mark Chang the alien, and so many more.

The show also had many fantastic specials that really defined the good old days of Nickelodeon, including Channel Chasers, Abra-Catastrophe, and the most awesome of all: the Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour crossovers with fellow Nick show The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. FOP was simply a remarkable show with a unique premise and a funny cast of characters. The only question I have on my mind is… what went wrong?

Many people may not know this, but the show was actually supposed to be cancelled in 2006 after the conclusion of its fifth season and the third and final Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour special (which was actually meant to serve as the series finale of both this series and Jimmy Neutron). There were absolutely no new episodes at all in the 2007 year, but Nickelodeon decided to revive FOP in the 2008 year, and ordered a sixth season.

They kicked off the season in February with the addition of a new character, Poof, who is Cosmo and Wanda’s baby. The character was not bad, but besides the majority of the episodes where he is the main focus, he really did not add anything to the show. He mostly stayed in the background and typically only appeared alongside Cosmo and Wanda with not much of a role.

Most people pinpoint the birth of Poof as the time that the show had “jumped the shark”, or declined in quality. I will admit, the post-Poof episodes really don’t live up to the original five seasons, but the majority of it is really not terrible. Sadly, it only gets worse from here.

The show’s ninth season began in March 2013, after two live-action TV movies based on the show were aired, one in 2011 titled A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, and later a Christmas movie in 2012 titled A Fairly Odd Christmas, to celebrate the series’s ten year anniversary (and these movies were pretty bad; they just did not fit with the rest of the show).

They started the season with the addition of another main character, Sparky the fairy dog that Timmy adopts as a pet. To sum up this character, he is basically a carbon copy of the dim-witted Cosmo. Compared to the debut of Poof, this episode was awful and full of many plot holes.

After the first episode, Season 9 was alright in my opinion, but then it quickly took a dive and began quite painful to watch. The flanderization of characters (or in simple words, the fact that they got changed so much that they are not the same as they used to be in the early years), the mediocre plots, even the fact that Poof abruptly disappeared for many episodes to make room for this uninteresting Sparky character, it was hard to believe that this was still FOP. It felt like a whole different show.

Typically, the plug is pulled on a show when their ratings began to plummet, right? Season 9 got bad ratings, alright, but it didn’t end there. Nickelodeon ordered yet another season of the show, which premiered in January 2016.

Season 10, actually, was in fact very good, and it felt like a return back to the good old days. The original writers returned, and they made the show like it used to be, back when the characters were actually tolerable.

Sadly, I’m only joking.. This new season, yet again, added another new character, this time it is a different story. We are introduced to a girl named Chloe Carmichael who Timmy has to share his fairies with due to a “fairy shortage”.

Immediately you’ll notice right off the bat that Poof and Sparky are completely absent, and it is now only Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda, and this Chloe character (Poof actually returns in the episode “Certifiable Super Sitter” later in the season, which I was excited to see but was ultimately disappointed by how the episode turned out to be).

Chloe is very happy and overachieving, striving to be the best person she can be. She is depicted as the most perfect person in the world, so seeing that she needs fairy godparents (which are only given to miserable children to make them happy in life) is pretty confusing and full of many plot holes.

Really, I have mixed opinions on Season 10. I see few episodes as tolerable, while I see others as being just plain bad much like Season 9. FOP, sadly, will never return to how it used to be. The characters have changed so much, and the show has gone through several different writers as well (fun fact: the new writers have actually not watched any of the original episodes of the show), which are really bringing this show to atrocious levels. The show is at the worst point it’s ever been, while meanwhile SpongeBob SquarePants has been doing great after its own long period of decline.

To make matters worse, the animation in mid-Season 10 has shifted from the traditional paper animation to flash animation, due to “time constraints”. While it does allow the characters to move a bit more fluidly, it still does not match with the style of the show, and in my opinion, looks pretty bad.

Not to mention that after this switch, the writing seems to have been rushed much like the animation was, making for even worse episodes. It almost seemed like the people behind this show eventually got lazy and didn’t even want to put in any effort to make these episodes good.

FOP experienced a big change this year when Nickelodeon took the show off its network and began broadcasting new episodes on its sister channel NickToons. If you pay real attention to how this process works, if a show starts on Nick and is then moved to NickToons midway, then it is not coming back.

FOP was essentially sent to its grave. Season 10 completed airing all of its episodes back in July and there is still no word as to whether the show will get renewed for an eleventh season or not.

As sad as this is, maybe it is for the best. Due to how much times the show has jumped the shark and how characters are constantly added or forgotten about, it is best that a show should not continue to dread on and on like this. Most people would say the same for SpongeBob SquarePants, but that show seems to be the only thing that is still holding up Nickelodeon.

As for FOP, sadly, I think it is time that we bid Timmy Turner and friends goodbye. If the show does manage to return, however, let’s all hope that it will be good and end the series on a high note. It is sad to see a show run for a long time and then abruptly end due to a decline. Well, until then, it was magical while it lasted…