I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that NOBODY ON EARTH remembers who the hell the Street Sharks were. For that, the world is a greater place. But, in order to create a bit of chaos, I’m going to torture inform you about this brilliant, yet extremely short-lived franchise. Let me warn you right now that this one’s going to be very picture heavy, as it covers the three-part pilot, and I’m already going to have to split the first episode into two parts. But oh my, it’ll be worth it.
Oooh, who’s this mysterious person? Sneaking into government property, and surely up to no good. Not a good way to start the series, as this will no doubt lead to mystery, intrigue and danger. Nothing good can come of this. Checking out the action on the inside, we see the mysterious Dr. Paradigm. He’s wearing a metal eyepatch, a red shirt and a black jacket and pants. SURELY he must be the hero of the series! Paradigm is mucking about with his ‘Essence of Villany’ collection – the two he is holding are Ghengis Khan and Captain Blood. Lord only knows how he managed to GET the ESSENCE of two villainous fiends, but when you have a dashing red shirt, I suppose there’s no limit to what you can do.
The other gentleman, who’s broken in and made it to Paradigm’s inner sanctum, is none other than Dr. Bolton, forgettable scientist extrodionaire. Seriously, he really is forgettable. His first name is said once in the entire show. ONCE. Anyway, Bolton storms in and tells Paradigm to stop mucking about with this genetic tomfoolery, and get back to studying a real science, like botany. (Actually, Paradigm is using Bolton’s research for his own evil deeds, but I like my explanation better.)
Paradigm says that he’ll do no such thing, as botany is for pansies (Ho ho! A joke! Sadly, none of this was said.) and proceeds to tell Bolton that he’s improving on nature with his genetic lime juice. To prove his point, he injects a lobster and a …swordfish? Marlin? I guess it could be a tuna… with the mixture. They promptly begin to thrash about and break from their glass cages. Bolton gloats at Paradigm, but Paradigm gets a BRILLIANT PLAN! “I’ve been going about this all wrong!” he murmurs. “This will eliminate the speed learning and data encryption completely!” and he proceeds to inject Bolton with a syringe chock full of swordfish (sawfish, maybe?) and lobster DNA. Look at the expression on his face! It’s priceless! Maybe he should have broke out the Dettol before that injection.
UNRESOLVED PLOT POINT ALERT As Bolton begins to transform offscreen, Paradigm coos that he’ll be free of those pitiful human emotions, and will be incredibly powerful and the like. Bolton’s cries get more and more inhuman, and then there’s a smash, and you see a massive hole torn through the door. “Time to go…” chuckles Paradigm as he picks up Bolton’s watch that was left on the floor. “I always liked that watch…” WHAT A VILLAIN! He turns a respected unknown scientist into a monster so that HE CAN STEAL HIS WATCH! Ingenious. Also, you never ever see what Bolton has turned into, most likely because the animators weren’t that creative.
But what about the unfortunate lobster and …I guess it’s a swordfish? Well, fear not, animal lovers, because they’re alive and well! Although it appears as though the lobster was boiled alive in the process. They’re called Slobster (because he’s a lobster! THAT DROOLS!) and Slash (because he has a DRILL BIT!! ON HIS FACE!) respectively. Hmmm, looks like Paradigm got ‘Essence of Villain’ mixed up with ‘Essence of Power Tools’. Happens all the time, I’ll bet.
The show, as you can see, takes place in the overpolluted Fission City (FISH-ON? If you think they’re giving us a clever pun, you’re giving the writers far too much credit), where Guy In The Sky patrols, looking for the latest news to report on the airwaves. At the local University, the token black female character (Phew! Covered both bases at once there!) informs Dr. Paradigm that Dr. Bolton never turned up for his lecture this morning. UH OH! Bolton was a professor at the University! UH OH! Paradigm is a Faculty Supervisor there! DRAMA!
Can you feel the tension? Leena blurts out that they should call Dr. Bolton’s four sons (I can’t see where this is going, oh the twists and turns!). Paradigm looks at his shiny new watch and agrees. He says to tell them that their father is waiting for them at the abandoned nuclear power plant. Doesn’t sound suspicious in the slightest! Leena quickly makes the call.
The stars of the show, here at last! Rather than bogging you down with details, I’ve created this handy-dandy table:
STREET SHARKS MAIN CHARACTER PERSONALITY TRAIT CHART
Personality Trait: Smart
Personality Trait: Cool
Personality Trait: Strong
Personality Trait: Lazy
There’s so much depth to these kids that you could practically drown in their backstory. Take Clint, for example. Not only is he the lazy one, but he also seems to be a closet homosexual, as I can’t think of any other reason as to why he would have a massive picture of a NAKED MAN on his wall. Now, watch carefully, because before you know it, all of their names and most of these carefully laid-down “traits” are going to be completely forgotten in record time. At any rate, for some reason, they decide to race to the finish! and see who gets there first. Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE STUPID, THAT’S WHY.
Bloody hell. At least with Season Ten of Ninja Turtles, it took at least forty minutes before the show teetered over the edge of incomprehensability. Here, it’s taken less than ten. All right. Let me try to explain this. John rides his motorbike (and helmet! What a role model!) to the plant, but gets caught in gridlock. Bobby takes his rollerblades, and zooms past John. Then, for some reason, he JUMPS OFF A BUILDING and PULLS A PARACHUTE FROM HIS BACKPACK. What is it with stupid cartoons and parachutes?!
Coop is riding his skateboard, and goes through a concrete pipe and down a…stormwater drain? I don’t know what’s going on anymore. John gets frustrated and drives down the wrong side of the freeway. They’re all almost there exactly at the same time, and just before they get there, CLINT TOUCHES DOWN WITH A JET PACK. THE HELL? IT MAKES NO SENSE. I’m going to pretend this whole thing never existed.
The brothers (Hooked! HOOKED ON THE BROTHERS!) meet up with Dr. Paradigm, who says that he will take them to their father. But! The boys are masters of deduction and notice that Paradigm is wearing their father’s watch. “Ah, yes…” sighs Paradigm, “Such a generous…creature!” “No way!” cries one of the brothers. “Mom gave him that watch! He’d NEVER give it away.” To be a bit menacing, Bobby grabs Paradigm by the shirt to rough him up a bit. Paradigm doesn’t like this in the slightest, and so naturally, he snaps his fingers, and out of the woodwork pop Slobster and Slash, ready to do his bidding. Slobster also gets one of the best threats I’ve ever heard in a cartoon for a long time. I’m also going to just ignore Slash’s skintight purple leotard completely. As should you.
Captured by Dr. Paradigm and his diabolical Seaviates (no really, it’s what they’re called, I spent a whole two minutes looking it up), the four brothers are strapped to benches so that they cannot escape while “diabolical” “experiments” are “performed”. I’m taking a guess here, but from the monitor, it looks like Paradigm wants to turn the boys into SHARKS. Oh, you wanted specifics? I think that they’re Great White, Tiger, Hammerhead and Whale Sharks. Pretty poor choice with the Whale Shark, considering it’s generally non-threatening and he wants vicious, mindless killers, but hey, whatever floats his boat. Paradigm injects away, and there’s nothing that the four brothers can do! OH NO!
But what’s this? It looks like Paradigm screwed up big time, because the only thing that’s happened to the boys is that they’ve been writhing in agony, and then apparently dropped dead. Well, that is kind of villainous, but not really the result that he was after. Paradigm tells Slobster and Slash to get rid of the bodies, so they quickly do so by dumping them in a stormwater drain. A woman who’s screams nearly rival April O’Neil spots the two monsters, and shrieking at the top of her lungs, runs off to inform the cops. While she’s gone, the boys get washed downstream, and the police just dismiss her as a lunatic, and (hopefully) send her to a mental asylum.
Meanwhile, Leena talks to Bends (the cool-looking guy right there) about her worries. She feels guilty, because she told the boys to go and meet Paradigm, and they haven’t come back. So, she rationalises this by getting Bends to go out and look for them, while she stays at the Uni in case they call. Brilliant idea! The lads, however, have made a full recovery. So, what do you do when you get kidnapped by a gene-manipulating madman and injected full of what looks suspiciously like Margarita Mix? Why, you go and get a burger, of course!
Uh oh! Looks like there might have been something in that burger! Bobby’s hands start to darken and bulge, and become more like claws for some reason. Doubling over in pain, his skin becomes blue with purple stripes, and then all of a sudden, a giant FIN bursts out from his back! YOUCH! I’ll never complain about heavy lifting again. Looks like he’ll also need to get Paradigm to pay for a new shirt.
Clint exclaims “Look at your FACE!” to Bobby, just as his own face begins to twist and contort into a hideous disfiguration. It’s a bit late to point out that Bobby looks a bit odd now, as he’s a FREAKING BRIGHT BLUE SHARK WITH PURPLE STRIPES WHO IS WEARING ROLLERBLADES. But anyway. Man, poor, poor Clint. Just because he’s lazy, the poor bastard gets turned into the ugliest freak of nature, the Hammerhead Shark. It looks like he got beaten unconscious with the Ugly Stick. And then the Ugly Tree fell on top of him. And then the Ugly Stick impaled him. RIGHT IN THE FACE! I mean, at least Bobby looks cool. I’ll bet the for the ten minutes this was popular at school, ALL the kids wanted to be the shark with rollerblades. Look at him – he has ROLLERBLADES! And STRIPES! I bet he’ll just ooze cool for the rest of the series while Clint gets to be the fish equivalent of a person with seven toes and three nipples.
John’s already pretty far into his fishy fate, as you can see, he’s sprouting moderately blunt teeth. Honestly though, have you ever seen sharks with such few teeth? I mean, really, Bruce in Finding Nemo had more teeth than this cartoon’s entire damn cast. But anyway, here we go. This is the bit that the Furries have been searching for (certainly according to the site hits, anyway – this gif apparently gets more hits than most of the site). Coop turns into a pretty creepy looking Whale Shark person thing, and you get to see it in glorious Animation-Vision(tm)!
Anyway, once this partly creepy and wholly badly animated scene is over, the four brothers pause and take time to reflect on their new look. And from now on, I’m going to use their Street Shark names, even though they don’t officially “get” them until later. John is now the dark blue “Ripster”, Bobby is now the striped “Streex”, Coop has become the orange “Slammu”, while Clint has become the brown “Jab”. Brilliant names, by the way. He’s STREEX! Because he HAS STREAKS! ON HIM!
Anyway, Ripster growls “That lousy gene-slamming Paradigm’s gonna pay for this!” Streex says to the others “Hey, maybe it’s not all bad.” because clearly he’s always wanted to be a shark-person for some reason. With the ability to breathe underwater for longer than Guybrush Threepwood and a winning smile like that, he’s a shoe-in for the Synchronized Swimming Olympic event now. Some would say that this would be unfair, and that the Street Sharks could take it a step to far by eating their competition. These people would probably be silenced quite quickly as well. So, I guess that Streex has an ulterior motive for being turned into a freakish shark man.
Slammu says “I don’t know about you, but I’m still hungry!” and then proceeds to TAKE A MASSIVE BITE OUT OF THE HOT DOG STAND. Because we all know that sharks have a hankerin’ for wood and metal, right? Not for the first time defying all common sense in history, the cartoon shows the other brothers quickly joining in, and gobbling up the rest of the stand. Only five minutes ago, weren’t these guys supposed to be university or college students of a brilliant and gifted professor? I suppose it’s reasonable to expect that they may have lost approximately half of their intelligence when they got turned into shark people, but wouldn’t even their shark part of their brain know that “Name of Object Drawn On Something =/= Object”? I guess I’m expecting too much from a poorly animated television cartoon where people get turned into walking talking landsharks. Somehow, I think it won’t be the last time, either.
Somehow, the police have managed to track the Sharks down (God only knows how, as the Hot Dog Vendor is the only person who even knows that they exist as Sharks), and Streex (while pulling off that priceless expression up there) says “It’s okay, we’ll just explain what happened!” The other three basically tell him that he’s thick as two short planks walking off a long pier. Or something like that. Surrounded by police, the Street Sharks slowly back away to a conveniently located river, and dive in while simultaneously crying out “SHARK DIVE!”. Apparently this mutation has given the strange side-effect of forcing them to state the bloody obvious.
Will our (sic) heroes be able to return back to normal? Will they find their father? Will they be able to stop Dr. Paradigm from continuing his diabolical scheme? Probably not, they seem to be pretty hopeless. And what of this mysterious “BLOATO” billboard? All may or may not be revealed. I just like to leave you hanging like that. Also, I think I can permanently taste yellow now.
- The Ever-JAWSOME, Ever-FORGETTABLE Street Sharks (Part Two) – Ever wanted to see a mediocre cartoon give a man a complete psychological breakdown? Now’s your chance.
- Krang: A Tribute – The most awesome samurai puppeteer in cartoon history. And real history, too.
- Snip, Trim, Dye – The Acid Trip That is Nana On-Sha – Where ghosts rise from the dead and possess kitchen implements to teach rapping puppies how to cook.
- Ten Reasons Why Tim Curry Is Awesome – Tim Curry has NOT been in Street Sharks. This makes him even more awesome.
- Shredder’s Mom Has Got It Goin’ On – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs Global Warming
- Captain Planet and the Lake of Fear – We promise you that lake is 100% shark-free.