What can you say about a show like Street Sharks? It’s a cartoon built on lame puns, bad animation and bankrupt creativity. Perfect fodder for us here at Worst Cartoons Ever.
Premiering in 1994, Street Sharks was a show built on one simple message: Buy our Toys! A cartoon serving as a shill for a toy company, shocking isn’t it? While this was hardly a unique development, Street Sharks lacked all the charm of some of the most famous cartoons/toy commercials.
While shows like TMNT, GI Joe and Transformers all were corporate whores; they had a certain endearing quality that made them classics. What separates them from pale imitators like Street Sharks is that somehow the classics were able to make us care about their characters. If I had a dollar for every time someone fondly talked about classic age Optimus Prime, or heard a friend sing the infamous TMNT theme I wouldn’t need to work at this website. These shows endured and had lasting legacies beyond their toy lines. Street Sharks, for various reasons, lacks any distinctive qualities. This is probably due to the fact that it is a brazen rip off of more classic shows.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the banality that is Street Sharks. (Sorry for the pun…there will be a lot of them)
Street Sharks is about, and stop me if you’ve heard this plot before, 4 brothers mutated into anthropomorphic animals. When they’re not spewing out catchphrases and shoveling junk food down their oversized mouths, they’re fighting crime. More specifically, they fight a mad scientist and his two incompetent henchmen. Just to add to the drama of this story, our brave heroes must do all this while hiding themselves from the judgmental public. If this premise sounds familiar, then you’ve, oh, I don’t know, seen anything broadcast? for kids ever.
Let’s just admit it. Street Sharks is a rip off of the Turtles. To make it worse it’s not even subtle about it. Look at the cast. They’re all less interesting versions of the TMNT crew but in shark form…yay! You have the 4 brothers: Ripster (the leader), Big Slammu (the tech guy), Streex (the cool but rude one) and Jab (the dumb party guy). The only thing that separates them from the turtles is their lame pun names and the XTREME spelling. After all what makes a character cooler then adding an X in the name right folks?
Seriously, just look at these abominations yourselves.
[Apparently they are only sharks from the waist up. Can you still be furry bait if you have no fur?]
I mean, dear god, it’s like the Turtles borrowed some pills from Barry Bonds.
The villains are no better. The main villain is known as Doctor Paradigm. Why is his name Paradigm? No real answer, just go with it. Paradigm is such a cliché that he even comes with a vague Eastern European accent. Again I must ask why? Did the show feel like it still needed to fight the Cold War in 1994? Or did creators watch some cartoons from the 80s and think all villains needed an accent? Ugh, let’s move on.
Paradigm, around the second episode, is infused with Piranha DNA. This seems to give him no real powers other then to make his face Hulk-out every time he gets pissed. This bizarre power gives him the oh so funny nickname: Piranoid. (God I feel like I’m drowning in pun names.) Oh, and let’s not forget the capper for this cliché storm of a villain. His voice, when changed, goes from European to such a shrill voice even Starscream would find it effeminate.
Paradigm is aided by his hapless, bio-engineered henchmen the SEAviates. (I swear these puns are going to kill me.) The original two, ugh…seaviates, were named Beebop and Rocksteady. Wait…I’m sorry I was thinking of a better show. No, these two are named Slobster and Slash, get it? It’s funny right? RIGHT?
These villains spent their time doing the standard Villain thing. They mostly just tried to mutate the citizens of their city. Other then a small running plot about the Sharks trying to cure themselves while looking for their missing father, there was no real running story. The plot involving their missing father started and really ended with the first episode. Throughout the rest of the show the sharks rarely mentioned their father, and took no real active steps to find him. Instead,the show used their shark’s father to solve any problem they had written themselves into. Basically, the writers just used the guy as a walking Deus ex Machina. By the time the show ended, the father wasn’t even mentioned. So the one chance this show had to make itself interesting…was basically abandoned.
Over the course of the show’s run, there would be numerous other characters introduced. With even worse pun names like Moby Lick, and Rox. These characters never really stayed on the show for more then a few episodes, and seemed only to exist to sell new action figures. However, by the time they were even introduced, the show was already floundering. (Oh god now I’m making puns).
Verdict: This show just sucks. Everything about it is either a cliché or a rip off of more successful shows. The jokes are mostly puns that just make you wince. What makes this show even worse is how it reflects the XTREME culture of the 90s. While TMNT reflected surfer culture and popularized phrases like “Radical” and the infamous “Cowabunga,” Street Sharks tried to be hipper and mimic skater culture. The sharks, when not munching through pavement, enjoy snowboarding, rollerblading, and spouting catchphrases like “Jawsome” and “Kick some Fin”. Sharks just seemed to have tried to update the TMNT franchise for the mid 90s and failed miserably.
Street Sharks was dumb, violent, and a forgettable piece of American pop culture. Without a doubt, this show ranks among the worst ever broadcast. One would be better off just watching old reruns of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of this trash. It’s totally non Jawsome.