Stephen Hillenburg's Passing Has Me Much Sadder Than I Expected To Be

Stephen Hillenburg's Passing Has Me Much Sadder Than I Expected To Be

The creator of "SpongeBob SquarePants" passed away and we're all heartbroken.

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Ever since I could remember, the first thing I would do when I got home every day after school was run into my living room and turn the TV on. But I wouldn't just let it sit on any random channel; on my TV it was channel 50. Nickelodeon. For nothing other than "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Both of my brothers had SpongeBob-themed birthday parties.

The iconic yellow sponge living in a pineapple in Bikini Bottom touched the hearts of millions. Alongside his starfish best friend, his stingy boss Mr. Krabs, his forever-grumpy neighbor Squidward and many more.

The creator, Stephen Hillenburg, was diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

At only 57 years old, he was fairly young.

The Oklahoma native, Hillenburg, began his career teaching biology at the Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, California. He then got a degree in animation and landed a job on the Nickelodeon series "Rocko's Modern Life" for about four years. During that time, a co-worker noticed his animated drawings of sea creatures and spotted his talent.

At that moment, he knew that creating a show about those creatures would be the perfect combination of the two things he loved: animation and marine life.

At first, there was vast criticism. Producers were concerned that the show wouldn't catch on, that the humor wouldn't read well and that overall, no one would be interested in watching some yellow sponge walk around.

Now, two decades later, the show has branched off two movies, a Broadway show, over 250 episodes, and has been translated into 60 languages globally- I would say it was kind of a hit.

Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, honored Hillenburg with a daytime Emmy award in April earlier this year. His was recognized for the impact he had on broadcast television and Viacom as a whole.

As stated in his speech, Kenny states, "I fell in love immediately and it seems like some other people did too," when talking about Hillenburg's original pitch idea of the show.

To a regular person, the idea of "SpongeBob SquarePants" may have seemed too out there or too random and strange — yet only someone with the passion and creativity like Hillenburg could've brought it to life like he did.

In a statement released by Nickelodeon, the company said, "His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination."

In the end, he will always be remembered as the man that took one simple idea and created an empire that took audiences all over the world by storm.

May he rest in peace.

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"
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I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.


We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Megyn Kelly Was Fired For Making Racist Comments, But Still Walks Away With $30 Million

Following her comments regarding blackface halloween costumes, Megyn Kelly leaves the NBC network and faces controversy surrounding her snow

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After facing backlash following her controversial comments on NBC, Megyn Kelly has left the television network with a $30 million dollar payout. Last October, Megyn Kelly made comments saying that she did not understand why wearing blackface on Halloween would be perceived as racist. After the remarks were heard across the nation, she decided to part ways with NBC.

Megyn Kelly is a known as a former Fox News anchor who departed the television station in 2017. The reason for her departure from Fox News stemmed from her hatred for Donald Trump and his association with the news channel. Kelly covered a large variety of different stories during her time as a reporter, which followed by her obtaining her own show. After the show began, political stories became more regular on her show and President Donald Trump began taking notice. Megyn began to notice that she had not enjoyed being on the political side of the news, and it did not align with her morals and values. Once she realized this is not what she wanted to do, she decided to leave and pursue her own show.

Her show was titled "Megyn Kelly Today", and premiered in September 2017. At its premiere, it received negative reviews for the quality of her hosting and appropriateness as a daytime personality. According to multiple reports, her departure was planned months before it was announced. Megyn was in talks of moving to MSNBC, but she did not see it as the right fit and she did not think that the audience of the network would accept her. She began talks with the chairman of NBC, Andy Lack, about her concerns regarding the show. Around the one year anniversary of the premiere of the snow, Megyn knew that the show was not as big of a hit as expected, and she decided she needed to take the necessary steps towards a new future.

Megyn wanted to lean towards a talk show host such as Oprah or Charlie Rose. She said she wanted to help people and wanted to steer away from politics. However, it was difficult for her to separate from her Fox News reputation. She is not able to return to the news network because she left on bad terms, after discussing sexual harassment claims against the channel's co-founder, Roger Ailes. After facing backlash from these claims with Fox News, she then began facing more negativity surrounding her show.

After a panel discussing the appropriateness of blackface in Halloween costume, Megyn noted that you get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who put on whiteface for Halloween. According to Kelly, she believed this to be okay when she dressed up for Halloween when she was younger as long as you were dressing up like a character. Later that day, she apologized for the comments and realized that people need to be more sensitive in the world today. She then joined African-American journalists regarding controversies that blackface brings. After these comments were made, Kelly still received a payout of $30 million dollars from her $69 million dollar contract.

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