So far in this month's Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaways of some of my favorite media of the year, I've highlighted a very funny coffee-table book, a brilliant British political satire, the hilariously offensive straight-to-DVD Christmas special from one of my favorite TV shows of all time, plus Vol. 1 of the new show I called "the most Twitter-worthy sitcom of the year."
Today? SpongeBob SquarePants! About time, right? If you haven't yet celebrated SpongeBob's first decade -- Nickelodeon's undersea icon turned 10 this year -- the best way to do it is by scheduling a bunch of marathon viewings of the 14 discs contained in "SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes."
And what if you don't have kids? Well, maybe you don't know that SpongeBob is such a superstar that fans including Johnny Depp, David Bowie and cult director Jim "Down By Law" Jarmusch have made cameo appearances on his show (they're all in this box set). Or maybe you're not aware that, right this second, somewhere in the world -- "SpongeBob SquarePants" is broadcast in 171 markets in 26 different languages, making it the most widely distributed property in MTV Networks' history -- countless childless adults are surely watching the show (as I do) as an antidote to the toxicity of much of the rest of contemporary media culture. As Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times wrote this summer, "Part of the show's mystique is precisely that it has so little edge or subversive double-entendres ... SpongeBob is an optimist, a naif and a child, and the unifying joke is that he is impervious to danger or dislike -- as were Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Rocky and Bullwinkle and even Charlie Chaplin." In other words, he's a classic.
Anyway, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes" is my pick for The Most Awesome TV-Show Box Set of the Year. Maybe you want one of the two copies I'm giving away in my random drawing? See the details below.
P.S. Stay tuned: There are 6 more days of picks (and 12 more giveaways) to come.
THE FINE PRINT: To enter the random drawing for one of two copies of "SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes" in this informal Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaway, send me an e-mail with "SpongeBob" in the subject line on or before December 31 (the cutoff is 12 midnight EST). You must have a valid U.S. mailing address and be 18 or older.
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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco