Once again, the kids of TikTok have gone next level and decided to pour out their wrath on a childhood favourite: H2O: Just Add Water. Not only have they crushed our dreams of a magical transformation into mermaidness, but they’ve managed to completely butcher Aussie accents in the process – I’ll leave you to decide which is the greater crime.
We all often find ourselves looking back on the influences of our younger years with rose-tinted glasses, failing to see all the problematic themes or plot holes. Then there’s the party-poopers who criticise and call out every little inconsistency and it’s like, can you please just learn how to have a good time?
You know what? Rikki, Emma, and Cleo were just doing their best, trying to make their way in the world with this terrible impediment whilst dealing with the regular challenges of adolescent life. They don’t deserve to have the internet coming for their tails like this.
If you somehow missed the cultural phenomenon that is H2O, let me catch you up on the key concepts that TikTok seems to be taking issue with. The plot of the show brings three ‘ordinary girls’ together in the light of a full moon in a magical cave on a mysterious island which somehow transforms them into mermaids (there’s a bunch of lore I’m not going to get into here).
Thing is, the transformation isn’t permanent- it only happens when their skin is exposed to water. And therein lies the problem- if you fail to suspend disbelief then this concept seems ridiculous. How do these girls get anything done without exposing themselves as mythical creatures? Step in a puddle and suddenly you’re flopping around in the middle of a highway.
TikTok user ally.w3 really ran with this, parodying a situation in which Emma tries to drink out of a cold Starbucks cup. Fair play, but here’s a fact check – it takes 10 seconds for the transformation to take effect, more than enough time for her to dry her hand. And it’s not like the show never addresses this. One scene even shows the consequences of the girls being whacked across the forehead by a damp towelette.
But as if attacking our nostalgia wasn’t bad enough, the accents that these mostly American teens are putting on will make you cringe yourself back to 2006. Admittedly, the drawl in Rikki’s voice every time she screams KLEEYAOW (Translated: Cleo) is embarrassingly thick but I’m not even sure I’d know what accent half of these are attempting to portray without the context. The real question is, is this what they think we sound like? Or should they just take a few acting classes?