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Cartoons Aren't For Kids

Parental advisory is always strongly encouraged with shows like The Simpsons, and growing up, I could never work out why. It wasn't until I revisited Simpsons later in life (just kidding, I never stopped watching it), that I realised the content carefully woven into the storylines to keep adults intrigued whilst the children laugh at the comedy on the surface. On second thought, maybe it wasn't for children at all. So, here is a message to those who think they are too old for cartoons: stop trying to grow up too fast. Sit back and enjoy the animated things in life.

1. Rick & Morty

Intergalactic adventures? Alien weapons? Family bonding? Pickles? What more could you ask for. By the creator of Community, Dan Harmon (alongside Justin Roiland) depicts the absurd events experienced by a super genius inventor, Rick Sanchez- and his Grandson, Morty. The show is the epitome of fun and games, using fictional tales of the cosmos to comment on a range of real social issues.

2. Archer

Archer is adult humour personified. All the jokes that daytime tv was too scared to air took refuge in every single 30-minute episode. The protagonist, Archer Sterling, is an alcoholic spy who carries out missions with his friends and colleagues (including his on-and-off girlfriend, Lana). The only way to describe their undertakings is ridiculously outrageous. The plot and storylines are testament to that, with writer- Adam Reed, including multiple subgenres such as: crime fiction and neo-noir . It is both versatile and entertaining.

3. Big Mouth

Moral of the story: don't bring pubescent consciousness to life. Nick Kroll purposely gives the viewers a new dimension into how early adolescence is viewed, and I think I speak for most people when they say, they are simultaneously intrigued and disgusted. Teenage years are personified through the introduction of 'hormone monsters': imaginary personalities that voice and explain the changes the characters go through. If you want to cringe and cry with laughter all in the same scene, then by my guest.

4. Bojack Horseman

The majority of cartoon watchers use these shows as a form of escapism. With that being said, Bojack Horseman is one of the only animated series that painstakingly brings you closer to reality (in the funniest way possible, really, I promise). Through the use of excessive drinking, meaningless sex and the darkest of humour, Bojack battles crippling depression whilst trying to stay afloat in the entertainment industry. One of the reasons Raphael Bob-Waksberg made the characters animals was to detract from the realness of the situations and make them a little less relatable, thank God for that.

5. Boondocks

If Boondocks was aired in 2018, it would be cancelled half way through the first episode due to political incorrectness. The satirical cartoon outlines the lives of Riley and Huey Freeman (voiced by the mastermind behind it all, Regina King) living in suburbia with their Granddad. The Boondocks mostly addresses race relations, but also comments on topics such as rap culture, sexuality and religion. Many characters resemble actual celebrities from the time it was televised, which makes the show far more controversial (and way more interesting if you ask me). For example, the second episode of the first season is titled, "The Trial of R. Kelly". I'll leave you to figure out what that's about...

6. Adventure Time

Adventure Time is the most obscure and strange show anyone has ever witnessed, ever. You have to wonder what Pendleton Ward was thinking when he developed such a spectacle. All things weird and wonderful take place in the "Land of Ooo": from talking game consoles to princesses made out of lumpy space- and at the centre of it all is Finn and his talking dog, Jake. They are both self-declared adventurers who traverse the vast kingdom in search of danger and mystery. This show is the perfect blend between innocence and adulthood that you probably didn't think possible.

7. Regular Show

Much like Adventure Time, Regular Show deals with adult concepts in a simplistic manner, then dampens it with sheer absurdity. An example of this, would be summarising the program without any prior context. Mordecai and Rigby (a talking blue jay and raccoon) are groundskeepers in a local park, working for Benson (a talking gumball machine) alongside an immortal Yeti called Skips, a ghost and a green guy who identifies himself as "Muscle-Man" (spoiler- he's not all that muscly). Stuck in dead end jobs, Mordecai and Rigby try to create their own fun, which usually results in troublesome predicaments, like when they search for a Laserdisc player and accidentally start a technological war.

8. The Jellies

Places no one should visit: war-torn countries, space without a helmet and Tyler's The Creator's mind through the form of an animated series. Luckily, Tyler didn't listen to us and created the Jellies anyways. The plot revolves around Cornell, a human teenager living with his jellyfish family. After finding out he is adopted (don't ask me how he didn't work it out, I'm just as confused as you are), he begins to question who he really is and makes it his mission to find out. The humour in the show is quite specific, usually playing on stereotypes and archetypes e.g. the guys from New York with the 'timbs' and the aggressive dog on a chain.

9. Bob's Burgers

It's fascinating how entertaining a family running a burger joint really is. A standout factor of this ongoing series is the character development. There is an in-depth analysis of every main character and most supporting characters too. Bob's children (Tina, Gene and Louise) are extremely different in terms of their personalities but they all bounce off and complement each other. If you've watched Archer, then you may recognise Bob's voice. A crossover episode was done in Season 4 of Archer, where he enters a fugue state ends up working in the restaurant as Bob himself.

10. Neo Yokio

Last but definitely not least, is Neo Yokio. Similar to the Boondocks, both shows resemble anime in their illustration styles. The show could be categorised as a futuristic interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby. In Neo Yokio, there is a distinct social split between old money and the "neo-riche"-those who have earned their money through professionally fighting demons. Jaden Smith's character, Kaz Kaan, tries to overcome the divide by becoming Neo Yokio's most eligible bachelor whilst also working in the family business vanquishing evil spirits. This animation touches on issues such as class and discrimination whilst maintaining a light and playful tone with frequent references to current fashion.


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