Falling In Love With Adult Animations

When you are younger, and maybe studying, you have a lot of time to catch up on series. I remember the constant search for new material, from lesser-known hits like Hart of Dixie, Mad About You or Raising Hope to regulars like My Name Is Earl and House.

During this time in my life, I tried to get into Southpark but many of the series’ nuances were lost on me. One of my colleagues is quite an adult animation aficionado and due to an intense FOMO, I decided to embark on my own adult animation journey.

I found the current adult animation landscape to be quite like the dating scene, with its ups and downs, disappointments and rejections, and even fairy tale endings. Follow me on this exploration – *spoiler alert* I did fall in love at the end.*

*The small print: I limit this article to my favourite new adult animations. This by no means imply that I think less of classics like The Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, Archer and American Dad – to name just a few.

The Boy Next Door – Paradise PD

Why we gave it a go:
I am a sucker for a buddy cop comedy. I absolutely love the back-and-forth banter, the comedic take on crime and of course the heart-to-hearts and lessons learnt. In this sense, Paradise PD is a lovely homage to the buddy cop genre and the first season is now streaming on Netflix.

The premise:
The premise is simple; Kevin’s dad is the Paradise PD chief. Because of an unfortunate event with a gun, he does not want Kevin to join the Force and blames him for his failed marriage. Nonetheless, Kevin finds his way to the squad. And, of course, the squad has some interesting characters and they get into some interesting situations!

Our take:
Like the nerdy boy next door, this show has a lot of ‘ahh cute’ moments. This does not mean that this show is safe for work, in fact, it has an abundance of swear words, nudity, sex and violence. And although this show is not ‘The One’, it is still worth hanging out with.

 

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Friendzoned – Rick & Morty

Why we gave it a go:
Upon declaring that I would be embarking on this exploration, everyone agreed – Rick and Morty is a must. One friend even described it as ‘the furthest any meta-series has ever gone before’. I watched the entirety of season one – available on Netflix.

The Premise:
Rick Sanchez returns to his family after being gone for almost 20 years. Living with his daughter, he takes his grandson Morty on adventures around the globe, across universes and through time. Rick seems to be Morty’s only friend and their strange relationship gets Morty into quite a bit of trouble.

Our Take:
Rick and Morty is a trippy adventure into the mind of a mad scientist. Every single frame is carefully thought through and filled with tons of meta-references and jokes. The series has a dark undertone and although this does not weigh the series down, it still adds another dimension to the narrative and visuals.

I friendzoned this series for the simple reason that I get a bit grossed out at the amount of bodily fluid that Rick expels. He also belches in nearly every sentence – a bit much for me.

 

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First Love – Disenchantment

Why we gave it a go:
I love fairy tales, folktales and everything in between and therefore this show’s appeal was immediate. Disenchantment, released by Netflix in August of 2018, attracted a lot of attention before its release as the series is credited to Matt Groening – the creator of both The Simpsons and Futurama.

The Premise:
Princess Teabeanie is just your average teenage princess and would, therefore, like to party all night and marry whoever she wants. Together with her pet elf and personal demon, they go on misadventure after misadventure in the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland.

Our Take:
From the very first episode, Disenchantment had me hooked. From the innocent Elfo, to the reptile-like stepmother, this series has all the classic fairy tale touch points while continually re-telling these points in an honest, comedic manner.

Being a feminist, Bean’s character is quite appealing and her misadventures felt relatable. With Elfo and Luci functioning as her metaphorical ‘good and bad’ side, it is very entertaining to see her rebel against expectations.

*Expert Tip: For a very interesting article on the feminist progression of Futurama, Simpsons and Disenchantment, click here.

 

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Happily Ever After – Bojack Horseman

Why we gave it a go:
My brother more or less forced me to add Bojack Horseman to the journey, as it’s one of his favourite series of all time. Season 5 was just released and therefore it kept popping up on my Netflix feed and I decided to give it a go.

Lastly, Thrillist released an article ranking all Netflix Original Series. Bojack Horseman was ranked number one, beating some of my favourites like Ozark, Mindhunter and Stranger Things. There was no further denying that Bojack Horseman was worth the watch.

The Premise:
This series is about a washed-up sitcom star and is characterised as a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry. Voiced by Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris and Alison Brie, this series takes a deep, hard look at a few serious issues, disguised between jokes, parodies and meta-references.

Our Take:
Unlike the other entries on the list, I do not believe that Bojack Horseman’s success lies in its comedy. This series has a very unique way of taking our worst fears head-on, in a seemingly comedic manner, but actually in a way that make you question the very nature of your existence.

Does that seem pretentious? It’s actually not. Never before have I encountered a series able to talk about failure in the way that this one does. On top of the very real discussions on failure and fear, they also touch on fame and popularity, hereditary personality issues, inability to commit and work-life balance.

No matter at what stage of your life you currently are, I firmly believe that one or more of the Bojack Horseman characters will relate to your situation.

 

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The very best part of embarking on this discovery journey was not only getting to know a whole new genre, it was discovering the many references hidden within the animations, the dialogues and characters. The fact that you can watch these animations on two levels make them all the more enjoyable.

 

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