So out of the adult cartoons I’ve been watching so far, here’s my current personal top 5:
1. South Park
2. The Simpsons
3. King of the Hill
4. Family Guy
5. Rick and Morty
I remember during my early adulthood I went through an “anti-South Park” phase. I guess I found it too preachy and overrated at the time. But I recently watched all seasons again on Hulu, and being much older, I understand the humor and clever writing I’ve been missing out on. The way Matt and Trey tackle everything from religion to politics to videogames, you can tell they did their homework. I think imaginationland was one of my most favorite episodes. The speech Kyle gives about imaginary characters being real was actually thought provoking.
The Simpsons I feel will always be up there among the greats. Even if the later seasons haven’t been up to par. The earlier seasons to me still hold up. The humor always feels natural and it never feels like they go to over the top to get a laugh out of you. One of my personal favorite episodes is the one where Homer skips church. That alone would’ve made it seem controversial, but it never feels that way. The joke being Homer is just too lazy to go to church.
King of the Hill will always hold a special place in my heart. I was one of those people that used to see random episodes on TV and was like “why is this show funny?”. Until I stuck with it long enough to win me over. I guess what’s unique is that it’s not a show that tries too hard to be funny, it’s the characters and the way they handle normal situations that make it funny. One of my favorite episodes is where Hank and his friends become volunteer firefighters. Everything that you can imagine go wrong, goes wrong, and the way each character interacts with each other just adds to the comedy. It’s subtle, but it’s so great. I’ve rewatched this series more times than I can count.
Family Guy I know has a love and hate thing going on. Personally, I love the show. Yeah, I think they overuse cutaway gags a lot and all that. But honestly, Family Guy is good at it and being random is one of the things I like about it. And I think the episode where Brian and Stewie are stuck in the bank vault shows they can be funny without the cutaway gags. I don’t know, the way I look at it, Family Guy is really what a kids cartoon would be if it were for adults. It’s random, it has some cool musical numbers and it’s over the top.
Rick and Morty has very quickly become one of my favorite shows. Like a lot of other people, I guess I was drawn into the dark humor, the idea of an old guy and kid exploring space, and going on some cool sci-fi adventures. What’s surprising is how quickly it changes the mood from over-the-top to serious. Anybody who has watched the show recently knows which episodes I’m talking about. I honestly would’ve added Futurama on this list. But I think in some ways, Rick and Morty is better. Although I would consider Futurama, Bob’s Burgers, Archer and F is for Family as honorable mentions.