Best Animated Shows on TV Today
The Interrobang’s Best Animated TV Show list (so don’t blame me if you don’t like it)
Animation is bigger than ever. Once upon a time cartoons were strictly limited to morning children’s television, and porn. Then along came the Simpson family and everything changed. Not only has prime time became an acceptable venue for animated series, there are several channels that devote the majority of their time to them. Here are our list of the ten best shows on tv today that feature animation.
As if we even have to describe the show that has run for 23 seasons and almost 500 episodes. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have spawned generations of fans and an entire empire for creator Matt Groening. But it isn’t money or longevity that makes The Simpsons good to this day…it’s the constant gags, celebrity guests, and over the top ideas that don’t stop. If one device animates this (no pun intended), it’s the opening couch gag. It’s tough to put a new spin on a part of every episode. It’s even tougher to do it 500 times. There’s a reason South Park claims “The Simpsons did it.” It’s because they have, and continue to do it every week.
FX has become known for programming that thinks outside the box. Archer is no exception. While it doesn’t capture the realness of Louie or the camaraderie of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Archer does do a fantastic job of displaying the exploits of master spy, Sterling Archer. Suave, self-centered, and crass, Archer provides sometimes slapstick hilarity with the smoothness of Don Draper. The characters look almost like Mad Men if they came to life, only in this case, they really are mad men. As in totally crazy. Featuring the voices of H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, and Chris Parnell, Archer brings some of the nation’s best voice talent and comedic actors and pairs them with witty scripts and crisp animation.
Haven’t we all wondered what it would be like to fall sleep and wake up in the future? Well, Futurama takes that fantasy and brings it to life in the 31st century. Pizza Delivery boy Phillip J. Fry falls forward in time and it’s everything we’d expect…flying spaceships, talking robots, and clones. It’s also some things we probably wouldn’t…one eyed girls, freak accidents, and the entire city of New York is now buried underground. Another show from Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Futurama was actually cancelled once and then brought back in 2010. There’s a reason. The 31st century is hysterical.
4. South Park.
South Park is a phenomenon. On since 1997, it’s now in heading into its 16th season and unlike almost any other show it’s actually gotten better as its gone on. The show’s completely changed from its first few seasons that were filled with shit and fart jokes to commenting on society, though still keeping the shit and fart jokes. It can be offensive, absurd and inflamatory but what it always is, is funny and smart. It also changed the way animation can be done. South Park started as Matt Parker and Trey Stone and some cardboard cut outs of the characters to now state of the art computers that can created a new episode in 6 days, which is show in the South Park documentary, 6 Days to Air. Few other TV shows, cartoon or otherwise, have had such a run as South Park has and they’re still going. Behind the strength of Trey Parkers writing, the show can go on as long as he and Matt want to do it. And you can watch every episode ever at southparkstudios.com.
Currently the longest running series on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim animation block, Aqua Teen started as a spin off from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, it’s run actually pre-dates Adult Swim. It tells the story of a meatball, a shake and a floating container of fast food fries and their human neighbor in New Jersey. Originally they were supposed to fight crime, but the shows creators, Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, quickly abandoned that idea and created a truly unique cartoon filled with non sequitur after non sequitur and little to no continuity. At time it can be hit or miss, but when they hit, which is often, it’s one of the funniest cartoons on TV today.
6. The Boondocks.
The Boondocks, the animated version of the comic strip of the same name, is the work of cartoonist and writer Aaron McGruder. Cartoon Networks Adult Swim picked it up in 2005 and its fourth season is set to air in 2012. Its about 3 african american kids moving from the city to the suburbs to live with their grandfather. The show’s satirical take on american and black culture even drew Al Sharptons anger when one episode had Martin Luther King Jr dropping an N Bomb, Sharpton said:”Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures.” Cartoon Network did the right thing and stood behind McGruder and the show. As well as being hysterical and well written the show’s animation is in the anime style, further separating it from the pack of other cartoons.
This is what all cartoons should aspire to be. Adventure Time is flat out bizarre and hilarious. It’s about a boy named Finn and his dog friend Jake, and they go on all sorts of brightly colored adventures in the Land of Ooo. The humor is definitely off-beat and subversive at times, which is probably why it’s developed a cult following on the internet. It’s also hugely popular with other cartoonists, mostly
because this is the show they wish they could be drawing. Totally rhombus!
8. Regular Show.
This is just a regular old show about to twenty something guys, Mordecai and Rigby, who work in a park with their temperamental boss…except the guys are a blue jay and a raccoon. Oh, and their boss is a gumball machine. Aaand also their friends with a yeti and an old man with a very large head. The plots are also just as strange, like in one episode where they remove Mordecai’s brain so that they can erase the memory of seeing Pops naked. That kind of strangeness is never really explained in full, but you don’t really need to since it’s a cartoon, right? Yup, it’s pretty much just like any other regular show.
9. Bob’s Burgers.
Off beat and low key would be the best way to describe Bob’s Burgers. The title pretty much sums up the show, it’s about a guy named Bob who runs a burger joint with his family. It’s not the most action packed cartoon, but the writing and character interaction make up for that. What really makes the show worth watching is Bob’s kids. Kristen Schaal plays the youngest, Louise, who is a little spitfire prankster in bunny ears. The middle son, Gene, gets overly excited about everything and loves sampling on his keyboard. Tina is the oldest and she’s a monotone preteen with a strange attraction to zombies. Really, it’s a complicated relationship.
10. The Venture Bros.
Imagine Johnny Quest, but if Dr. Quest was a pill popping wuss and if Race Bannon had an insatiable bloodlust, then you’d get The Venture Brothers. It’s basically what 60′s Hannah Barbera action cartoons would be like if they actually had action and were drawn well. It’s a weird, dark cartoon that regularly kills off its titular characters and it’s revealed that they’re replaced with a stock of Hank and Dean Venture clones. To top it off, David Bowie (not actually Bowie) is an ominous shape-shifting super villain.