Adult Swim seems to cater to a very specific demographic. People on drugs. I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing (everyone gets a channel now a days), but if you are not one of their target demographic, and you sit down to watch one of their shows, it can be a very odd and surreal experience.
The humor often fires off with a liberal mix of the politically incorrect and the mildly uncomfortable, sometimes sprinkling in surreal pop culture references to keep their viewers awake.
Without having to say anything outright and condemn or encourage certain actions from people, I can only safely tell you that I am a huge Adult Swim fan, and that, in itself, should tell you all you need to know.
Having said that, I have years of unofficial research under my belt regarding the channel, and have decided to compile a list of the Adult Swim shows (some still on, some no longer with us) that can make even the most normal, sane, sober person feel like they just ate a handful of drugs in a creepy van behind 7/11.
Also a quick disclaimer, if you hate Adult Swim and think all of this stuff is stupid, refrain from coming to the comments and condemning those of us enjoy this stuff. In other words, don’t be a buzzkill, man.
Just go read a different article. This site is chock full of great pieces, so if this one isn’t for you, don’t stay in the water just to pee in our pool. Also, kids, don’t do drugs. They’re bad for you and stuff. Except the ones the doctors prescribe. Those are EXTRA bad for you. Okay, on to the good stuff.
So in essence, Superjail is what the inside of my brain looks like.
Imagine a massive island that housed a jail ran by Willy Wonka and you have the basic premise for Superjail. While the animation is off-putting to some, once you get into the insane groove of this show, you realize it is a key ingredient.
It all looks like it was drawn in the notebook of a twelve year old who listened to too much metal and watched horror movies while sniffing adderall. There is a schizo, sketchy vibe to how the show looks, and ultimately, is. To say this show overloads the senses is to sell it short. But therein lay the charm. It is off-the-wall, bat**** insane, and it revels in that madness, finding a sort of zen balance to storytelling amid that maelstrom.
Saul of the Mole Men
The one time I wish both him and I had Google glass.
You guys know how much I love my seventies and eighties era nostalgia, and so it makes total sense that I would love this show that was a knockoff of all those all Sid and Marty Kroft, drug-fueled, live-action shows like Land of the Lost, and that is JUST what Saul of the Mole Men was.
It was a show about a scientist from New York who travels to the center of the Earth and discovers a race of mole people. It is exactly as stupid and mindless as it sounds, but I would be lying if I were to say that certain chemicals don’t enhance one’s viewing pleasure while watching this show. Saul is a trippy ride into a trippy world populated by trippy people and creatures, and you either love it or hate. But few can argue that the show was aimed at the stoner crowd.
I tried to find a pic of them doing something more metal, like skinning dragons, but to no avail.
What can you even say about this show besides it kicks major ass? Metalocalypse is about the band Dethklokk, and their story as they rise to fame as the most popular band of all time, and at the same time, save and ruin mankind, over and over again, inadvertently.
Dethklokk are followed by an Illuminati style secret organization (the tribunal) who monitor Dethklokk to their own end. Or something like that. Where the above show is an homage to cheesy seventies kid’s shows, Metalocalypse is an homage to the power of METALLLLLLLL. It is also incredibly crude, dark, macabre twisted, and always awesome.
Xaviar: Renegade Angel
Only those far stronger than I would not be intrigued by this picture.
My introduction to this show was a rather insane one. A stranger walked up to me at a Newbury Comics and handed me season one of this show (which had box art looked like it was drawn by a blind person in Microsoft paint) and told me, cryptically, they “thought I would like it” and walked away.
I was too intrigued by that interaction (and the crappy box art) to NOT get it, and later that night I realized how right that odd, pale man was. For me to even ATTEMPT to explain what this show is about will make me sound like I am on handfuls of mushrooms (NOT that Mario kind) but I am going to try anyway.
Xaviar, a creature who looks like the offspring a wookie who may have had sex with a human who then had sex with a bird, is on a journey to find himself in our modern, maddening world.
Using new age ideals for the basis of the show, we see Xaviar get his ass beaten for looking “different” in each episode, and also, somehow get in to AND solve a problem, all at once, yet never getting him any closer to his goal of actualization. The show is littered with flashbacks that will grab your brain and finger it in your skull, but the whole thing is so ludicrous, that it borders on delightful.
Never politically correct, but always funny, Xaviar is unlike any show you have ever seen. I will warn you, the animation is like bad computer graphics rendered on a computer from 1991, but give it time and that becomes half its charm. Also, snake arm for the win.
It should be noted that all three of them are obviously aiming at different things.
Do you remember when Conan O’ Brien had the Chuck Norris lever? It was a lever he could use to show random, out-of-context clips of Walker Texas Ranger, and they ALWAYS ended up being comedy gold. Well, Conan was so inspired by that, he helped produce a show called Eagleheart, which was a basic satire of everything absurd about that show.
But you know what makes Eagleheart so f*cking brilliant, even outside of Conan’s stamp? The fact that Eagleheart himself, a Native American Sherriff, is played by Chris Elliot. Yes, I know, I thought it was all a dream, too.
While this show may not be as surreal or existential as some of the others on the list (seriously, Saul is SUPER existential < sarcasm font), Eagleheart will just have you busting your gut from laughing so hard. It takes cliches from shows of similar ilk, and just tears them asunder in front of your eyes. Good guys die, bad guys die, hell, even animals die. And it is never less than riotous, if you allow yourself to embrace the stupidity of it all.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Kids, this is why you don’t wanna do drugs.
This is it for me. The ULTIMATE show to watch while, um, happy.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job is, beneath its surface, a brilliant show, though few non-fans would EVER use that word to describe it. Brilliant because what Tim and Eric do is quite subversive.
I read an interview with them in Lemon (greatest magazine ever) a long time ago, and they stated that their goal with the Tim and Eric show was to lampoon our “sell sell sell” cable access mentality that seemed to permeate all of TV in the early nineties. They wanted a show aimed for adults, that seemed like it was a show that was aimed at kids.
And on the surface, it seemed they achieved that. The general feel for Tim and Eric is people either love it or hate it, with few falling in the middle. I can openly say I love it, but I am weird as hell, and I know my humor is not the easiest to swallow at times.
But if there is any show in existence that makes you feel like you may be on drugs when you KNOW you didn’t take any, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job is that show.