Saturday, 7 February 2015

Animated Series Recommendations

This is not something I talk to you guys about often, but I am a huge animation fan. As with literature, film and fashion, I have a soft spot for the ones produced during the first half of the 20th century but I also really like more modern examples.

I think there's always that tendency to disregard cartoons as being only for children but like most things, I think there are always great examples that will appeal to an older audience, so I thought I would recommend a few to you today.

Going from left to right (from the pictures above) we'll start with Bob's Burgers. This wonderfully witty family comedy series has been going since 2011 and currently has 5 seasons with a 6th to be aired later in the year. I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this series going in, worried that it may have been similar to Family Guy or King of the Hill (two shows that don't quite work for me, humour wise) but not only did I end up utterly enjoying the comedy, I also fell in love with the characters. Even at their craziest, there is just something inherently lovable about the Belcher family, the two daughters, Tina and Louise, consistently being my favourites.

The next show, Daria is a somewhat older show, airing from 1997 - 2002, lasting for 5 seasons. Daria is a show I grew up with but one that stays as funny and as relevant to me today as it did in my teens. For those of you unfamiliar, Daria is technically a spin off from the popular 90s series, Beavis and Butt-head but it's the kind of thing that if you didn't know, you would never guess. Daria is blessed with a much smarter and sharper script than its predecessor, as well as visually being a little more appealing in terms of my tastes. Daria is a sarcastic, alternative view to teenage life in comparison to what else was being offered at the time and one that I highly recommend checking out if you missed it the first time around or even giving another try if it's been a while.

The next show is the only one on the list that is specifically marketed towards children but one that I think is perfect for adults looking for a little bit of surreal magic in their lives. Adventure Time first aired in 2010 but is still going strong. The characters are whimsical and interesting. Some of the story lines are bizarre bordering on the obscene while others are beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking. The two main characters Jake the Dog and Finn the Human are a perfect buddy pairing and make for wonderful guides throughout the incredible world of The Candy Kingdom and beyond. The Ice King has become one of my favourite villains (if we can really call him that...) of all time, with his complex back story and bizarre fetishes, he often steals the show for me but to be honest, I love most of the characters and adore that they often get there chance to shine in singular episodes that revolve around them. Definitely a show to give a try if you haven't already but I should probably mention that one episode is never enough.

The last show I want to mention is a favourite of my boyfriends and one that despite its popularity probably still doesn't get enough credit. Futurama is by The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening (but don't let that put you off if you're not a Simpsons fan as they're very different in tone). The show originally aired in 1999 and after being canceled, having movies made and returning to TV it finished it's run in 2013. The main story follows pizza delivery boy, Fry who after getting cryogenically frozen in 1999, wakes up in the year 3000 and has to learn to adjust to a new life. The characters range from the ridiculous, to the psychotic to the eccentric but for the most part always stay likeable. Some of the episodes are action packed and humour filled, while others will have you reaching for the tissues. It can be a bit of a roller-coaster at times but always manages to find that touch of humanity in the end and make you care about these bizarre misfits more than you could have ever thought possible. One to try when you've got plenty of time to kill with it's 140 episodes.

So that's it for now guys, there are a few animated series to check out if you're feeling inclined. They're all utterly different but wonderful in their own ways and ones that I highly recommend.

- Lesley

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