The best 18 Adult Swim shows – Part 2: 15-13

Oh, man, so we are totally continuing with these. Onwards!

15. Fat Guy Stuck in Internet

Fat Guy Stuck in Internet (or FGSiI to people who like abbreviations way more than they should) has the same type of high budget school-play type of feel to it as Saul of the Molemen. As of writing, the show is only one season of ten episodes and I’m not entirely sure if it’s finished or if the creators plan on continuing it. Knowing the way Adult Swim operates, even if there were going to be new episodes, it wouldn’t be for a couple years. Anyways, I feel like this series missed out on a lot of easy (but still funny) jokes. There were so many directions to take this. They could have taken the people-acting-like-internet-personas route, the personified websites direction, or even just have made it a slew of nerd-references or video game jokes. Instead, it’s simply a buddy/adventure comedy, which doesn’t truly take advantage of the fact that the show is supposed to occur inside in the internet. One key difference between Fat Guy and Saul of the Molemen is the way Fat Guy is much more episodic, which makes missing a couple a lot less confusing. This is a plus for a show that you can’t get excited enough about to make it must-see every week. It’s worth pointing out that the ninth episode is a Labyrinth parody, which can’t help but be entertaining.

14. Moral Orel

Moral Orel is not a subtle show. The satire of conservative Christian culture is generally amusing, but despite the extreme mismatch between Orel’s innocent perceptions and the actual occurrences, the show was never as funny as it seemed it should have been. It wasn’t a bad premise for a show, but I think the overly satiric style prevented any particular creativity, especially for dialog and the voice actors. You have this caricatured universe – and that’s the joke. There isn’t that much else you can do with it. Orel’s misadventures are entertaining, but again, it feels like it could be better. I just don’t know how.

13. The Boondocks

Anyway, this TV series is more or less a translation from the subversive (but formerly widely published) comic strip of the same name by Aaron McGruder. I say “more or less” because there are a few ingredients that seem to be missing from the TV series. One of the frequent devices used in the comic strip is Huey writing emails to celebrities, politicians, or other figures in pop culture. His letters to conservative political figures are what made the strip so entertaining and relevant. The series, however, deals more with characters and plot rather than culture commentary. However, there are certainly some hilarious bits. Samuel L. Jackson voices a gangster-wannabe who is the son of a wealthy white bank-owner. After some mishaps in robbing a bank lead to it taking almost half an hour, he comments in the way that only Samuel L. Jackon can, “It takes us a whole episode of fucking Seinfeld to rob a bank!”

The best episode, in both comedic value and insight, is absolutely “Return of the King” in which Martin Luther King, Jr. wakes up from a coma in the present. The episode poignantly contrasts the ideology of the United States civil rights movement of the 1960s with both the media-intensive political culture and current black popular culture. While most of the episode is a critique of modern black culture, the most fascinating aspects of the episode to me was the portrayal of the disparity between the philosophy of King and the ideological leanings of social conservatives, who would never for a second say that their philosophies are incompatible with King’s despite the glaring disunity. I’ve never understood that – could you imagine King making a speech that included the following, “Love your fellow man! Oh, except for the gays.” It’s easy to tolerate the people you like… Anyway, back to the subject at hand… “Return of the King” is a fantastically insightful and funny episode that captures the spirit of the comic strip and McGruder’s message. I’d recommend it even to those who otherwise have little interest in the show.

The Boondocks takes many of its stylistic cues from the Shinichirō Watanabe animes Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, which were themselves heavily influenced by American culture. Samurai Champloo specifically draws from hip hop culture, making the circle of influence complete. The Boondocks is currently in one of those patented Adult Swim hiatuses where no one seems to know if the series is continuing or if it was unofficially canceled. Seriously, what goes on down there at [AS] headquarters? How does it take them years to go from pilot to second episode? Why is a 1.5 year hiatus normal practice for [AS] shows?

Arbitrary song of the day: Ladytron – Playgirl

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