Queue: Cartoons aren’t just for Kids
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Cartoons are not just for children. Adults too can enjoy sitting in their pajamas with a bowl of cereal on Saturday morning letting hours pass watching cartoons. With innuendos and jokes that go over the heads of the younger viewers, cartoons are for adults and children alike. Cartoons have the power to shape colors, create universes and captivate an audience. Loving cartoons is not a denial of growing up but rather keeping the childlike sense of wonder alive. Plus, now the jokes are understood rather than mindlessly laughed at … looking at you, SpongeBob.
“The Powerpuff Girls”: 4/5
Sugar, spice and everything nice. These were the three ingredients chosen to create the three perfect girls. Originally airing in November 1998 on Cartoon Network, “The Powerpuff Girls” took the world by storm. Professor Utonium created three young girls: Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles, and they soon became the superhero protectors of Townsville, U.S.A. From fighting crime and dealing with growing up, the three girls reached a multigenerational audience.
From its bright colors, feminine-forward energy, anime-inspired graphics, pop culture references and constant sexual innuendos, “The Powerpuff Girls” is still relevant today. After 78 aired episodes, two pilot shorts, a Christmas special, a feature film and a 10th anniversary special in 2008, there is still a cult following for this femme-focused animated series. With six Emmy Awards, nine Annie Awards and a Kids’ Choice Award, there is no surprise a reboot was announced in June 2014 and aired on April 4, 2016. Whether you identify most with Blossom, Bubbles or Buttercup, “The Powerpuff Girls” is still the perfect binge-worthy cartoon.
“Family Guy”: 4.5/5
If you haven’t seen “Family Guy,” what have you been doing with your life? Easily the most loved and well-known cartoon, “Family Guy” is the most influential animated series on television. Originally airing on Fox on January 31, 1999, its followers have only grown. Creator Seth MacFarlane doesn’t shy away from any issue in the show. The show is easy to relate to, the characters’ eccentricities never fail to make viewers laugh and series-long recurring jokes create cohesion.
With 284 episodes and counting, “Family Guy” shows no signs of slowing down. The show has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and 11 Annie Awards, winning three of each as well as being nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. No animated show received a nomination for that award since the Flintstones in 1961. “Family Guy” has led to the spinoff “The Cleveland Show” and is a pop culture staple.
If you aren’t well-versed in the world of Quahog, Rhode Island, do yourself a favor and clear your schedule for a week and immerse yourself in the Griffin family and company’s stupidity. “Family Guy” doesn’t just allow viewers to escape reality and live vicariously through Peter Griffin, the show takes current issues and puts them at the forefront. The show’s major criticism is that current issues are mocked rather than taken seriously, but what else do people want from a comedy? If you want to learn about the issues — watch the news. If you want to laugh about how the world is slowly ending, then “Family Guy” is the show for you.
“Bob’s Burgers”: 5/5
While “Bob’s Burgers” is not as universally lauded as “Family Guy,” this love-or-hate show takes animated shows in a new and refreshing direction. Rather than focusing on slapstick comedy, mainly people falling or acting dumb, “Bob’s Burgers” focuses on wordplay and does so in a discrete manner. While the stores, next to the Belchers’ restaurant have puns for their names, so does the Burger of the Day. From the “Beets of the Southern Wild” burger to “The Great Ratsby” extermination company, the puns are endless. Viewers must pay attention, or they will miss them.
The Fox show is about the consistently failing business of Bob and Linda Belcher and their strange and unpopular yet lovable children Tina, Gene and Louise. Debuting in 2011, this show has become a modern-day cartoon institution, but while some praise it, others cannot stand the show. “Bob’s Burgers” does not take our current social climate into consideration like “Family Guy” and is often deemed too childish.
Despite mixed reviews, the premiere drew 9.38 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere of the season. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it as one of the top greatest 60 cartoons of all time, and the show has been nominated for several awards and won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 2014.
“Bob’s Burgers” does not use crass discriminatory jokes or random references but focuses on each episode as an individual entity rather than a progression. Viewers can watch from any point in the series and not be confused as to the plot. While this remains true for the other two cartoons, “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Family Guy” have stronger themes weaved throughout that while watching mid-series one isn’t lost, it is just harder to keep track of the character progression.
The show starring H. Jon Benjamin, among others, has revolutionized the humor in adult animated television.