HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWIM SQUAD!
I joined about 2 months ago, but fuck it, who cares, it’s my turn for the [adult swim] list! And yes, you read the title right: I will be doing not 5, not 10, but my Top 20 [adult swim] Shows. Now, I have a couple rules for this list. 1. This is not a Top 20 favorites, it’s a Top 20 best. I may be an [adult swim] geek, but I haven’t seen EVERY single episode of these shows. So legacy will be a contributing factor, but how much I also like the show will also be a factor. 2. It has to be from Williams Street. I’ll make some exceptions for shows that are all in all [adult swim] originals, but basically, that means no anime. Why? Because [adult swim] is never allowed to air most of the anime they’ve previously aired ever again. An exception to this rule might be Cowboy Bebop because at this point it’s a staple, but this list is cramped already. Also I’m not 100% sure they still have the license. 3. I will not be including Infomercials or Off the Air as I feel as though they’re more like a bunch of one offs. Some of them are good, but if I included those, I’d also have to include pilots. I like Korgoth as much as the rest of you, but that’s a 22 minute episode compared to series 50 times as long.
So, with that in mind, happy early 15th birthday to [adult swim], here’s my list!
#20. China, IL
Based on a webseries Brad Neely worked on for [adult swim], China, IL is about the worst college in the United States of America, Trump Univer-I mean, University of China, IL. Neely is pretty much allowed to do whatever the hell he wants with it, which really helps the show stand out. What puts the show on this list, in my opinion, is Hulk Hogan as the Dean. Let me repeat, Hulk Hogan is the Dean. And it’s a crazy as you’d expect it to be. Some people may criticize [as] for cancelling the show after 3 seasons, but I feel 3 seasons was the perfect length for this type of show. Not too long, but not too short. And hey, Neely has a new show on [adult swim] right now! What’s not to love?
Jon Glaser plays a father of a family who are in the Witness Protection Program after events with the Russian mob. And now they have a reality show! Yay! But to protect their identities, they wear ski masks and have vocal pitch shifters to disguise their voices. It’s the worst idea for a reality show ever. Perfect for [adult swim]! I haven’t seen much of it, but from what I have seen, it’s hilarious. One reason the show is great is because it can be funny without the WPP storyline. That is a great accomplishment in my opinion.
#18. Mike Tyson Mysteries
From the same people that brought you that one Looney Tunes show where they live in Suburbia, Mike Tyson Mysteries is a parody of all those 70s shows that tried to rip off Scooby Doo, added a celebrity as the main protagonist, and then 30 years later aired on [adult swim] at 4:00, around the same time as the Infomercials today. What helps Mike Tyson Mysteries stand out from the crowd, besides completely mocking the others and having HD 1.78:1 animation, is that you have no idea what will happen in the next episode. For example, every single Scooby Doo episode, at least in the 20th century, is the exact same fucking thing. But in MTM, they could lose and go home. Or mystical magical bullshit could happen and they could succeed. The reason why it’s ranked so low on this list is because, it’s only about 2 seasons. Give it some time and it could be higher up. Oh, and let’s not forget Norm MacDonald pigeon. Never forget him.
#17. Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole
From the creator of Moral Orel, which you will see later on this list (it’s not a spoiler, because no shit Moral Orel’s gonna be on the list), we have Frankenhole, a show that asks the question “What if Dr. Frankenstein was an immortal dick?” And the good people at Fragical just kept rolling and this is what we got. I think the animation is what really makes this show shine. There is no other show like it. It’s meant to look like an old Universal Monster Movie (in color and HD 1.78:1) and it works so incredibly well. Check it out when you get the chance.
#16. The Drinky Crow Show
I already reviewed this on the site (the links will be at the end of the countdown) and I do a much better job explaining this show in that, but I still really like it. It’s very different from all the other shows you see on [adult swim]. It’s done in CG, like Xavier: Renegade Angel. It’s a fast paced violent booze driven experience. While not as funny as the other shows on this list, it makes up for it with performances by Moral Orel and Frankenhole creator Dino Stamatopoulos and David Herman. It’s random, but creative. So grab some booze and have some good old fashioned 19th century fun!
There is a trinity of shows on [adult swim], 2 of which you will see later on in the list. This is what I call the “[adult swim] Fanboy Trinity”. These are the 3 shows with probably the largest fanbases and it’s hard to be a fan of the network without being a fan of any of the 3. This is one of them. And, confession time, I’m not a big fan of Metalocalypse. I’ve seen 5-6 episodes from Season 1 as of this writing. Now, I understand it’s one of those shows that apparently gets crazy good later on, kinda like fellow Trinity member The Venture Bros., but the reason why this show even GOT on the list, besides legacy and me still trying to make a good impression, is the premise. “A heavy death metal rock band is the most famous and beloved band in the entire world. So much so that it’s the 7th largest economy in the world.” I think that’s brilliant and the show takes advantage of that. Why haven’t I seen much of it? Besides the fact that I’m not a metalhead like Rob over there? Well, at least from what I’ve seen, the main characters are boring as shit. Whether or not this was the joke, I still find it hard to stay attached to these characters. I do need to go back to this show, but just remember to rock on!
#14. The Eric Andre Show
This is the only Abso Lutely show you’re gonna find on this list. Probably because Tim & Eric aren’t heavily involved in the production of this show. Nevertheless, The Eric Andre Show is the perfect late night talk show for [adult swim]. It’s just like all the other ones, except the host is bat shit insane! The likability of both Andre and his co-host Hannibal Buress makes this worth it. New episodes are currently airing Fridays at midnight, so go see it for yourself! #LegalizeRanch
#13. Robot Chicken
Surprised? Me too. Robot Chicken is [adult swim]’s highest consistently rated show. Why WOULDN’T it make it to the Top 10? Well, to be honest, I really don’t care for the show after Season 5. And unlike shows such as The Boondocks were the material before it got stale was enough to hold the show’s lasting appeal, I don’t think that’s the case for Robot Chicken. Even still, when Robot Chicken is good, it’s really good. The whole appeal for the show is flipping through channels to ruin your childhood, and because it’s on [adult swim], it’s able to get away with way more than it should. Check out the first 5 seasons if you haven’t already!
#12. Frisky Dingo
How, how do I even begin to describe Frisky Dingo? I plan on reviewing this in the fall, so I don’t want to go too much in depth here. Basically, it’s the show the guys from Archer made before they closed down their studio only to make a new one immediately after. It’s a parody of superheroes versus supervillains. At least, that’s what it starts off as. Killface, an alien monster thing with no penis, comes to Earth to send it into the sun. And Xander Crews wants/needs to make money off of this. It’s very strange in that it’s almost random where the plot goes after that. So much so that at the start of the second season, both characters run for president! And that’s all I can say without giving away spoilers. I highly recommend it, especially if you like Archer.
Oh, did I forget to mention Xander Crews’s army of Xtacles that almost got a spinoff?
#11. Black Jesus
“Why does Boondocks Season 4 suck?” Because he was making this instead: Black Jesus, the story of what would happen if Jesus came back today and he was a black man living in Compton. It’s also my personal favorite live action show on [adult swim]. It’s a show where it’s very easy to get offended for the wrong reason, which is entirely why this show exists in the first place. Aaron McGruder saw a news broadcast complaining about the skin color of our Jesus Christ. The moral of this entire story is who fucking cares? While the first episode feels a little off considering Jesus is smoking weed, the rest of the series he never feels out of character. Jesus ain’t doin gangsta shit. Gangsta shit just happens, that’s all. Black Jesus may not be for the easily offended, but this is [adult swim]. What IS for the easily offended?
#10. Titan Maximum
Why is this higher than Robot Chicken? Because I like it more, that’s why. One of the shortest shows on the network, Titan Maximum can be seen as a 2 hour Robot Chicken parody of Voltron with original characters. And yeah, that’s pretty much what it is. But it’s still really funny, and in my opinion, has one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Even better considering [adult swim] axed it off after one season, because if they didn’t, that would be 6 months without them working on Robot Chicken, [adult swim]’s previously mentioned money machine. I can live with that.
#9. Children’s Hospital
This is kind of a cheat, seeing as the show was originally a 10 episode webseries, but it’s still one of the biggest shows [adult swim] has ever had, mainly because it appealed to audiences not of the standard demographic. I haven’t seen much of it, but from what I have, yeah, it’s pretty funny. The premise is simple enough: It’s a Children’s Hospital, but here drama occurs. Yeah, it also just so happens to be a parody of every Hospital TV Show that tries way to hard to be serious. 2 completely unrelated spin-offs later, what’s not to love?
#8. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
When you really think about it, all the old [adult swim] shows are just parodies. It wasn’t until Tom Goes to the Mayor and Squidbillies that the ideas became super original. The best parody was this show, Harvey Birdman. What if the Hanna Barbera characters we all know and love got sued? Well, with a complete WB library and a character as famous as Sealab 2020 acting as the lawyer, we’ll be able to solve these cases! This show did a better job at making fun of these characters than Robot Chicken did, as Harvey Birdman keeps them in their element while RC is just a 9 year old playing with toys. Not to mention that at times it’s just fucking hilarious. If you grew up loving characters like the Flintstones or The Jetsons or any of the other Hanna Barbera cartoons, you flatout need to watch Harvey Birdman.
#7. Rick and Morty
When being #7 on a Top 20 is considered to be REALLY low, you know you’ve made a name for yourself. It took only 11 episodes for Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon to make the 3rd show in the [adult swim] Fanboy Trinity. And for good reason. Personally, this is my favorite show on the network. I’ve rewatched every episode countless times over. So why’s it this low? Because it’s only 2 seasons, with a 3rd on the way. Granted, unless Justin wants to end it early, I can expect this to go on for 8 seasons, as it’s quickly replacing Robot Chicken as [adult swim]’s prime money maker. I see this hitting my Top 5 in about a year or two. I would say go see it, but chances are, if you’re reading this, you already have.
#6. Sealab 2021
You may say otherwise, hell you probably WILL say otherwise, but I like to think Sealab 2021 is the show that started the trend of abridging things to make the whole thing stupider. Because for the first season, that’s all it is. Sealab 2021 is what happens when you take the most forgettable Hanna Barbera show ever, Sealab 2020, and riff the fucking hell out of it. It works because of how stupid it knows it is. Now, a lot of people say the show jumped the shark once Harry Goz, the voice of Captain Murphy, died. They then replaced him with Tornado Shanks, voiced by his son. Unpopular opinion: the show got BETTER after Captain Murphy left. Not because of Tornado Shanks, he was OK but no Murphy. It’s mostly the comedy. The creators, who also made Frisky Dingo and Archer, just said “You know what? Fuck it.” And for the last 2 seasons they just did whatever the hell they wanted. And, for me at leas. Some of this stuff is still hilarious to this day. If you love random abridged things on the Internet, Sealab 2021 is a must see.
I couldn’t find a good clip online, so just have some bizarro!
“What if, instead of a chocolate factory, Willy Wonka made a prison with himself as the warden, and also had no idea what the fuck he was doing?” That’s Superjail, easily one of, if not the, most violent show on Western Television. It’s not extremely graphic, but it’s bloody as hell. Unlike other shows, the violence is not random shock humor. It can also be used to show off some really cool flash animation. A word of advice though: Do NOT watch this show in Production Order. That includes the Season 1 DVD order. The show makes more sense if you watch it in the order it was originally shown. Cancelled after 4 seasons, this is one of [adult swim]’s staples.
#4. Moral Orel
Davey and Goliath if they touched on…THOSE subjects. And it’s brilliant. Like Metalocalypse I haven’t seen the entire thing, aka I haven’t gotten to the part that people love the most about it, but I can still respect it enough to give it this high a spot. I don’t think this show could get on any other network than [adult swim]. Hell, considering some of the shit in this show, it almost DIDN’T get on. Moral Orel is what happens when you give the creators the freedom they desire. And it’s amazing.
#3. The Boondocks
Same thing here. Mike Lazzo saw the FOX version of this show, called up Aaron McGruder, gave him 15 episodes and basically said “Do whatever the hell you want.” And he did. [adult swim] can’t acknowledge that 4 of the episodes exist, two of which they actually aired, but he did anyway. The Boondocks is one of the best animated comedies of all time because when no one would throw a punch except maybe South Park, Aaron catapulted a grand slam of punches. I think my favorite episodes are the ones that show off the lives of black rappers. Yeah, they aren’t gangsters. They’re just rich people that can sing and market themselves. The Boondocks is an example of pure brilliance. See it if you haven’t already.
#2. The Venture Bros.
Remember that [adult swim] Fanboy Trinity? This is one of them. At first, The Venture Bros. is just a Jonny Quest parody if it happened today. But over time, the show just develops itself to the point where it’s created its own universe. What’s even more insane is how, at times, the show can be very mature. And I don’t mean stupid sex jokes, although they have plenty. I mean, like, BoJack Horseman levels of maturity. It’s really something to be proud of. It’s also a great example of how patient both fans and [adult swim] can be. If money was all that mattered to [adult swim], Venture Bros. would’ve been cancelled after 3-4 seasons with maybe a long special to wrap everything up. But [adult swim] lets them take their time on the budget they have to create about 220 minutes worth of content for the fans. The Venture Bros. is one of the greatest animated shows intended for mature audiences of all time. Go see it.
No shit. But why? Well, what is [adult swim]? It’s Cartoon Network’s stoner brother living in its basement. So what’s the show that perfectly defines [adult swim]? Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It’s a show where 3 anthromorphic fast food items (technically 2, one’s just a ball of meat) live in New Jersey and should be solving mysteries, but mostly they just lie around and shit happens. And it perfectly encapsulates [adult swim]. Not only that, but over the 14 years that ATHF was on the air, it never went south. In fact, I think the show just kept getting better and better. Especially after they rebooted themselves with the 7th season. I like to call the show Aqua from that point on because of the name changes. ATHF is as classic as an [adult swim] show can get. Not only is it funny, but it also shows why people like [adult swim]. That and it’s pretty much the only place in America where you can watch anime live on TV.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (it’s more a Cartoon Network show when you really think about it)
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell
Stroker and Hoop
Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil
I’ll post links for Hulu or the [adult swim] website to watch all these shows, as well as articles, recaps, or reviews from the Swim Squad itself.
Mike Tyson Mysteries- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/mike-tyson-mysteries/
MTM Recap- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/food-robot-chicken-08×18-losin-it-mike-tyson-mysteries-02×13-recap/
Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/mary-shelleys-frankenhole/
RobBarracuda’s Review- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/adult-swim-series-review-mary-shelleys-frankenhole/
The Drinky Crow Show- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-drinky-crow-show/
My Review- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/the-drinky-crow-show-review/
The Eric Andre Show- http://www.hulu.com/the-eric-andre-show ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-eric-andre-show/
Recap of the Season 4 Premiere- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/the-eric-andre-show-04-x-01-recap-t-i-abby-lee-miller/
Robot Chicken- http://www.hulu.com/robot-chicken ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/robot-chicken/
KrisSimster’s Labor Day Special- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/its-alive-my-robot-chicken-labor-day-special/
Black Jesus- http://www.hulu.com/black-jesus ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/black-jesus/
Black Jesus Recap- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/black-jesus-episode-recap-02×02-jesus-gonna-get-his/
Titan Maximum- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/titan-maximum/
Children’s Hospital- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/childrens-hospital/
Rick and Morty- http://www.hulu.com/rick-and-morty ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/rick-and-morty/
Meowth900’s Thoughts on the Characters- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/my-rick-and-morty-character-thoughts/
Recap on the Season 2 Finale- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-wedding-squanchers-rick-and-morty-recap-02×10/
Sealab 2021- http://www.hulu.com/sealab-2021 ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/sealab-2021/
RobBarracuda’s Review- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/adult-swim-review-sealab-2021/
Moral Orel- http://www.hulu.com/moral-orel ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/moral-orel/
Cedric_alpha’s Review- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/adult-swim-review-moral-orel/
Boondocks- https://www.netflix.com/title/70153391 ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-boondocks/
KrisSimster’s Review- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/the-boondocks-series-overview/
RobBarracuda’s Psuedo Boondocks Opinion Piece- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/opinion-examining-the-boondocks-season-4/
The Venture Bros.- http://www.hulu.com/the-venture-bros ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-venture-bros/
Venture Bros. Recap- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/the-venture-bros-episode-recap-06×07-a-party-for-tarzan/
Aqua Teen Hunger Force- http://www.hulu.com/aqua-teen-hunger-force ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/aqua-teen-hunger-force/
Meowth900’s Overall Thoughts on Aqua Teen- https://theadultswimsquad.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/aqua-teen-hunger-force-finale-parting-thoughts-and-why-i-love-aqua-teen/
The Honorable Mentions:
Space Ghost Coast to Coast- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/space-ghost-coast-to-coast/
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell- http://www.hulu.com/your-pretty-face-is-going-to-hell ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/your-pretty-face-is-going-to-hell/
Stroker and Hoop- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/stroker-and-hoop/
Black Dynamite- http://www.hulu.com/black-dynamite ; http://www.adultswim.com/videos/black-dynamite/
Lucy the Daughter of the Devil- http://www.adultswim.com/videos/lucy-the-daughter-of-the-devil/