On the 11th day of festivus, TV gave to me
. . . eleven Adult Swim moments.
Gather around the fireplace, kids, and let us reminisce about all the joy Adult Swim has brought us in the past year:
The Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie is dangled before our eyes: It wasn't some enigmatic joke after all, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie does in fact exist. Fans rejoice, the rest of the world says, "I can't understand what the hell that pile of meat is saying."
Korgoth of Barbaria: The pilot episode is all we've seen so far of this hysterically violent take on Conan the Barbarian. The talent behind the cartoon, including SpongeBob SquarePants' Aaron Springer, Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) and illustrator Bill Wray (Mad Magazine, Ren and Stimpy) puts this in the same camp as The Venture Bros., a solid half hour that would serve as a nice contrast to the fifteen-minute shows that dominate most of the Adult Swim block.
Hank and Dean return from the dead: The Venture Bros. is by far one of, and perhaps arguably the smartest show on Adult Swim. No other show piles on so many layers of subtext and continuously defies viewers' expectations like this twisted and sarcastic ode to Johnny Quest, The Hardy Boys and action comics. After Hank and Dean are "killed" at the end of season one, the season two opener "Powerless in the Face of Death" opens with a heart-wrenching montage of Dr. Venture fleeing from the compound to "find himself." As it turns out, Hank and Dean are actually clones and have "died" several times already. Turns out Venture wasn't emotionally distraught at all, he just didn't want to deal with the hassle of re-animating his sons just yet.
The Force is strong with Robot Chicken: George Lucas himself saw what was one of the funniest sketches Robot Chicken has ever done, the Emperor receiving a call from a depressed Darth Vader after the first Death Star is destroyed. The result is the not-yet-officially-announced Robot Chicken / Star Wars special. Word in Mos Eisley is it's gonna be pretty sweet.
Adult Swim on iTunes: Venture Brothers! Aqua Teen Hunger Force! Frisky Dingo! Moral Orel! Sealab 2021! Space Ghost: Coast to Coast! I can't wait for more! And I can't stop shouting! Somebody hit me with a crowbar!
The return of Tom Goes to the Mayor and Moral Orel: Yeah, okay, I suppose I praise these shows enough in my reviews, but I'm not the only one out there who was happy to see both these shows return for a second season. TGTTM feeds my love for weird and offbeat humor, while Moral Orel hilariously skewers the way our inherent human flaws often clash with our religious beliefs.
12 Oz Mouse: I understand, I really do. You tuned in last season to see what this show was all about and all you saw were crude drawings, clip art, and slow-paced dialogue. It was as if the show was daring you to keep watching it. However, if you had the wherewithal to stick with it, you soon realized there is an actual storyline: a Lynchian mystery rife with dreams, alternate realities, gunfire, death, aliens, monsters, and lots and lots of corn dogs. I was turned off by this show at first, but now its eleven-minute runtime isn't enough for me, and I anxiously await each new episode to see if Mouse and his pals can piece together what's going on. Sadly, the show ends after this season, but hopefully we'll see a DVD release in the near future.
Adult Swim Fix gets an overhaul: While it meant it was opening itself up for thoughtful critiques from fans like, "Squidbillys SUX1!!! Cancel and make mor Aqua teen!!! Master Shake ROX!!" you have to give Adult Swim credit for embracing the internet and creating a community for fans and a place to watch old episodes and premieres. The Fix recently underwent a change and it's now a lot simpler to find the shows you want and view them online.
Metalocalypse: Brendon Small, creator of Home Movies, returned with this brutal love letter to heavy metal. Dethklok is a band that is so metal its bandmates are unable to really function outside the dark world they've created for themselves. That's not so terrible, since they are billionaires, but it can make grocery shopping kind of a hassle.
Frisky Dingo: Another great series from Sealab 2021 creators Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, a "good vs. evil" cartoon where even the good guys are assholes. And the malevolent and sometimes uncomfortably kind-hearted Killface just might be one of the most complex cartoon villains ever created.
The return of Squidbillies and Harvey Birdman: Adult Swim often uses the "Green Eggs and Ham" approach when it comes to winning over viewers. I didn't care for Squidbillies at first, but Adult Swim kept airing it as if to say, "c'mon, Adam, try it, we're sure you'll like it." As it turns out, I do like it. I like it with a fox, and I like it in a box. Oh yeah, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is good too, but then, I've always liked ol' Harvey.