This outlook on animated television was a lot easier to maintain in the pre-'Simpsons' culture that my father grew up in. Easier, but certainly not justified. The implication that cartoons were initially exclusively "for kids" indicates more ignorance than truth about the nature of the medium. Look at almost any old 'Looney Tunes' short -- as a representative example -- layered with cultural references and parodies that only adults have a shot at understanding.
But now, with the wealth of grown-up animated series available on TV, it's impossible to brush off animation as anything less than a legitimate form of television series. What follows is a broad discussion about animated television, including a list of some of the toons that illustrate best this change in perception.
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- Army Wives - Season 1
- Bleach - Season 1 (Uncut)
- The Boondocks - Season 2
- Broken Trail - Complete Miniseries
- Comedy Central Home Grown
- Da Vinci's Inquest - Season 3
- The Dukes of Hazzard - Movie Collection
- Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes - Season 1
- The Fugitive - Season 2, Vol. 1
- Hawaii Five-0 - Season 4
- Home Improvement - Season 8
- The Incredible Hulk - When Monsters Meet
- Into Alaska - Collection 1
- John Adams - Complete Miniseries
- McLeod's Daughters - Season 6
- My Boys - Season 1
- The Odd Couple - Season 4
- 7th Heaven - Season 6
- Soap - Complete Series
- TekWar - TekWar
- What's Happening - Complete Series
Here's what's coming up on Adult Swim:
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, as mentioned previously, has received an order for thirty new episodes.
Moral Orel has also been picked up for a third season (which I already knew, but I was sworn to secrecy until it was officially announced). Also, the latter half of the second season kicks off this Sunday.
This is why Zeus created the DVR, animation lovers. According to an updated schedule grid, Adult Swim has a few marathons planned for the month of December. Fans of Bleach, Metalocalypse (ROCK!!!), Squidbillies, Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers and Boondocks pay heed, cause here's what's being served up:
On Christmas, gather the family around the television for a fifteen-episode, out of order Venture Brothers marathon beginning at 10:30 pm.
On December 26th, a marathon of episodes one through fifteen of The Boondocks begins at 10:30 pm.
Robot Chicken marathon on December 27: Episodes ten through forty starting at 10:30 pm.
Squidbillies marathon: Episodes one through twenty, then a repeat of episodes one through ten, starting at 10:30 pm on December 28.
Bleach marathon: Episodes one through fourteen kicking off at 11 pm on December 30.
Metalocalypse marathon: Episodes one through twenty, followed by a repeat of episodes one through twelve, starting at 10 pm on December 31.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius - Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 3
- All Creatures Great and Small - Series 3
- Animaniacs - Volume 1
- The Boondocks - Season 1
- Chappelle's Show - Lost Episodes
- Dark Shadows - DVD Collection 3
- JAG - 1st season
- La Femme Nikita - 4th season
- Miami Vice - Seasons 1 and 2
- Pinky and the Brain - Volume 1
- Punky Brewster - Season 3
- Rawhide - 1st season
- Tales From the Crypt - 4th season
- Three's Company - 7th season
Denys Cowan is a comic book artist who worked on comics for such DC characters as Spider-Man, Batman, The Question, and Steel, but lately he's been holding down a job as Vice President of Animation at BET. Newsarama's Daniel Robert Epstein recently spoke to Cowan about what exactly BET has in store as far as animated offerings, and what might be expected down the road. Cowan, as some of you may know, was also a producer for Boondocks during the show's first season, and was largely responsible for getting it on the air. Apparently, however, things did not end smoothly and Cowan refuses to speak about his time on the show. At least, he refuses to go into it with any great detail. Cowan hopes BET is able to use animation the way MTV used it in the 90s, and considering his background in comic books, I could definitely see that happening.
The first season of The Boondocks, the Adult Swim series based on Aaron McGruder's comic strip about a black kid and his younger brother moving out of Chicago's inner city to live with their grandpa in the suburbs, is coming out on DVD on June 13. The fifteen episodes of the season will be shown uncut and uncensored. Also, the disc will include French subtitles, an addition I felt was sorely missing from the original airings. How do you say "white people are crazy" in French, anyway? I've forgotten all the French I learned in high school. Seriously, though, this new set sounds pretty cool, and I like the idea of seeing these episodes in all their raw, uncensored glory, which means I'll probably buy the set despite not always watching the show.
McGruder may provide audio commentary on some episodes, though if I'm reading TVSODVD's piece correctly, that's not official just yet.
- As if you didn't know, ABC has The Oscars tonight. Jon Stewart hosts the show, starting at 8 (ABC has the red carpet arrivals at 7, while E! has coverage starting about 35 hours before the show).
- There's other stuff on tonight too: CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7, followed by repeats of Criminal Minds, Cold Case, and CSI.
- NBC has a new two hour Dateline at 7, followed by repeats of Law and Order: CI and Crossing Jordan.
- FOX has a new Malcolm at 7, followed by Bad Boys II.
- AMC has the original movie version of MASH at 8.
- TMC has Barbershop 2 at 8, while FLIX has 1967's How I Won The War.
- Also at 8: TBS is showing Scary Movie 3 a couple of times, while ABC Family has Cruel Intentions (ABC Family?!?).
- At 9, you can catch a repeat of The Apprentice premiere on CNBC, if you missed it a few nights ago.
- Also at 9: Food Network has a new Iron Chef America.
- At 10, MSNBC repeats this morning's Meet The Press.
- Also at 10: Showtime has a new ep of The L Word, while FLIX has A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
- At 11, Cartoon Network has a new The Boondocks.
- And after your local news, there will be a special live edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, with Jon Stewart, Quentin Tarantino, and Johnny Knoxville.
Sharpton is demanding that Cartoon Network apologize and pull any episodes "that desecrate black historic figures." Cartoon Network released a statement (not an apology), defending Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. The Network said, "We think Aaron McGruder came up with a thought-provoking way of not only showing Dr. King's bravery but also reminding us of what he stood and fought for."
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