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Adult Swim

Cartoons for Adults

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Frylock from 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force'

Frylock from 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force'

Turner Broadcasting
Have you discovered Adult Swim? No, not that quiet time at the public pool when the seniors take to the water in their skull caps, and leave glowering, sticky children behind. I'm talking about the block of cartoons shown late at night on Cartoon Network.

Adult Swim starts at 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. and lasts until 1:00 a.m. The cartoons are also aired Sunday night at the same time. I highly recommend watching this cartoon cache. Why? The shows are clever, the animation is fun and edgy and the subjects are provocative.

Adult Swim started with just a few shows, some original, and some cobbled from old cartoons. Here's a sample of what you can find.

Home Movies
This wonderful cartoon depicts schoolchildren who love making their own movies. Brendon Small lives with his single mom and baby sister, and dreams of owning a fish-eye lens. The show is sarcastic, yet sentimental. The schoolchildren are mature, much like we picture ourselves in our childhood. But, they still engage in childish arguments and frequent allowance negotiations. I can identify with the un-athletic Brendon when he squares off against his underhanded soccer coach, Coach McGuirk. Home Movies especially appeals to the geek in me because of the children's passion for all things cinematic.

The Brak Show
Ah, Brak. He is unwaveringly sunny, if just a bit thick. As a child, he faces the same silly parental rules we all faced as children (even though his father is half his size and says nothing coherent.) Did I mention Brak is an alien from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast? Thus, his juxtaposition within a suburban environment is humorous in itself. His playmate is the evil Zorak, and his neighbor is super-robot Thundercleese. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Harvey is an attorney, who also happens to be a superhero. He is assisted by Avenger, his purple eagle. His nemesis in comics, Reducto, is now the opposing attorney. And Mightor is the judge. The fun of this show is not only seeing comic book characters in a court of law, though that alone is terribly funny. I love Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law because of its bawdy humor and sexual innuendos. For instance, Apache Chief once hired Harvey to sue a coffee vendor because he spilled the coffee on his lap, and could no longer "grow large," which is the Apache Chief's special power. You fill in the blanks.

Space Ghost: Coast to Coast
The platform of this show is that of a late night talk show, where Space Ghost is the host. He has a variety of guests, including real-life stars. His band leader is the evil Zorak. Brak (mentioned above) is "just there for the craft service." He is directed by Moltar. Space Ghost is a hilarious host. He throws punches and punch lines with equal panache. Sometimes, there's even larvae in his coffee. Watch him battle enemies and celebrity egos at the same time.

Other shows that air in this time block are Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Robot Chicken. Even the promotional clips that separate the shows from the commercials (called bumpers) follow the Adult Swim theme, beginning with shots of senior citizens doing the backstroke, and the announcer's voice coming from a p.a. system, to now using minimal animation and funky music.

All in all, you'll love Adult Swim if you love tongue-in-cheek humor, irony and wit. By dawn, you and Brak will be saying, "Yeah, bud-dy."

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