South Park effectively changed what a cartoon could be when it premiered in 1997. Sure Beavis and Butthead came out a few years prior, but that lands mostly in MTV’s Liquid Television era; largely niche and only really seen by those already looking for it. But South Park immediately blew the doors off the mainstream and you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “OH MY GOD! THEY KILLED KENNY! YOU BASTARDS!”
23 years later, South Park is still on the air, along with many other cartoons aimed at an older crowd. Today we wanted to talk about a few of them. We start off talking about the OG, The Simpsons. It came way before South Park, but it didn’t see the same meteoric rise, and by the time it had achieved wild popularity it had softened slightly into something a bit more family friendly. We then chat a bit about the Simpson‘s slightly younger in age but slightly older skewing brother, Futurama.
From there, Kristin takes the reigns for our chat about Bob’s Burgers, far and away her favorite of this “genre” if you can call it that. Bob’s is much more family friendly than something like South Park, but they do sneak in a sex toy party or an accidental Viagra here and there. The thing about it though is that they all clearly like each other, so it feels wholesome and not combative like Simpsons or Family Guy tend to feel.
We wrap up talking a bit about South Park and Family Guy, largely because they both hold a special place in Wil’s heart. Not unlike the Simpsons, both SP and FG have what we’d call “Golden Eras”. Stretches where the show is firing on all cylinders and everything seems to work. That’s not to say that anything outside of those eras suck, but the highs simply don’t reach quite as high.
Of course there are a lot more of these types of animated shows that we don’t talk about, such as the big more modern ones likes Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman. But honestly we could go on and on about these classics so we wanted to devote a full episode just to them. That said, what are some others that you think we should check out? It’s not really a genre we actively go after, so let us know where to look! Join us for a look back at our favorite cartoons NOT for kids on today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!