Adult animation has become a crucial element in what is being called the "Golden Age of Television," where quality and quantity of content is in incredible abundance. Gone are the days of the simple cartoonist and comic strips, as the cartooning world has advanced its styles and sensibilities to a quality standard that even cartoons of ten years ago could only dream of.
In addition to its animated content, the modern age has also seen an uprising of the reboot and revival, where franchises of old are given new life, with many of them seeing surprising success, whereas remain in the past. In hope that the next generation can share in the immature humor of yesterday, here are the top 10 adult animated series that need a revival.
Dilbert has been one of the most persistent comic strips in recent years, managing to maintain syndication in a day and age where newspapers are pretty much just used to swat flies. However, during the last legs of the 90s, Dilbert was given new life in an animated series that was not only incredibly animated and adventurous for a Dilbert product but a cult success within its post years.
With Scott Adams still alive and well and with the world already flushed with Peanuts and Garfield content, Dilbert the animated series today would be a breath of fresh air for adapted animated adaptations.
9 The Oblongs
Will Ferrell is famous for a lot of vibrant and distinct characters, like Ron Burgundy or Ricky Bobby. However, a lesser known caricature of him circulating the annals of DVDs past is that of an overly-optimistic, poverty stricken man born without arms or legs and his family of outcasts in the desolately charming series, The Oblongs.
Based on the definitely-not-for-children book, Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales of Troubled Children, the series focuses on Bob's family, as they wade the polluted waters of their dilapidated home residing within the suburban terrain of The Valley. In a time where topics of poverty and disadvantage are affluent, a show about the trying and living-in-stride underdogs may do well.
8 Beavis & Butthead
The phrase "OK Boomer" has become a landmark sentiment resembling the tumultuous relationship between young and old. However, whether or not either is entitled, let's not forgot the generation and even subset of culture that more directly defines itself with the slackers, ne'er-do-wells, and immature teenagers of the world.
And who better to act as the voice of that generation than its giggling knuckleheads, Beavis & Butthead? To be fair, this series already had a revival a couple of years back, but it got lost in the sea of MTV's changing content. This is a shame considering that it would be amazing to see the immature humor and simple minded tactics of these two come against the technology and youth culture of today in a realized generational clash.
Focusing on college undergrad Nitz and his fellow group of college bound misfits, this Canadian series focuses on the trials and tribulations of early college life and what that means at a social and personal level, with "the Clique" often fighting with things like identity, roommates, college rivalries, and, of course, financial aid.
This series sadly left its wanting adolescents with a genuinely interesting cliffhanger before it was surprisingly canceled. And while there is a Kickstarter campaign in the process of getting the finale a movie, there's still quite a bit to be left wanting out of an Undergrads series.
6 Mission Hill
During the animation boom of the 90's and early 2000's, Warner animation introduced the world to one of the most visually distinct and culturally sincere entries to the animated sitcom format, Mission Hill. Focusing on Andy French and his roommates and younger brother, this series brought great focus on a more culturally vibrant view of New York than some people may be used to.
Stepping away from the fast paced streets along Wall Street or the Empire State Building, this series brings the viewer to the smaller neighborhoods, occupied by progressive adults, rebellious punks, new immigrants, and, as is the case with Andy French, slackers.
5 Clone High
Much like Undergrads, Clone High is a series aimed at various teenagers and youths that ended much too quickly and with a cliffhanger. Premised on the idea that a secret, government agency needs to raise and educate its clones of key historical figures, Clone High is both a parody and oddly tasteful homage to the overly emotional tropes of other high school, teenager series.
At one end, it draws direct attention to the melodrama of teenage angst and love. At the other, it genuinely draws people in with the humor and sincerity that it handles it with, embodying this tone with a theme song that is both early-2000s catchy as well as just incredibly sarcastic.
4 The Critic
The Internet today has allowed anyone with a slight film background to become a film critic. And the flagship mascot for quite a few of them, other than Roger Ebert himself, is a 90s cartoon series called The Critic, and its bald, short man played by the effeminate heartthrob, Jon Lovitz.
This series focuses on Jay Sherman, as he lives out his New York life reviewing and ranting about the modern age's quality of films, with the series itself often personifying that decline. Living in the Golden Age of media as a whole, filled with the diversity that Jay had been wishing for as well as the pandering reboots that he detests, it would be wonderful to see Jay take the stage again.
3 The Maxx
Not going away for quite a while, superhero films and television series are still on rise with seemingly increasing interest, as even independent and obscure comics are being picked up for their own adaptations. And with the superhero genre and comic book history at such an incredible rise, it would be wonderful to see an old yet very much memorable gem from the 90s get a boost, too.
That series is The Maxx, a graphic novel about a homeless man in a superhero costume and his relationship with his social worker, as well as their explorations of dreams, social stigmas, and their own psychological states. The first volume of this series had an MTV, animated adaptation that featured a variety of inventive and unique uses of animation but has never seen another adaptation since. If the series were to return at some form, Maxx would certainly stand apart from other superheroes.
2 Ugly Americans
If there was ever a subject of scrutiny within today's hard times, it would be what defines an American. Is it their cultural background? Their status? Their values? If there was ever an animated series to really take a grab at this, if not at least attempt to do so, it would be the American melting, chamber pot that is Ugly Americans. Pretty much imagine New York's cultural diversity mixed with cryptids, demons from down below, and monsters you typically only see drawn on middle school desks.
Now imagine being the immigration agency and social worker that has to work with them. This series' odd mix of office comedy and high concept adventures would be very welcome alongside modern, sci fi standouts like Rick & Morty or The Venture Bros.
1 Moral Orel
Last but not least, a series that would be amazing to see a revival, especially against Adult Swim colleagues like Mike Tyson Mysteries or Rick & Morty, is Moral Orel. Canceled by the Adult Swim execs for being "too dark," this series focuses on the citizens of the God fearing, suburbia that is Moralton, and its young, ambitious evangelist, Orel Puppington.
Not quite parodying religion itself, Moral Orel more so takes a jab at the dogma and cultural sterilization often found in the American Midwest, a culture filled with censorship, patriarchal drunkenness, and zealots. The real gem of this series is its third season and prequel special, two things that more than define what "dark" really is and show that this series really had a lot to offer.