BREAKING FORMAT to talk about why you should be watching Adventure Time. A.K.A. I haven’t quite had a chance to catch Inside Llewyn Davis on the silver screen, so let’s discuss my most recent television obsession instead. Yeah. That totally makes sense.
PLOT. The show follows the excellent adventures of its two leading characters; Finn and Jake. Readers in their 20s or 30s might nostalgically recall the plot lines of older cartoons like Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears or Gargoyles – stories with overarching themes beyond the episodic structure. Gummi Bears, for example, explored the endangerment of their dwindling and exploited Gummi community. Adventure Time is set in a bizarre post-apocalyptic earth; a history that converges at various points with many of the characters’ personal backstories. I confess that I hadn’t bargained for this – nor was I prepared for the tender, affecting manner in which the show is able to encompass such deep/complex themes without dumbing them down for its younger fans. Don’t let the foodstuff kingdoms or loopy jokes fool you: there is some pretty serious, amazing stuff happening here.
HUMOUR. The folks over at Frederator Studios do a great job of referencing video games, music, science, social conventions, films and the like – but this isn’t pop culture witticism. It’s an informed melting pot of deliberately confused language and wild silliness: brilliant and detailed without compromising the show’s core objective (which is to have fun).
THE PEOPLE. Protagonists Finn the Human and Jake the Dog share a brilliant, rollicking dynamic not just between one another but with every other character on the show. A sort of goofier Calvin & Hobbes vibe. Chemistry aside, the personalities of Adventure Time are incredible for their trope-defying, cliche-clobbering ways – damsels in distress are just as likely to be scientific masterminds or pitiless dictators! Better than stand-up role models, they are intrinsically complex. These characters have a wonderful capacity to surprise viewers and they’re still doing it, five seasons on.
LOTS TO COVER. Info? Info! Adventure Time is an ongoing show on Cartoon Network. Episodes are short (11mins) but seasons can run up to 26 episodes, with the latest one running into more than forty episodes. So hey, if you like it, there’s a whole lot of material to explore. In addition to the animated show there is a series of graphic novels, some spin-offs, and a thriving adult fanbase. Marathoning Adventure Time is unquestionably hardcore but also inadvisable. Take it from someone who tried.
THE END? Yes, the end! Now go watch some Adventure Time. It’s unlikely that I will write another feature about it but feel free to tweet me your impressions or whatever!