Obtuse, rubber goose, green moose, guava juice. Giant snake, birthday cake, large fries, chocolate shake!
Admit it; if you are a child of the 1990s and early 2000s, you sang along to that knowing the tune and what cartoon that was from without having to think about it. (For those of you who are from a different generation, the show is “The Fairly OddParents,” which still provides plenty of laughs being on air for 12 years.)
While I’m not in Nickelodeon’s target demographic of who should be watching “The Fairly OddParents,” if it is on and there is nothing else appealing, sure I’ll watch it. Heck, I’ll turn on “Spongebob Squarepants” too. So what’s so wrong with a young adult, such as myself, watching cartoons? The fact that people tell me I’m too old for such shows entirely grinds my gears.
I do enjoy more “adult” shows such as “Law & Order,” “Modern Family,” “Castle,” “Psych,” and the doesn’t-follow-the-books-anymore-whatsoever, “Pretty Little Liars” (but we’ll talk about that final show later). But, why can’t I sit down and enjoy a cartoon that I enjoyed when I was younger?
Certain shows, such as those featured on Sprout, are cartoons solely directed at children. Shows like “Dora the Explorer” are not what I’m talking about when I say adults watch cartoons. While I know it makes an ass of you and me, I’m going to assume that if parents watch these shows, it is because there is a child watching it as well.
Though it seems cartoons were created to be targeted toward children, there is a lot of adult humor in cartoons as well. I’m not talking about crude adult humor featured in many kids’ shows. Recently, a lot of kids’ shows are including sight gags or even Easter eggs into their episodes. These jokes allow adults, as well as children, to enjoy a show together. Whereas adult cartoons, such as this blog’s namesake (and any of Seth MacFarlane’s brainchildren, for that matter), aren’t necessarily suitable for a family to watch together.
However, clever shows such as “Adventure Time” have been considered a hit for both children and adults. “Adventure Time” includes enough silly humor to draw in younger viewers, but also has story lines that teenagers and adults can also enjoy. Another show that can fall in this category is Disney’s new show “Gravity Falls.” Each “Gravity Falls” episode has some form of supernatural activity going on, but has many jokes and plot points going on in the background that it’ll keep you watching to catch the secrets. I have been mocked for watching both of these shows. While younger demographics may be the target for these shows, there are enough sight gags, dark/mature story lines and even silly humor to allow me to enjoy them as an adult.
Other cartoons have been redone specifically for an older audience. Nickelodeon’s show “Avatar: The Last Airbender” has a
sort-of spinoff sequel with “The Legend of Korra.” “Korra” has only had two seasons, but it is much darker and more developed than its precursor. It seems like the creators of “Avatar” realized that their target audience wasn’t children; it was the people who watched “Avatar” when they were younger. This has allowed for “Korra” to have more ominous plots as well as not needing to explain characteristics included in the series.
Whatever age you might be and whatever your interests may be, in my opinion, it is perfectly fine to watch cartoons. If they bring you humor or hell, if you enjoy that cartoon, there shouldn’t be a stigma attached to watching cartoons as a fully-grown adult.
Maybe it is because at 22, I am not entirely ready to grow up, or maybe it is because I still have the humor of a 12 year old. Whatever the reason is, I still enjoy cartoons — silly and serious alike. If a show gets me to laugh or has a story line that I find enthralling, then I will watch it. Telling me I’m too old to enjoy a show that I have enjoyed for years, well that folks, grinds my gears.