"Adventure Time" will save us all!
Watch the Disney channel. I never did willfully—only when I was taking care of my little sister. Everybody is concerned with half banging someone, hiding a bad grade, or trying to go to some strumpet’s party. I remember one episode of a popular series that culminated in a false flag operation involving a flipped table at a Mexican restaurant, grabbing a cradle with the titular baby that had mistakenly ended up in the company of another family, ruining their parents' night out, and causing an insurmountable amount of psychological terror for all involved.
I’m not chastising the show for being morally renegade, but here’s the thing: It’s dumbed down to the point where you get 24 minutes of bile with 3 minutes of phony comeuppance. To an extent, kids need to live without some comeuppance (after all kids need to be kids) at least for a time. They shouldn't expect every single wrong action to get them brow-beaten. It’s about being accountable. Kids aren’t accountable. Try to get one to deliver mail.
Which is to get to the point: “Adventure Time” is going to save us all.
“Adventure Time” has a pretty simple, almost Krazy Kat plot: There’s a boy named Finn who has a bulldog named Jake that can stretch...a lot. Finn and Jake live in a fantasy land that came about after nuclear war destroyed the real world. There are a bunch of other all equally absurd characters.
In one episode, a friend of the main character named Marceline the Vampire Queen manages to convince Jake and Finn that she’s turned them into vampires. She asks the two, “Are you guys hungry for blood yet?”
Jake simply responds, “Yeah, I could go for some blood right now.”
This joke’s a little dark but what makes it so funny is the delivery: Jake has actually convinced himself that he wants blood. It’s delivered with as much emphasis as, “Yeah, I could go for some Chinese.” There’s also the fact that a stretchy bulldog thinks he’s a vampire. You can’t read this much into a line of Hannah Montana dialogue.
The world is like a G-rated Robert Crumb: candies and bears bop around and say witty little lines without the screaming that has typified many cartoons as of late. There is some screaming, but it’s not the only trick in the bag.
“Adventure Time” is not a cartoon that’s aiming for older audiences, but it has gained a cult following on college campuses. To paraphrase Art Spiegelmann, the author of Maus and founder of Raw, the point of Mad is that the media lies, and that we’re part of the media, so think for yourself. The message behind “Adventure Time” is to quit taking yourself so damn seriously. It'll save you, me, and everybody else.