It is fall once again. That means a great many things, but what it really means is a whole lot of new TV episodes to watch. We are in what many call a television renaissance and that is all good and well, but there is still nothing quite like a great animated show. In the current TV landscape, there is plenty of great animated shows to watch this fall as well.
For years, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and Fox have been putting a lot of effort into making great animated shows that are for a more mature audience. While some of these are totally inappropriate for kids, quite a few of them are perfectly ok for younger folks to watch and just so happen to provide a few more layers for adults to enjoy.
This fall is a pretty mixed bag for those who love animated TV shows. There are a few new shows to watch out for, but there are a tong of returning favorites that we can't wait to get back to. Some shows this season may seem as though they are close to overstaying their welcome, but they may very well still have some gas left in the tank. On the other hand, some of these shows are looking to potentially enter their golden age and are primed for some of their best seasons yet. In either case it should make for plenty of interesting animation to enjoy.
Fox and Adult swim are pretty strictly providing comedic animated television, which nobody is really complaining about. Thanks to the likes of Seth MacFarlane, Matt Groening and Dan Harmon, we have been presented with tons of excellent hilarious animated TV shows. So why fix what isn't broke? But Cartoon Network and Disney XD may have a thing or two up their sleeve this season for those looking for something a little more serious in the animated world this season.
Some of these shows are ending and some of them are just beginning, but all of them present something that makes them worth tuning in for. Sure, you know you can tune into AMF, FX or HBO most nights and catch some excellent live-action TV, but there is just something so satisfying about a great cartoon. From animation set in against a backdrop of live-action to a show set in a galaxy far far away, here are the 9 animated shows you should be watching this fall.
Star Wars Rebels
We all know that Disney is planning to bring us plenty of Star Wars goodness to the big screen for the foreseeable future, but one of the best things they have done for Star Wars fans so far is Star Wars Rebels. Anyone who has kept up with the show knows that, especially by the end of season 2, this isn't just an animated show for kids that adults can use to fill the void until a Star Wars movie arrives. This show is a genuinely great addition to the Star Wars universe. The season 2 finale may have been one of the better things Disney has given us since they purchased Lucasfilm and that makes us intensely excited for season 3. We know Darth Maul will be back but most importantly, Dave Filoni is bringing us Grand Admiral Thrawn. If you have had any hesitations about watching Star Wars Rebels, set them aside and get caught up so you can enjoy what's to come in season 3.
When Bob's Burgers first debuted a handful of years ago, it really didn't seem like the kind of thing that would have any staying power. Though, some of the best things in the animated landscape are a bit unassuming. Now as we head into the sixth season, the show has become a pop culture focal point and easily one of the funniest animated shows on network television. A large part of that is thanks to the work of H. Jon Benjamin. While comedy fans knew for years he was special, it wasn't until he managed to break out working on Archer and Bob's Burgers simultaneously that the rest of the world got on board. With a great supporting cast of characters like the internet's favorite outcast Tina and the ever loyal Linda, it is nearly impossible not to love this show. Bob's Burgers seems to only be getting better and may very well be entering that sweet spot this season, so this is must watch comedy, animated or not.
Son of Zorn
Fox has had a lot of success creating primetime animated TV shows that are completely aimed at adults. Their latest effort, Son of Zorn is something entirely different. While it does feature an animated protagonist, it is set against a live-action backdrop. It will be serving as something of an experiment, but there is a lot of promise here. The show centers on Zorn, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, who has left his animated, war-torn world in order to reconnect with his human son in the real world. Yes, this show has the potential to be a bit ridiculous and the "I'm a cartoon in a human world" gag could potentially get old fast. However, if the show delivers on the promise in the right way, it could very well be right at home with Fox's Animation Domination. It doesn't hurt that some of the live-action stars include former SNL star Tim Meadows and Tony Revolori from The Grand Budapest Hotel.
It almost seems unthinkable that South Park is now in its 20th season, but that is exactly what is happening, and the show hasn't really lost a step. In truth, last season may have been one of the best seasons in the shows very long and storied history, which is really saying something. South Park has remained very fresh by sticking to their theory of making fun of current topics in pop culture in the most over-the-top way possible. Trey Parker and Matt Stone seem to only be perfecting their formula this late in the game, which is truly an amazing thing to behold. Unlike The Simpsons, many people feel South Park is as good as it ever was, and that is a great reason to tune in for this landmark season on Comedy Central.
When there are talks of The Simpsons these days, many are quick to try and point out that the best days of the show have passed. While that may be true by some standards, rarely has television ever been as good as when The Simpsons was at its best, and when you are 28 seasons in, it is fair to expect some sort of quality dip. That being said, every season of the show has managed to deliver some big laughs and there are always some gems in there. Nearly every Treehouse of Horror has been great and even simply okay by The Simpsons standards is still well worth watching. If you haven't tuned in for a while, maybe season 28 will be a good excuse to jump back on board the Springfield train. Especially considering that the show will air its landmark 600th episode this season. Even if its best days truly are in the past, The Simpsons is still a show that delivers. If it didn't, Fox would simply stop renewing it.
Cartoon Network has a very good track record of making shows that appeal largely to kids, but that adults can really enjoy as well. In recent years, there may be no better example of this than the absolutely ridiculous but endlessly enjoyable Regular Show. J. G. Quintel has been behind the show, as creator, writer and as the voice of Mordecai, but after 250 episodes, the new season of the show will be its last. After the cliffhanger from season 7, the final season of the show will be going by the name Regular Show in Space, which is delightfully wacky and should provide a very fun last run of episodes to go out on. What started as a college animation project truly turned into something special and it will be missed. Regular Show has exceeded the expectations placed upon it by its name and since it is ending, this is must watch animated television this season. Also, where else are we going to get to hear Mark Hamill voice a large Yeti ever again?
Justice League Action
We may have to wait more than a year for the live action version of the Justice League to make its way to theaters. Not only that, but after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we can't be totally certain it will be great or that Zack Snyder has really been able to course correct. On the flip side of things, we do have a new DC Comics animated show to look forward to in the form of Justice League Action. The show premiered at San Diego Comic-Con this year and may have quietly been one of the most positively buzzed about things to come out of the convention.
While the live action adaptations of DC Comics properties have left a little something to be desired by many, the animation side of things has absolutely killed it over the years. Justice League Action is shaping up to continue that legacy, but it will be shaking things up just a bit. The show will be going the route of Regular Show and Teen Titans Go! and other such Cartoon Network shows with 11 minute episodes. That is interesting enough, but when you couple that with the all-star voice cast and the very comic book inspired animation and this has quickly become one of the most promising new nerd-centric TV shows of the Fall season.
It would be hard to say that Family Guy is in its prime, but fans of the show would also be quick to tell you that the show is still very worth watching. Seth MacFarlane has not had as much success directing movies as he has creating hit TV shows, and that all started with Family Guy back in 1999. After being cancelled twice by Fox, which still may be one of themost shocking things a network has ever done in hindsight, the show has been comfortably enjoying a long, solid run over the last several years. While some episodes do feel a bit tired from time to time, recent years have given us some of the funniest episodes and moments in the entire series run, like when Stewie and Brian had a litter of babies together, or when Liam Neeson guest starred after Peter said he could beat him up. Season 15 will surely have at least a few episodes of that caliber and if you don't watch football, what else are you doing on Sunday nights?
Rick and Morty
There are few, if any shows, that have managed to explode in pop culture like Rick & Morty has over the past couple of years, and with good reason. What Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have been able to do with this absurd, crude and undeniably smart and clever show is nothing shy of spectacular. That is why we are all very eagerly awaiting the arrival of season 3 on Adult Swim. Unfortunately, they haven't actually announced a premiere date for next season yet, but we are holding out hope that it will arrive during the fall season. Given the way that season 2 ended (no spoilers) we aren't just looking forward to season of Rick & Morty for the usual "Awe geez, Rick" reasons.