Recently, Adult Swim released the entire first season of “Smiling Friends.” The series has become quite popular online for how it stands out from other adult animation shows. The question stands: Is it worth watching?
Adult Animation is a strange genre, where instead of appearing on mainstream TV networks, it appears on nighttime networks such as Adult Swim. “Smiling Friends” is no exception to this, as it is an original show that was produced by Adult Swim.
“Smiling Friends” is an 8-episode-long dark humor adult animation that has roughly 11 minutes in each episode. Do not let the short length fool you; each episode is packed with high-quality animation and jokes that will stay in your head rent-free for weeks afterwards.
The story follows Pim and Charlie who work for Smiling Friends, a company whose objective is to make sad people smile. There is also an adequate amount of recurring supporting characters who occasionally get their own side plots in episodes.
The show contains a low to mild amount of gore, which I enjoy because it seems like it’s just enough to catch the viewer off guard without being outright disgusting. A good amount of the humor is chaotic as well, where random acts will just kind of start happening in the background.
This is in contrast to other adult shows such as “Rick and Morty” that follow more of a structure for each episode.
I believe this is one reason why the show got so popular so quickly, with people saying online that it is a “breath of fresh air for adult animation.”
The written humor itself never gets too political. Instead, it focuses more on abstract ideas such as procrastination, although there is the occasional political jab.
Part of the appeal is seeing these animated characters being put into adult situations and having to deal with real consequences if they mess up.
The pacing for the show is perfect. The first episode alone does a good job switching between the A and B plots and ties them together quite nicely by the end of the episode.
The character design is cartoony, diverse and unique, with some characters looking more like real life people, some looking like drawings, and some being actual people that were edited into the show. It seems to be a similar style to “The Amazing World of Gumball” where all the different characters had very different designs.
There are also a lot of cameos, some of whom I recognize and some who I don’t, but for the most part they are all pretty funny.
I think the run time is to this series’ benefit –11 minutes long for an episode means you can get a quick laugh in if you have a few minutes to spare.
Overall, I would recommend this show to anyone who is old enough to view it, as the humor is just too good to miss out on.