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Adventure Time

As I've mentioned before, I'm not very good at TV. Watching it rarely feels satisfying, for some reason, and even when I like a show I can't sit through more than a couple of episodes before getting antsy. I also have quite specific taste: I want programmes with wit and surprises, and while I don't object to emotions and character development, there'd better be something else to keep me interested as well. 'The West Wing' seems to be the ideal exemplar: I like the writing and delivery of the dialogue, it's clearly well shot and structured, and I'm interested in the subject (I read quite a lot about American politics), but I don't think I've managed to sit through an episode without doing something else as well. Fundamentally I don't want to watch 45 minutes of people arguing about their heartfelt beliefs, no matter how well implemented. The setting doesn't matter much either, I'm just as unenthused by the thought of Battlestar Galactica or A Game of Thrones. I try not to be close-minded and to give a series a try if it comes recommended, but this almost always just confirms my initial assessment.

When I watch TV of my choice, therefore, it's mostly weird comedies. Luckily, there seem to be quite a lot, they're all available on channel download (and normally on DVD if I decide I like them) and I watch quite slowly, so I'm confident that I can mine this niche indefinitely. One of my current pleasures is Adventure Time. It's a series of whimsical short cartoon episodes about Jake the magical shape-changing dog and Finn the human boy. It feels a bit like Calvin and Hobbes finally built a machine to escape to another dimension with no parents and no responsibilities (or, I guess, like Calvin finally had that psychotic break). Finn's excitable and heroic, Jake's laid-back and a little more cynical, and they have relationship of simple, deep companionship. Together they rampage through a brightly-coloured world which feels like a child's daydream, full of constant surprises and obstacles with the structured surreality of a computer game. I have no idea if it's supposed to be aimed at people like me or at actual kids, but it provides me with moments of pure, uncomplicated pleasure on a pretty regular basis. What's not to like? The first episode is here, and it's great fun, but I've just been watching this one and it's one of my favourites: The Jiggler

And here's some sweet fan art that I found of that episode, with a bonus Gorillaz reference. Sweet:

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