Childish Things: Or, How I Learned to Love Adventure Time

OK, so,  Adventure Time is my favorite TV series currently on the air that I’m not totally caught up on. (I’m in the middle of watching Season 3 right now, though this isn’t really a show where watching all of the episodes totally matters.)  When I first told some friends about my new obsession, they were skeptical. I’m not a known cartoon fan and the animated shows I do watch – Archer and Bob’s Burgers – are meant for adults. Also, I guess, some people just grow up and forget that animated shows exist and/or can be great. Anyway, I don’t think I really believed just how much I was into Adventure Time when I first started watching it. I hadn’t even heard of the show until I saw two dudes dressed up as Finn and Jake at a Halloween party last year and I asked my friend what they were supposed to be. But I ended up blowing through the first season on Netflix shortly after it appeared there and now I’m addicted.

If you haven’t watched the show, here’s the deal: It’s about two adventuring best friends and brothers, Jake (the Dog) and Finn (the Human), who are hanging out and having adventures around the land of Ooo episode after episode. That sounds like it could get lame pretty fast, but I promise you that it doesn’t. The show has a wonderful mixture of gross/silly/weird/sometimes biting humor that keeps it fresh. (So far, I mean. It could get old by the time I start watching the fifth season, but somehow I doubt it?) As long as you’re not offended by fart jokes, I’d venture to say you’ll think it’s pretty funny.

The cast of characters is fantastic and well-rounded for a show primarily meant for children. While I think that anyone who’s a fan would agree that Jake is just the fucking coolest ever and that Princess Bubblegum is an awesome supernerd role model (girls can be smart and girly!), my favorite character is Finn. I like Finn because he’s not afraid to be sincere. He feels responsible for everyone around him, always wants to do the best he can, and wants his fellow Ooo-inhabitants to get along. But when he has trouble achieving his goals or senses injustice, he gets really, really pissed. (I relate to him a lot in this sense.) I love watching a kid character who is totally badass but also totally a kid still learning the way the world works. The show also has enough episodes that many of the quirky and hilarious recurring characters – try not to fall in love with Lumpy Space Princess or the main villain, the Ice King – feel fully fleshed out and not just good or evil or annoying.

Finn and Jake are also different from many questing characters I’ve encountered in my years of reading children’s or young adult books* in that it seems they’re adventuring because they like it and it’s an awesome way to spend time together, rather than out of a sense of duty to something or someone that is much, much greater than them. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, I meant for this to be a shorter “In Brief” post, so I’ll stop here. But I will say that when I was originally thinking about how to frame this post, I was going to talk about some of the “childish” things I enjoy, from my Hello Kitty calendar to reading (and re-reading and re-re-reading ) young adult novels. I need a little figure out how to write about that, but I hope to share something in longer form soon.

In the meantime, is there anything else out there that’s meant for kids that you, as an adult, are/were into? I want to hear about it!

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7 thoughts on “Childish Things: Or, How I Learned to Love Adventure Time

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