Top 10 Animated Series that you MUST watch to learn English!
There’s a huge list of animated series that I could put up here, but I’ve tried to water it down to ten, with at least one season! That isn’t to say any other series are worse than the ones that I’ve listed here, merely that this list is composed of the animated comedies that I’ve enjoyed the most!
10 - ARCHER
If you love spy stuff, edgy humour and ocelots, then you’re sure to love Archer too. There are so many reasons why I like this series, but mostly that it can change its entire genre so quickly and so well. I’m also a big fan of season long (and indeed series long) arcs, so Archer fits the bill there. One of the best things about the show is the huge amount of running gags that go from season to season. These include “phrasing,” whenever anyone makes a remark with a certain essence of double entendre. The one minute finger drinking gag, involving a character requesting another character waits to speak while they finish drinking, a usually alcoholic beverage.
I can’t do this show enough justice, but most Netflix carriers around the world have seasons 1-10 available, so please, do yourself a favour and binge away!
9 - THE VENTURE BROS
Probably the most underrated series on the list. The show revolves around two brothers and was originally intended as a Jonny Quest spoof.
Although the primary focus of the show is the relationship between the two brothers, Dean and Hank, the father Rusty Venture, is an extremely accomplished scientist, who is the subject of a lot of plots from supervillains, none more so than The Monarch. The relationships between Rusty and the various villains in the series is wonderful, with a surprise twist coming at the end of season 7.
The huge negative of the series is that it’s one of the longest running animated series ever to hit Adult Swim, yet it only has 7 seasons, despite starting in 2004, meaning a rather sizable gap between seasons. You can watch this on watch4 in the UK, or any “alternative” streaming site of your choice abroad.
8 - DUNCANVILLE
The newest series on this list thus far.
Duncanville has been mentioned in my articles before and probably will be mentioned again in the future.
The brainchild of Mike and Julie Scully, with the talented voices of Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Ty Burrel (Modern Family), Duncanville is centred around one rather awkward teenage boy in a suburban town in the United States. I didn’t really expect much from this series, but after the second episodes, I was really happy with it!
It goes from strength to strength and seeing a strong female character at the head of the family is a refreshing change to the outdated house wife caricature.
7 - F IS FOR FAMILY
There are a few Netflix entries on this list and F is for Family is the first up. Written by Bill Burr, the show explains the life of a child growing up in the 70’s.
The style of animation is not as hyper-realistic as Archer and doesn’t come anywhere near putting the uncanny valley theory through its paces, but the storylines and family context are certainly more realistic than any of the other shows that I have included on the list. Noticeably, there is huge diversity in this show. Many of the characters are of African-American origins, some German, or Vietnamese and it really goes to show how the USA has always been a melting pot of cultures.
Be prepared for a gut punch of a finish to the episodes or season and don’t expect constant comedy, the likes of which you’d see in Family Guy, this show gets real, and it gets real quickly!
6 - BIG MOUTH
A show revolving around the adventures (or misadventures) of teenagers going through puberty, assisted (or hindered) by their hormone monsters. This is one of the animated shows that has attracted media attention recently as Jenny Slate has pulled out of voicing a mixed race character, stating that she feels characters should be better represented in all areas of television, including animation!
Let’s get down to business here, if you don’t like crude and oftentimes overly sexualised comedy, you’re not going to like this show. If you do like a series that isn’t afraid to push the envelope and break the fourth wall, then you’ll love Big Mouth. I’m a huge fan of shows breaking the 4th wall, providing it’s done right.
One of the best examples is when Murray (the hormone monster) turns to the screen and says “admit it, you’re bingeing it right?” I have to admit, that line had me howling with laughter, and that’s in one of the very first episodes. There are currently three seasons on Netflix, with a fourth slated for release in October 2020.
5 - BOB’S BURGERS
If you’re outside of an English speaking country, it’s unlikely that you’ve heard of Bob’s Burgers, much less seen an episode or two!
Created by Loren Bouchard, the show originally failed to captivate audiences when it was first released in 2011, but since then, it has grown in both strengths and fans, even gaining movie rights to a movie that will be released in 2021! Titular character Bob runs a struggling restaurant in a connecticut seaside town, full of wonderful and wacky characters.
The show loves telling stories through various mediums, including converting some of the episode into musicals, with such chapters including ballads like “Bad stuff happens in the bathroom,” “Electric Love,” and “Nice Things are Nice.” Bob is also voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, who voices everybody’s favourite spy, Archer!
4 - SCOOBY DOO
I really wanted to include this on the list for one simple reason.
Scooby Doo goes from strength to strength and it appeals to audiences of young and old alike. The movies are wonderful and wacky, you never know what you’ll get, but as a general rule of thumb, the worse the movie title sounds, the more likely it is to be good. Take Scooby Doo: Moon Monster Madness as an example. Sounds stupid right? Well, it’s actually a really solid movie and stands up against most films today.
I should be clear, there are also A LOT of Scooby Doo series, but the one that I’m referring to that you should definitely watch ahead of all the other series is Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.
This particular series was incredibly dark and rather than only playing with the typical “guy in a mask” paradigm, it included the reanimated soul of an evil genius named Professor Pericles, who now resides in an owl and is not above cold blooded murder...seriously…Dark, witty, fun and just different, worth a watch!
3 - RICK AND MORTY
I wouldn’t imagine this is a huge surprise to see on this list. It’s a popular and often overrated show, but the most recent season has allowed for a lot of character development. If you don’t know, Rick and Morty is about Rick Sanchez, the smartest man in the universe, and the adventures he goes on with his grandson Morty.
Rick has mastered science and is able to teleport, create anything he wants and even stop or reverse time at will, thanks to his sci-fi inventions. Of course, his inventions and general disregard for human life and existence in general often result in the annihilation of planets, universes and worlds, meaning that they have to go to live in another dimension on multiple occasions.
2 - SOLAR OPPOSITES
Created by Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, Solar Opposites tells the story of two aliens from the planet Shlorp who crash landed on Earth when their planet was blown up by an asteroid.
They have two replicants (like children) and a Pupa (like a baby) who join them on their adventures. The show is violent at times, but it is interestingly different to Rick and Morty in that it allows more stories to take place on Earth, rather than throughout the galaxy or beyond. This was a show I was really sceptical to try out at first, but after a couple of episodes, I really got into it.
I love that they’re not afraid to make jokes at the expense of Hulu (the third most popular online streaming service after Netflix and Amazon Prime). I also really like the alternate storylines and that through the use of alien characters, they can really get away with a lot of issues, like gender or race, that a lot of other showers wouldn’t be able to!
My only negative comment is that it has a very limited episode number and Justin Roiland doesn’t have a great reputation for getting content out fast, so be prepared for a lengthy wait before season 2 rolls around.
1 - BOJACK HORSEMAN
If you know me, then you know that it would take a lot to knock BoJack Horseman off the top of my list of animated comedies.
I personally believe that it’s one of the best shows ever created, let alone comedies. Sorry for the hyperbolic statement, I am not a fan of things when people call them amazing myself, but in this instance, I really can’t think of what else I can say. Upon first glance, you’ll probably think “this is kind of a stupid show about a horse/man hybrid in a world full of other equally stupid animal hybrids and occasionally some humans,” and I wouldn’t blame you, but I guarantee that if you make it to season 3 and 4, your life will be changed forever, and if you enjoy it enough to finish it (season 6) then S6 Ep 15 will be one of the most devastating things that you ever watch in your life!
The show follows a washed up actor, who was in an extremely famous TV series “back in the nineties.” BoJack has become alcoholic, depressed and unsure of why he even exists in the time since his show went off the air. This is partly due to some very negative parental figures from his childhood and some extremely distasteful things that he has done of his own accord, if any of us actually do anything of our own accord, as the show spends seasons explaining. The very easy reason that I believe this show deserves top spot on any list is that it does so well at portraying really important aspects of human life and society. From gun control, to #MeToo, to abortion, to existentialism, to depression and dementia, there’s a story about everything.
I should warn you though, although there is a huge comedic presence in the show, it will punch you in the gut MUCH HARDER than Rick and Morty ever would, and that’s the true beauty of the show. You can go from crying with laughter one moment to literally crying the next. The ensemble of Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Paul F. Tompkins, Alison Brie and Aaron Paul is another reason to get into the show.
Written by: Jordan Benyon, Staff Writer
- 7 Jul, 2020
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