I love cartoons. They're one of the primary things I watch on TV. Oh, I've tried to get into dramas and thrillers but at the end of the day I'm happiest with a good cartoon. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur these days. A lot of cartoons on TV right now are just plain terrible. Dumb and "random" humor is popular in kids cartoons and adult cartoons continue to try and be too "edgy" to make up for the fact it's animation. It's getting harder and harder to find quality cartoons on TV.
For every excellent kids cartoon you have piles of awful dreck like "Clarance" and "Uncle Grandpa" which are both just pure abominations. For every wonderful adult cartoon there's miserable piles of awfulness like "Family Guy". It's bleak.
You can see the dumbing down of cartoons very clearly with the return of the Teen Titans cartoon on Cartoon Network. Teen Titans was a great cartoon and showed a lot of depth in how they handled Robin, Starfire and Raven especially. Some episodes were a little silly but some were actually heartwrenching. The stakes against enemies were real and sometimes the day wasn't saved. It was a great show. Cartoon Network has begun to run a new Teen Titans (Teen Titans Go!) and it's HORRIBLE. It's 15 minutes of bad animation, bad jokes and lots of random, meaningless slapstick and songs. There's no character growth, no arcs, no enemies. It's just random for the sake of being random and it's terrible. They can't even get simple facts right, like Beast Boy being a vegetarian.
Good cartoons are becoming rare and I want to highlight the best ones still on TV right now. These ten cartoons are in production, still serving up new episodes, and they're all certifiably awesome. These are the kinds of cartoons we need more of.
10. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Okay, stick with me, guys. There's been much said about this show about magical technicolor ponies, both good and bad. Despite all the bad press and the bronies, it's a solid show with good characters, good animation and some hilariously adult moments. The later seasons are starting to lose their sparkle, but the first seasons were impressive.
9. Legend of Korra: This sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender doesn't have quite the same punch but it's still a masterwork of animation. The characters continue to be incredible and the stories are well developed. Sadly it never attained the glory of Avatar and it's been bumped off to Nickelodeon's online site.
8. The Venture Brothers: Despite being on hiatus at the moment (season six is projected for 2015), this is still one of the best cartoons on television. The writing is dynamic and hugely self-referential. Picking apart all the myriad references is an absolute joy. All those obscure 80s music asides!
7. Rick and Morty: Just finishing up it's first season, this cartoon is hilariously messed up. It's like someone mixed up Doctor Who, Breaking Bad and Bill Nye the Science Guy with a sprinkle of HP Lovecraft. It's outrageous and borderline insane. It is, without a doubt, the most twisted and wrong cartoon on TV right now.
6. Regular Show: OOOOOHHHHHH! This cartoon is anything but regular. It's a bizarre and sometimes shockingly charming show with hipster/indie cred. Nothing is too crazy on this show. Hell, one of the characters is a talking gumball machine. Despite a premise that should not work at all, this show has become one of my favorites. It's irreverent, hilarious and insanely quotable.
5. Steven Universe: This is a relatively new show that is bursting with joy, charm and whimsy. It's adorable and heartfelt. It deals with the loss of a parent in a way that's gentle and thoughtful, and the show manages to still be deeply funny.
4. Adventure Time: There was a time when this show would be number one. It's starting to show some cracks in the facade and has gotten a bit less wonderful lately but it is still an excellent cartoon. It's insanely inventive, fun and has an incredibly amazing backstory. Some of it's minor characters have become some of the best characters in cartoons right now. The arc with the Ice King is still breathtaking.
3. Archer: Lana? Lana? LAAANAAA!!! This show is AMAZING. It's everything you could want in a cartoon and more. The voice acting is the best in the biz and the quotability factor is off the charts.
2. Bob's Burgers: Two words: Tina Belcher. She is the best character on TV right now. Not just cartoons, on ALL of TV. Her family is also completely awesome. What makes this show really work is the writing. It's whip-smart and doesn't rely on tired old sitcom tropes to tell it's story. The Belcher's are a believable family. Compare this to another family show like Family Guy and you can see why this one comes out on top. Despite everything, the Belcher's love and respect each other.
1. Gravity Falls: Entering it's triumphant second season, THIS is the best cartoon on TV. I can not get enough of this show. It's perfect. Perfect characters, perfect mysteries, perfectly quotable. It's part Lovecraft, part Twin Peaks and it's entirely AWESOME.