The Oblongs: a hidden gem in adult animation

The race to capitalize on the popularity of The Simpsons became a gold rush in the early 90s. In many ways, that gold rush still exists today. Rick and Morty might be a different show from a structural standpoint, but the greasy fingerprints of Homer Simpson can be found on almost every scene of Adult Swim's monster hit. The only difference in contemporary adult animation is that today's creators benefit from hindsight and can gracefully avoid the pitfalls of other Simpsons clones. In addition, audiences don't view adult animation as a fad anymore. Modern adult animation is a bonafide genre that can tackle any concept beyond the traditional dysfunctional/wacky family.

A glance through the history books will show a litany of failed mutations that shuffled out of the adult animation primordial ooze and died within a season. Some shows were too weak to fend for themselves—such as Gary and Mike—whereas others perished thanks to the callous hand of fate. The Oblongs is my favorite example of the latter. 

The genius of The Oblongs stems from the show's subversion of The Simpson's dynamic. The Simpsons appear to be the perfect family visually but are wildly dysfunctional in behavior. The Oblongs are all deformed or misshapen but function similarly to the Brady Bunch in terms of family dynamics. The family patriarch, Bob Oblong, voice by Will Ferrel, is a relentlessly cheerful send-up of classic sitcom dads- despite his lack of limbs. Pickles, the family's mother, is as loving as Elyse Keaton but is perpetually intoxicated. 

The whole show is an offensive and paradoxically touching work of brilliance. If you've never seen an episode, give the video linked above a click for a quick taste of the series' offbeat humor.