But if you think cartoons are just for children, think again. Of course, I’m not talking about Dora the Explorer, although that can teach you a lot about following maps. No, think The Simpsons, which is entering Season 30 (starts Wed., Oct. 3 at 9pm on 7Mate). This is a show which, since 1989, has been satirising society better than pretty much anything else on TV.
Remember the Season 4 episode “Marge Vs The Monorail”? Here the show railed against the form of transportation years before Sydney realised its own monorail was an ugly white elephant. It even featured a cameo from Star Trek’s Spock, Leonard Nimoy.
Would kids care about him? No way. Or what about Season 5’s “The Last Temptation Of Homer”, which deals with marriage infidelity? OK, Homer doesn’t actually get it on with co-worker Mindy. But he is, as the title suggests, sorely tempted. Much of this episode would sail, one would hope, over the heads of anyone under 12. Then there is South Park, which is up to Season 22 (starts Mon., Oct. 1 at 8.35pm on SBS VICELAND).
Since it debuted in 1997, it has managed to push many buttons. There was Cartman getting probed by aliens, visits from a Christmas poo and Tom Cruise refusing to come out of Stan’s closet. The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have managed to consistently disgust and outrage with the giddy excitement of a student putting a pin on a teacher’s chair.
Family Guy came two years later, and will launch its new season on Wed., Oct. 3 at 9.30pm on 7Mate. As with South Park, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane has a knack for shocking audiences – and sometimes goes too far. Like the time Brian the dog tried to seduce Meg’s friend. That’s just gross. It’s also full of pop culture references no-one under 20 has any hope of getting.
That show’s calmer cousin is American Dad! (back on Wed., Oct. 3 at 10pm on 7Mate). Also created by McFarlane, it deals with a family trying to conceal an alien named Roger. It doesn’t feature as many references, but its humour is generally a little darker.
None of these, with the exception of select Simpsons episodes, are safe for children. But that’s fine, they can have Pokémon, which doesn’t feel particularly safe for adults.