It's hard to say whether or not I'm knowledgeable about cartoons. I've been watching them my entire life, but their appearances in my life always arrive in sporadic increments. I might not be the voice of reason for a cartoon show, especially since I haven't seen some might claim to be “essentials” like The Fairly Odd Parents, Invader Zim, Ed, Edd, and Eddy. The list goes on.
That being said, I recently saw vocalist/producer theMIND tweet about the cartoon show Gravity Falls. I read the Wikipedia page, downloaded the first season, digested the first season, downloaded the second season, digested the second season, and here we are. Unfortunately only two seasons exist of this show. I usually lose interest in television shows, but I want nothing more than more episodes of Gravity Falls. Or maybe I don't. It ends as a series should end; with epic, climactic closure. Not only is the show a breath of fresh air for the Disney Channel, but this is a delightful and sharp show. I have no idea what the age group is here, as there are plenty of jokes on impending mortality, existentialism, depression, and more, all the while covering situations like first kiss, puberty, and pet pigs.
To keep it brief: twin siblings (one boy, one girl) stay with their great uncle Stan over the summer. Strange situations begin to unfold. At first, the show hosted standalone episodes, allowing the audience to understand their heroes. Then, the stories begin to connect, mysteries and questions form, and you fall deeper and deeper into a hilarious and witty mystery cartoon. There's also quite a bit of voice actor overlap with Rick and Morty. Some even argue that the two dimensions are connected (WARNING: may contain spoilers). Fascinating, really.
I wouldn't be able to compare Gravity Falls directly to any particular television show (which is a good thing), but plenty of elements of other shows come to mind: Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers. The humor actually reminds me quite a bit of the humor found inside A Goofy Movie. More than just a tale for kids. But also, a tale for kids.
So if you're trying to be youthful again and laugh at childish things like bottomless pit story time, video game sidekicks, bathing garden gnomes, a person-swapping electric rug, and handfuls of glitter, then dive right in. 40 episodes over two seasons. Find me 40 more enjoyable and cohesive cartoon episodes.
Grab the episodes on Hulu here.