Not many TV shows were specifically designed for the way many of us watch television today—namely, by watching for ten minutes on our iBrains, making GIFs of the best scenes, then flipping to the next show while we fight about the last one on Twitter. But Fox’s new Animation Domination High Def lineup, a late-night block of cartoons that premieres Saturday night, couldn’t be more suited to this kind of short-attention-span theater: the acronym spells out ADHD for a reason. The first two shows in the series, Axe Cop and High School USA!, are flat-screen-ready in all their two-dimensional glory, and they’re only ten minutes long (not counting commercials), so they’re grouped into a brightly-colored, highly-imaginative half-hour showcase that should appeal to children, stoners, and anyone else who can appreciate the appeal of Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman playing an axe-wielding cop who fights bad guys by getting dinosaurs to eat their brains. (More on that later.) Through the ADHD web site, which was designed by the awesomely primitivist, neon-loving art collective Paper Rad, you can create your own GIFs with the ghost of Steve Jobs or watch any number of deeply strange and funny animated shorts. (My personal favorite is called “Gosh Josh! Weird Beard!”) Or if you’re an old person like me, you can just blow the archeological-dig dust off your remote control and watch ADHD on an actual television set during its intended time slot, just like our ancestors did.
Not too long ago, Fox led the charge in making cutting-edge cartoons. But now that Adult Swim regularly churns out innovative series like the existential stop-motion saga Morel Orel and the blaxploitation saga Black Dynamite: The Animated Series, Fox classics like The Simpsons and Family Guy look quaint by comparison. So it makes sense that Fox tapped Adult Swim’s Nick Weidenfeld, who produced Morel, Dynamite, and cult hits like Childrens Hospital, to run its ADHD block, with Adult Swim alumnus Dinos Stamatopoulos (that’s Star-Burns to you Community fans) creating one of its first shows. High School USA! is an Archie spoof that’s updated for Millennials, complete with sexting jokes, teenage girls who are BFFs with their moms, and that special brand of rah-rah enthusiasm that can only belong to a generation raised on whole-wheat Cheerios cereals and self-esteem.
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