Any neighborhood, public, municipal, or otherwise not-in-your-backyard pool will tend to attract a diverse clientele, from the neighborhood elementary-schoolers to fitness-buff yuppies to cruising adolescents to the retired nurse with her two-year-old grandson. In terms of the manner in which they interact with the pool, however, these patrons can mostly be divided into two categories: adults and kids. Kids, which in this sense covers those from barely ambulatory age to somewhere in the middle of adolescence, usually spend the majority of their time in the water, hanging out with friends, splashing, playing games, or just swimming from place to place as the spirit moves them. The adults often tend to spend more time dry, sunbathing or soaking their legs, but when they do get in the water, they tend to do so with an agenda, swimming laps up the length of the pool and down again, over and over.

The problem we face, then, is that given a limited pool volume and/or the absence of multiple pools dedicated to specific functions, it is often difficult to accommodate both of these desires simultaneously - the kids get in the adults' way, the adults will intrude upon the kids' territory, and everyone ends up somewhat annoyed with each other. Thus the institution of adult swim. Adult swim is a period of time in which "adult" activities are formally given priority in a pool. This may take the form of restricting usage to lap swimming in all or part of the water, excluding all swimmers under a given age from the pool for the duration, or some similar mechanism. This doesn't entirely preclude all inconvenience or resentment - as a youngster, I got pretty ticked that I'd periodically get kicked out of the water and have to settle for playing suicide against the machine room wall - but in hindsight it's a pretty fair compromise, as the rest of the time the chaos of the pool tended to effectively grant control to the kids. Growing up, our pool's adult swim periods were the first fifteen minutes of every hour, plus six to seven PM, but obviously its times, or even existence, will vary with the pool, its demographics, the day of the week, the lifeguard on duty, the presence or absence of actual adults, and the like.

Founded in September 2001, Adult Swim is an outrageously fantastic late-nite cartoon block on Cartoon Network that airs from 11PM to 5AM from Saturday through Thursday. It is mostly consisting of their own brand of absurdist cartoons, cartoons that failed on major television networks but found a new audience and Japanese animation. With its foul language, bizarre sense of humor that some fight freighting and it's odd white on black buffers during commercial breaks, Adult Swim is an oasis from TVs stinkhole of sitcoms, reality TV and dramas involving dead bodies has been going strong for a couple years now and now rivals the Nielsen ratings of late night talk shows on bigger networks.

The entire current Adult Swim lineup is as follows, and organized into the three categories I listed above. And note, these are all the shows that they have the rights to, that doesn't mean they frequently air them:

Original Adult Swim Shows

Aqua Teen Hunger Force
The Brak Show (cancelled)
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Sealab 2021
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (cancelled)
Tom Goes to the Mayor
The Venture Bros. (yet not developed by Williams Street like the other shows listed here)


Network TV Castoffs

American Dad (from FOX)
Baby Blues (from the WB)
Family Guy (from FOX)
Futurama (from FOX
Home Movies (from UPN, yet could be considered homegrown Adult Swim since the Adult Swim crew gained creative control over it and continued making new episodes. Unfortunately it was recently canceled)
Mission Hill (from the WB)
The Oblongs (from the WB)


Japanese Animation

Big O
Blue Gender
Case Closed
Cowboy Bebop
Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
FLCL
InuYasha
Kikaider
Lupin the 3rd
Super Milk-Chan
Trigun
Witch Hunter Robin
Wolf's Rain

On November 24th, 2003, before an airing of the now cancelled The Brak Show, a buffer announced some shows in development for the year 2004, and labeled the projects as either "maybe"s , "probably"s or "definitely"s.

Here is a bit of a follow up to that, along with some ideas not announced that night, in means to see what those geniuses have in mind for the future now that the block is more popular than it's ever been.

Squidbillies: Adult Swim viewers were given a taste of "Squidbillies" during the spring this year when small bits of scripts were given out during buffers. Dana Carvey of SNL and Garth Algar fame is in talks to voice a key role in this show about a family of backwoods cephalopods stranded in the Georgia mountains when the ocean recedes from the Ohio Valley. "We have to write what we know. We like seafood and we're rednecks, so we think we've got the tonality down," said Adult Swim mastermind, Squidbillies creator and native Southerner Mike Lazzo about the show. The project was also originally reported to involve Seth Green, who is no stranger to Adult Swim, being on Family Guy and having made an Aqua Teen Hunger Force, yet more on that in a moment. They were planning to begin airing some episodes in November 2004, but it was ridiculously delayed until July 2005.

Stroker & Hoop: Originally supposed to begin airing in June, "Stroker & Hoop" has been pushed back. "Stroker & Hoop" is a play on the buddy cop series. Yet, of course, being Adult Swim its gone crazy as hell. Stroker is a booze hound cop, his partner Hoop is a self-proclaimed master of disguise and they drive a disobedient talking hatchback named CARR. Like Squidbillies, it has also been pushed back to a layer time.

Sweet J: This is the project that was once known as "The Untitled Seth Green Project" although it was announced during that November Adult Swim buffer under it's name, "Sweet J." Originally slated for an August release, it was reported in March that 20 episodes had been ordered for an October release. The stop motion animation show has Seth Green, Matthew Senreich (editorial director of Wizard Entertainment magazine) as well as Doug Goldstein and Tom Roots. The idea stemmed from an online series that was showcased on Sony's Screenblast.com that Seth and Matthew collaborated on titled "Sweet J Presents." Seth Green has described the show as "'Saturday Night Live' with toys instead of actors (that) bring(s) toys to life in a crazy, warped way." It's still slated for an October, or fall/winter 2004 release.

Untitled Evan Dorkin Project: Longtime Space Ghost Coast to Coast writer and the writer/artist of comic books such as Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book, Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad and Dork! is currently working on a project for Adult Swim that features zombies living on Staten Island. No more information than that is known. Dorkin had his comic strip The Eltingville Club made into a pilot for Adult Swim's first season, yet it wasn't picked up. It has been re-aired a couple times though. Not much more than what I said is known about this current project however and no dates have been thrown around yet.

Untitled Andre 3000 Project: In a move that stunned some Adult Swim fans, Andre 3000 one half of the super rap duo Outkast pitched a show to Adult Swim in May that was met with uncertainty over a celebrity collaboration. Yet after Mike Lazzo and other Adult Swim honchos met with Andre 3000, they approved the idea. The show is said to be either autobiographical, or based on Andre 3000's alter ego: a guy named Johnny Vulture, who stars in the video for their hit Hey Ya! Andre 3000, who is apparently a former illustrator himself also plans to compose original music for the show. Details and dates have still yet to come for this still untitled project.

Minoriteam: Just announced to the world in today's July 16th, 2004 issue of Entertainment Weekly, "Minoriteam" stars a trio of minority superheroes made up of Quickstop, an Arab convenience-store owner who is "the man that cannot be shot," Doctor Wang, an Asian "human calculator" and El Jeffe, a Mexican that fights crime with a leaf blower. The show is apparently being assembled by some producers of the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers and sounds like one of the most absurdly, joyfully-jaw-droppingly-offensive shows to hit television in awhile. No possible dates have been announced for this project.

And of course, new episodes of Adult Swim's classics: Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law and Aqua Teen Hunger Force can be expected.

By the way, if you question the quality of any of the ideas for these projects, just think about what you may have said four years ago if somebody came up to you and said:

"Dude, I got this idea. It's this show about a milk shake, an order of french fries and a wad of meat fighting whatever evils may come to them as they hang around their New Jersey home!!!

In other words, Adult Swim has got the genius to keep making great late night cartoons for years and years.

I am incredibly excited for this new wave of Adult Swim shows.

Sources
www.animenewsnetwork.com
http://brunoscartoonorbitworld.com
Movie Poop Shoot article "THIS IS NOTHING LIKE “TWISTED MEGO THEATRE" (March 6th, 2004)
http://www.opticalsloth.com
http://www.Zap2it.com
Entertainment Weekly article "The A Team" (July 23rd, 2004 issue)

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