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Animated series historically have not been meant for adults. Mostly, with some exception (The Flintstones maybe), they were made as distractions for children that were often made as cheaply as possible. They were just cartoons, and nothing more.
That balance shifted in the early 90s with the debut of The Simpsons, making TV history with a mix of acclaim and controversy, and arguably permanently changing how people perceived cartoons. When a show is as big a success as The Simpsons was back in the day, other networks are quick to try to duplicate that success.
The 90s saw a slew of animated series aimed at adults, most of which were short lived (God, the Devil, and Bob, Mission Hill, the list goes on). Thanks to cable TV and a generation of young adults who grew up with The Simpsons and similar series, that trend is still going on.
Fox still devotes an entire night of prime-time to adult animated series, still anchored by the absurdly long-running Simpsons. Cartoon Network also devotes around six hours a night to Adult Swim programming of adult animated shows, and that's just scratching the surface.
As one of those young adults who grew up with these shows, I found myself drawn to them, often more than live action series. These are shows that can create their own world down to every last detail, without worrying about toning down dark or irreverent humor.
I love them. Here are my top 10 adult animated series.