I grew up being a social outcast for most of my life. To being the daughter of 2 F.O.B. immigrants who were learning how to read and write English the same time as me, finding my place in the social ladder of the playground was a little difficult compared to most. I didn't like what the other kids liked. I liked to be weird and luckily I found about a handful of others who liked to be weird too.
Summers during grade school and middle school had me up late at night waiting for Futurama to come on. I would put the closed captions on and turn the volume down to 1. My parents didn't like me staying up, even during the summer time. Since I was born, the only cartoon my parents ever let me watch was The Simpsons. But Futurama was like the edgier version. It had the same premise of familiarity with me. A dysfunctional group of people that go on a different adventure and deal with protagonists and antagonists...just in a different time. After that fix, I would move onto a 15 min rush of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I don't think I've ever watched a show that I enjoyed as much as ATHF. I lived for the spontaneity of the show. It didn't make any sense at first glance but that was the beauty of it. It didn't have to. It did its job of catching your attention and took you for the ride. Then you had Family Guy, when it was good and not corny, which was actually resurrected by Adult Swim after getting canceled. The good feedback on their network resulted in Fox renewing them for another season. You could call AS a messiah.
Adult Swim curated shows like this specifically for the social outcast audience. "Hey we know you're weird, we're weird too. We get it. Here's a program that you won't groan at for once." The network made me feel like I was at home. Crude commentary with a mix of unique, poor, interesting and cool animation styles. It was a different form of entertainment. The name itself made you feel cool, like you weren't even supposed to be watching it.
Each show at the time served its purpose. Sometimes, I needed to unwind and watch 6 episodes of Robot Chicken back to back. To this day, I still watch The Boondocks, for the cleanest animation I've ever seen as well as staying on top of relevant social issues. Then you had The Eric Andre Show with Hannibal's delicious anecdotes which provided me with relaxation and chuckles. The list is endless. After an entire day of following rules, I needed something unorthodox to relax to. Adult Swim was it. They provided a different spectrum of thought. It was a network that allowed you to plant your seed of an idea and have it grow. My imagination would run wild. I daydreamed about creating my own show on the network. I would doodle characters and commentary for fun on the corners of my notebooks from the inspiration when I should have been taking notes in class.
Adult Swim made me the young adult I am today. I draw so much inspiration from each show that was and still is on air within my own personal work. To this day, I still make jokes and references no one really gets and I get caught up laughing by myself. Thankfully, the network taught me to not be afraid of being who you are in public because, turns out, there's a million more like you out there.