Head To Head: Adult Swim

children's hospital

This week, we at Head To Head considered: What’s the best show on Adult Swim?

Joe Anderson

Adult Swim’s 15-minute time slot is one of my favorite things about their programming. Not only does it allow for a greater variety of shows in the same amount of time, but it lets writers come up with eleven minutes of unbroken narrative without the hassle of writing around commercial breaks.

But despite all the great eleven minute shows Adult Swim has aired, Children’s Hospital is in a league of its own. Simply put, the show is ambitious and ruthlessly efficient. Despite the shorter time, most episodes have at least fully realized A and B plots. One of my favorite episodes of the show comes from the Halloween episode in the second season where Dr. Owen Maestro (Rob Huebel) flatlines himself so he can “cross over to the spirit realm” and have sex with a ghost but, for whatever reason, goes back in time to the 40s (which he believes to be the late 80s). Meanwhile, the rest of the hospital staff deals with the overflow from the regular hospital thanks to a bus accident involving a bunch of costumed sorority girls (including one dressed as sexy drywall).

That’s a lot of plot in eleven minutes and none of it feels even remotely rushed. It really makes you realize how much fluff there is in most 22-minute sitcoms, even those without laugh tracks. Not to mention some of the weirder concept episodes (an episode set up as a three-act stage production with a narrator that directly addresses the audience a la Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town”) are creative without sacrificing any of the laugh out loud qualities of the “normal” episodes.

And, as an added bonus, you can get through the first season in less than an hour.

Dominick Mayer

Since I’ve already written about my undying love for The Venture Bros. on Heave multiple times, I’m going to toss out a prognostication: The upcoming Adult Swim series based on the movie Black Dynamite will be my favorite show they have. Seriously, watch the pilot and tell me this isn’t goddamn hilarious.

  • Chriso

    Great choices. I’d probably throw “Robot Chicken” and “Tim and Eric” (even though it’s off the air now) in there too.