Son of Zorn isn't the result of a trend. It's part of a revolution.
In the new series from Fox, Zorn re-enters his son Alangulon's life -- Alan, to his friends -- after a decade away fighting his way through the island of Zephyria, drinking the blood of his enemies (quick note: There is a Zorn Island in Georgia.)
The series will premiere Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. or after the NFL doubleheader, whichever comes first.
Zorn, who is also arrogant, clueless and sexist, (and voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is animated.
Everyone else, including his ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines) and her fiance Craig (Tim Meadows), is not.
Hi-jinks ensue as Zorn, in all his animated glory, tries to make himself at home in Orange County, Calif. He gets a job and an apartment. He keeps his sword. Think He-Man in the suburbs. Picture that.
Prepare for a lot of "What just happened?"
But you're gonna laugh and find Zorn strangely endearing -- and a bit familiar. He joins the other mostly misguided animated dads that were staples of Fox: Homer Simpson, Cleveland Brown, Stan Smith and Peter Griffin. (I keep waiting for a Fox suit to show up in a scene and say, "Just kidding." Please. Don't.)
But some of us are used to this. When there's a 7-year-old in the house, things once labeled as "strange" become "usual." And so it goes with television viewing.
Son of Zorn is just the latest in way-out-there cartoons. (Leave Monster High out of this!) Adult Swim lives by this stuff, and it seems after Aqua Teen Hunger Force went the big-screen route, everyone got their weird on. Remember Assy McGee? Oh, that's just me? Ahem.
Anyway, there are plenty of straightforward shows for the young set: Scooby Doo, Sid the Science Kid and Sofia the First, to name a few.
Here are some of the other kind of animated shows, served with a side of just enough crazy WTH-ness to satisfy the quirkiest big kid on the block (read: you, and no, I'm not picking on Cartoon Network):
Uncle Grandpa: The titular character is everyone's grandfather and everyone's favorite uncle. Along with a group of traveling buddies, he sets out to right some wrongs that are usually caused by his antics in the first place. Uncle Grandpa's friends include anthropomorphic dinosaur Mr. Gus; a slice named Pizza Steve, who has an ego that dwarfs his size; Giant Realistic Flying Tiger, who they sometimes use as transport because she's able to fly by farting rainbows; and Belly Bag, who, well, is what he is. The other times, they go by RV. There's somehow a salient lesson in every episode. And sometimes Ric Flair. Don't get me started on Auntie Grandma, who is as efficient as Uncle Grandpa is "weird." (His words, not mine.) Cartoon Network
Pickle and Peanut: OK, my absolute favorite one has to be when Pickle and his buddy peanut, who work at a grocery store, follow the trail of one of their regulars to "Gramma Jail." You've got some live-action, too, but Pickle and Peanut are just two teenage hors d'oeuvre trying to have fun. Disney XD
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: I guess it was just a matter of time before the official morphing of ponies that are also princesses into actual girls. Twilight Sparkle goes through a portal and into high school, running into two-legged versions of her buddies from Canterlot. Of course, they have to save the day -- a lot of the time with music. Every. Time. On two legs. Home video.
Steven Universe: Steven Universe is the son of an average Joe and a Gem, a being that helps protect creation. After her death, three like beings decide to help Steven's father take care of him; after all, he's half-Gem. (It seems that Steven and his mother can't co-exist, so she gave her life for his.) There's Pearl, the pragmatic one; Amethyst, the rebellious one; and Garnet, the serious warrior. They shape shift, they fuse together, they sing a lot, they dance. Other Gems come and mostly go, including: Smoky Quartz, welcome; Peridot, annoying; the Rubies, curious. And they all have a fanatical following, as does show creator Rebecca Sugar. It's weird but it deals with real feelings and it's satisfying. Carton Network
Yo-Kai Watch: Though it's not quite up to the Pokemon level of fame, Yo-Kai Watch has the elementary school crowd's attention. It, too, is based on a game. The characters dance to the song over the opening and closing credits, which means your child will, too. The Yo-Kai disrupt our everyday lives. You think Lady Gaga was under the influence when she chose some of her earlier costumes? She could have been; it's a Yo-Kai called Dazzabel. Farting a lot in school? That's Cheeksqueek. Our hero, Nate, rescues one of these beings and is gifted with a watch that allows him to see the Yo-Kai and talk them down, help them and summon them. When you think about it, many Yo-Kai are just zombies or some other horror better left dead, like the Human Face Dog who was made when a wall of wood fell on him and a dog at the same time. His name? Manjimutt. I could go on. I won't. Disney XD
Strictly for adults
Mike Tyson Mysteries: Mike Tyson plays a version of himself. You may think you've seen this before in the Hangover movies or snippets of his one-man Broadway show. But what you haven't seen is Mike Tyson solving mysteries with a crew, a gang, if you will, that includes an adopted daughter, Yung Hee; Marquis, a ghost; and Pigeon, who was once a man but was turned into the bird by an ex-love, oh and it's voiced by Norm Macdonald. Yes, they drive a van. Adult Swim
Mr. Pickles: He's a dog possessed by the devil. No one notices, even though his mouth always seems to be ringed with blood. "Good boy." Adult Swim.
Rick & Morty: Like Zorn, Rick has been away from his family for quite some time. Except Rick is a mad scientist -- both definitions of mad -- and he drags his grandson, Morty, all over the universe with him doing mad -- both definitions again -- things. Adult Swim
BoJack Horseman: The horse (man?) is an actor who watches reruns of his old sitcom, Horsin' Around. He is insufferable, self-absorbed and irascible but not in a good way a la Archie Bunker; he's an equine Larry David. Listen to his girlfriend (and agent): "You look like a pile of crap ate a second pile of crap and pooped out a third pile of crap." Voice actors Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins and Aaron Paul, in that order, can be partially to blame for this. His breakfast? Carrots, pills and vodka -- blended. His life is as messy as that sounds. Of course, whose life wouldn't be messy when sentient animals and humans try to live together. Didn't they see Planet of the Apes? Netflix
Black Dynamite: Adapted from the movie of the same name, Black Dynamite -- his government name -- rights wrongs in a blaxploitative way. He's such a do-gooder that he opened a whorephanage: the first word, who are also abandoned, takes care of the orphans. Two for one, don't you know?
You know what, just go ahead and go to the Adult Swim website. There's something for everyone!