I enjoyed Rick & Morty a lot less when I got the feeling that the writers thought that they was a lot more clever than they actually were. For me this is like a smart person telling you at every conceivable chance how brilliant they are, a sign of insecurity as far as people go and equally as off-putting when it comes to television or movies.
Then I stumbled upon Adventure Beast (2021-), a cartoon about an extremely durable zoologist, BTG (Bradley Trevor Greive), his spunky niece, Bonnie (Danice Cabenela) and stressed assistant, Dietrich (Josh Zuckerman), who really doesn’t seem to like either nature or animals all that much.
Its admittedly an odd series, at times gory and gentle but what drew me was how subtly clever it was.
For example, here’s a running joke from the Season One, Episode 11: Feed The Beast, which you don’t need be able to read French to understand.
I enjoyed the first season quite a bit. The animation style is very broad and cartoony and doesn’t aim for realism by any means though the animals are rendered accurately enough that you won’t have to guess whichever creature it is that they’re focusing on.
I also like that it gives facts about the animals that turn up in each episode, which isn’t to say that you’re agree with everything about the series. For instance, in the fifth episode We Live on a Queer Planet posits that animals are gay, which I don’t believe (some animals do engage in homosexual behaviors at points, though ‘gayness’ is a human concept and I find the effort to impose it on other animals irritating).
In any case, that’s a minor point and it’s a really funny show.