TV executives and creators alike are struggling to figure out how to make sure the show(s) goes on in the midst of a pandemic. For many, that’s meant putting a pin in things (for others, it’s meant just axing them despite existing renewal orders) and shifting season and midseason premieres to 2021. Network sitcoms like One Day At A Time and Black-ish have found another way to keep the conversation going—with animated specials. Kenya Barris’ family comedy first ventured into animation with “Please, Baby, Please,” its much-discussed anti-Trump episode from season four that was pulled by ABC in 2018, and then released on Hulu in August of this year.
ODAAT and Black-ish focused on timely matters for these stand-alone episodes—having “the talk” with your Trump-loving family and the importance of voting, respectively—to great success. And they got the A.V. Club staff thinking about what other shows, regardless of genre, would lend themselves well to an animated format. We then narrowed that list down to 14 ongoing series whose creativity, absurdity, and/or otherwordliness would run wild in animated episodes.