When I was growing up I watched a lot of stuff I wasn’t supposed to. I remember watching MTV in the early 90’s when there was a series of animated shows that were grouped under a portion of the channel called “Liquid Television.” It was the Adult Swim of the day. These shows were geared towards an older audience so I had to be sure to change the channel when someone walked into the room. The one that stood out to me the most and still ranks high on my list of great animated series’ is Aeon Flux.
It’s a very twisted and beautifully animated body of work created by Peter Chung. The storyline is centered around the love hate relationship between two characters, a rebel spy and an authoritarian dictator in a futuristic setting. Besides the amazing animation and countless creative takes on technology, one of the best parts of this show was the complexity of the themes expressed. Symbolism was heavily placed throughout so it’s one of those shows where you don’t catch some of the undertones upon first watching.
There was no chronology to the episodes so anyone could watch their first episode and be just as “WTFed” as a person who’s seen the whole series. The nice part about this is that it adds a great amount of versatility to the storyline. It’s also great because the audience gets to explore these characters through a variety of scenarios as opposed to one storyline. The depth and relevance of this series amazes me. The fact that two decades later a movie/game adaptation was made starring an A lister like Charlize Theron is a testament to the value of this animated short from 1990’s late night MTV.