Smiling Friends: Adult Swim’s latest surprise

The two main protagonists, Charlie (left) and Pim (right) are shown
in a suburban neighborhood (Photo courtesy of Adult Swim).

The two main protagonists, Charlie (left) and Pim (right) are shown in a suburban neighborhood (Photo courtesy of Adult Swim).

Anthony Strominger, Staff Writer

Despite what the name may lead you to believe, Smiling Friends is not an innocent kid’s show. The show mainly follows two workers at the appropriately named Smiling Friends Inc., pessimistic Charlie and optimistic Pim. Although Smiling Friends is
mostly 2D animated, there are segments and characters that use mixed media, such as 3D animation, stop-motion and live-action, which adds to the overall unique vibe this show gives.
One thing to note is that Smiling Friends is definitely faster paced than other, more well known adult cartoons such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Rick and Morty. At about half the run time of these other shows, Smiling Friends obviously does not have as much time for its stories to flesh out. However, due to the style and pacing of the show, it definitely convey everything it wants to in its 11-minute run time.
The plots of each episode in the in the first season follow the same general concept: Charlie and Pim are tasked to help people, whether that be to make someone smile, or in one episode, solving a murder mystery at a fast food joint.
Although a lot of concepts seem similar, the show tends to do a good job of differentiating them enough by placing bizarre twists and turns in order to make the individual episodes stand out more.
Creators Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack come from a fairly unique spot, as they both have a history of internet animation found on websites such as YouTube and Newgrounds. As a result, Smiling Friends has more influence from internet culture
than many shows like it. For instance, in the episode “Shrimp’s Odyssey”, a minor character appears for the sole purpose of making a reference to the Burger King Foot Lettuce meme that was popular in 2018.
The team even went as far to have Chills, the voice behind the original meme, voice this character. Not only do I find this particularly funny, I also think this shows how dedicated the team behind this show can be at times.
Smiling Friends is a comedy at heart. Although its comedy seems to come from different angles than its contemporaries, I found all eight episodes of the first season at

A Smiling Friends promotional poster, which shows Charlie and
Pim, as well as minor characters Alan (left), and Glep (second
from left) (Warner Media)

least quite amusing, which I cannot really say for many other shows I have watched.
However, Smiling Friends is probably not for everyone. If you have any sort of aversion towards disturbing or gross imagery, I would not suggest trying to watch it because there is some sort of gross-out scene in nearly every episode, even if it is just for a quick one-second long gag. That being said, it is definitely not the most graphic show on television.
Overall, I think Smiling Friends is definitely a great way to spend 15 minutes of your time, and probably even longer. Hopefully, this show will make you smile, much like many, of the

constituents find themselves doing at the end of each episode.