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Why We Bare Bears Is Actually For Young Adults

How this kid's cartoon is charming the hearts of milennials

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Like a lot of millennials, the only cartoons I tend to watch these days are reruns of old favorites from my childhood. I often look at the cartoons that are on children’s television or Adult Swim-type programs today with a critical eye. But luckily, cartoons are no longer just for kids. They’re enjoyable for people of all sizes. Cartoon Network premiered their show We Bare Bears – a series about three brother bears awkwardly trying to make their way in society – in July in this year, and began airing its second season this February. While on the surface it may appear to be a cutesy kid's show about a bunch of talking bears, it's actually a pretty unique and complex show about trying to fit into the "adult" world. Perfect for the blossoming young adult! If you’re looking for something light, hilarious, and charming, look no further! Here are few reasons to give it a try:

1. It is SO cute


The show has an art style that is reminiscent of Adventure Time or Over the Garden Wall, but the cuteness factor is only quadrupled by just how darn adorable these bears are. Their charmingly awkward attempts to fit into the human world always end in hilarious calamity, and the friendships they make with the show's other characters will touch your heart.

2. A comedy for all ages

Like most Pixar films, We Bare Bears is a great show for kids, but your little sister or brother isn’t going to get some of these jokes the same way you will. A lot of the hilarious situations the bears find themselves in are very singular to our modern "adult" world, and the experienced references are often specific to our millennial generation.

3. Inclusive entertainment

We Bare Bears was hallmarked after it's release as being a more inclusive children’s cartoon, featuring a recurring character named Chloe, a young Korean girl who is known for being a prodigy student at her college, as well as the bears’ best friend. The show also features a diverse background cast.

4. Light and quick

If you’re a binge watcher, or just a fan of having something cheery and lighthearted to tune out to after a long day of work or school, then this show will fit your bill. Episodes are only 11 minutes long. The content is always upbeat and quick, making it a great show to have playing in the background while you're unwinding from your day, or going about some household chores!

5. It's relatable

They might not be people, but these bears get it. The awkwardness that comes from them being animals in a world of humans relates hilariously to the real life struggles of growing from young adult to "adult", and working to become the person you want to be. Whether it's an attempt to connect, or a fumbling to make amends, you'll relate to the antics of these silly bears.

6. Great life lessons

This is probably one of the best shows out there for kids right now, in terms of positive content, but you’ll appreciate the morals of the writing too. Unlike a lot of comedy today, which tends to play off of character’s weaknesses or exploiting a person’s insecurities for a laugh, the humor of We Bare Bears plays off of the characters’ strengths. It typically ends on a note of togetherness, respecting boundaries, or celebrating a character’s uniqueness.

7. Parody of adult life

Much of the humor of this show is a direct parody of adult life today. It references elements of our technology-crazed world such as online dating, viral videos, cupcake ATMs - you name it. There’s still enough slapstick and one-liners to make the kiddies laugh, but you actually have to be an adult – particularly a young adult – to really appreciate the humor of this show.

8. The writing is genius

The writing in this show is on point. The dialogue never dips into melodrama, but still maintains the ability to surprise you with its out-of-left-field humor. A majority of comedy relies on vulgar or crude humor to sneak a laugh out of their audience, but the writers of We Bare Bears manage to ride a line of cleverness and silliness while still staying PG.

9. Heartwarming

While undoubtedly a comedy, this show has its moments. The writing is strongly grounded in emotional realities, using these to play off their humor. You're typically laughing with and not at these characters, and because you become so attached to them, the moments in which the writing takes a moment to pause and consider an emotional juncture make them truly heartfelt. Get ready to choke up!

10. Emphasis on friendship

The show is a role model for growing kids on what good friendships look like, but even as an adult, you’ll enjoy the touching relationship these three bears have. So often entertainment focuses on conflict, and much of comedy stems from watching people tear each other – or themselves – down. In an industry that is over-saturated with this dark genre of humor, it’s relieving to have a show like this, that grounds itself in the authenticity that friendship is more important than the small conflicts that come up in life.

It is truly only every once in a while that a show like this comes around, that manages to strike a chord for so many different types of audiences, accomplishes not only a superb level of humor, but also an astounding amount of heart. If you have a spare 11 minutes, or find yourself recovering from a foul day, do yourself a kindness and enjoy the delight that is We Bare Bears.

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Writer and filmmaker, used bookshop junkie, and Steam sale enthusiast.
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