Oh God, Invader Zim! If you remember this show you probably remember that it was one of the darkest and most cynical kids shows out there. I started re-watching this show thanks to the miracle of a Hulu Plus subscription and each episode promoted me to say both “We showed this to children?” and “I can’t wait to watch this with my future kids.” Invader Zim premiered in 2001, but was canceled in 2002 due to declining ratings and other budgetary issues, leaving some episodes of Season 2 unaired. It moved to Nicktoons and ended a second time in 2006, but this time did air all of Season 2. There are some rumors that the show ended due to issues between creator Jhonen C. Vasquez and Nickelodeon, but I don’t believe those rumors have ever been verified. Despite being canceled, the show did receive critical acclaim, winning several awards, and it is definitely a show you should check out if you haven’t already.
Invader Zim is unique in that it’s one of the few kids’ shows where working your hardest and wanting something really badly doesn’t get our characters anywhere. It’s also one of the few kids’ shows that seems to claim that most of society is stupid and warns viewers not to trust authorities or the media. How the heck do messages like that get translated into a kids’ show, you ask? Through the form of an alien invader called Zim who’s trying to take over the world, who, despite failing constantly and horribly, still thinks he’s awesome nevertheless.