Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Invader Zim



When I was young, cartoons were kind of weird. And on all the time, it seemed. I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings to catch the cartoons. I don’t know when Saturday morning cartoons stopped being a thing, but it makes me kind of sad. I had a schedule for my cartoon watching. I would go from channel to channel, making sure I caught my favorite shows. Looking back, there were TONS of cartoons and kids programming when I was young. There were also reruns of shows that my parents watched when they were young, which I also appreciated. It was a good bonding experience for us.

The past couple Sundays have NOT been lazy for me. Binge watching has been put on hold for coding exercises, resume writing, applying for jobs, and beautiful weather. I am trying to write here more, though, so I picked a show from my past!

When I was in high school, I was definitely part of the nerdy crowd, I would say. I was in a college prep program, so my classes were more advanced. I was a theatre kid. The “parties” I went to involved table top board games, mountain dew, pizza, and movies. My group of friends wasn’t really into drinking or drugs, most of us were into comic books, obscure tv shows and movies, and laughing. It was from this group of friend that I discovered one of my favorite shows, and my pick for this lazy Sunday: Invader Zim.

Invader ZimĀ is a super weird and obscure cartoon that aired on Nickelodeon in 2001 and 2002. It was created for the station’s older demographic, and somehow was not very successful, so it was cancelled with episodes left unaired. While I admit that it’s a little dark for a cartoon and weird, it’s definitely no worse than Ren and Stimpy, which I think was a little more successful.

Invader Zim is about an alien named Zim who is tasked with the mission of coming to Earth, find a way to fit in with the inhabitants of the planet, gather intelligence to help with the future conquest of the planet, and help enslave the human race. His sidekick is a malfunctioning robot named GIR (my personal favorite part of the show). Together, they mostly get into shenanigans. Zim disguises himself as a human grade school student, and starts attending school, while working to gain intelligence on humans. He is accepted into his class by everyone except for Dib. Dib is a fellow student, who is interested in the paranormal and supernatural. He is convinced that Zim is an alien, and wants to out him.

In general, the episodes revolve around Zim’s plans to take over the world with the help of GIR, and Dib’s efforts to stop Zim and expose him as an alien. There are tons of weird things that happen in the episodes, but the thing I like most is the dark humor. This certainly isn’t a show for young kids. Not only will they not get it, they probably wouldn’t even like it very much. But, it’s a great show for teens and adults. Especially if you have no problem watching cartoons, appreciate dark humor, and like things that are offbeat. If these are things you’re interested in, I would highly recommend trying this show a try. It is only 2 seasons long, the episodes are short, and it’s currently streaming on Hulu Plus, which is awesome because it used to be extremely hard to find. If you watch the show, love it, and enjoy comic books, there are Invader Zim comic books now. I haven’t read them, but I’m glad they’re out there.

What cartoons do/did you enjoy watching?