Brian Wysol, creator of Adult Swim’s new animated series Hot Streets wanted to bring back the days of Space Ghost and The Brak Show, with his surreal sci-fi adventure series. If you’ve been tuning in to Adult Swim as of late, you’ve probably stumbled across Wysol’s creation, which premiered during the late-night block of unusual animated and live-action programming earlier this month. That means you've also taken in the adventures of agents Mark Branski and Donald French, as they investigate and do battle with all sorts of weird, supernatural creatures.
Like most of the shows on Adult Swim at the moment, Hot Streets puts a premium on being unpredictable and, as Wysol puts it, “psychedelic”. But the series isn’t just another Too Many Cooks or Off the Air, it is, at its heart, an adventure series with a sci-fi/supernatural twist. Think an even more absurd version of The X-Files or, since there’s also a (barely) talking dog in the form of the Justin Roiland-voiced Chubbie Webbers, Scooby-Doo.
In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Wysol, whose writing credits include Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, and Ant-Man, says he was inspired by the mid-‘90s Cartoon Network series, like the aforementioned Space Ghost Coast to Coast. But that was only part of the inspiration, Wysol also wanted to do a story-driven adventure series that would bridge the gap between Adult Swim’s current programming and what was offered two decades ago. Wysol said:
“I wanted to make an old school-style Adult Swim show… I wanted to make something that had a sense of humor but was more story driven, like the current Adult Swim shows, like a Rick and Morty… I had been making shorts and there were two [of them] that I made in 2011… We Solved the Crime was a cop show and Hot Cross Buns was a psychedelic-horror absurdist short. So I took those two shorts together and merged their sensibilities to come up with the show. That's the origin, I guess, of how I got the idea for Hot Streets.
Ultimately I just wanted to make a science fiction adventure show. There're a lot of shows on that are procedural or crime shows but, more than anything, I wanted make [Hot Streets] less of a crime show and more of an adventure, where you go with these characters to new locations, and it's framed around an FBI division, but we spend very little time in the actual Hot Streets headquarters and in the city. We've go episodes that go underwater, outer space, time travel episodes, underground into secret cities. That was a lot of fun for me to explore all of these different locations.”
Though the average episode only runs for about 11 minutes, that’s plenty of time for Wysol to weave the sort of absurdist adventure story he’s aiming for. For those who’ve tuned in already, you’ve likely seen Chubbie Webbers wield a pair of FBI badges that double as cancer-causing lightsabers. And you’ve probably seen Agent Branski die repeatedly, only to be reborn over and over again by hatching from a giant egg.
So far, Hot Streets is making its way through its first season — new episodes will continue through February 11 — so if you haven’t already checked out this strange, funny animated series, you still have plenty of time to get caught up.
Hot Streets airs every Sunday night at midnight on Adult Swim.