Western Animation: Unsupervised

Unsupervised is an animated, half-hour comedy on FX, about two eternally optimistic best friends, Gary and Joel, who are navigating the harsh landscape of adolescence and trying to do what's right despite having no parental guidance whatsoever.

Gary's father took off years ago and left him with his absentee stepmom, while Joel's elderly parents remain unseen and uninvolved. And the adults who are actually present in Gary's and Joel's lives are anything but role models. At first glance, Gary and Joel's world may be bleak, but their worldview is bright as they guide themselves through life with each other to depend on.

Unsupervised was created by David Hornsby, Scott Marder & Rob Rosell, known for their work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It is animated by Floyd County Productions, the same studio that creates Archer.

Unlike Archer however, the show never found much success, receiving average-to-negative reviews and suffering from extremely low ratings. It was axed after its first season and can now be seen in reruns on [adult swim], with a TV-MA rating for very strong offensive language (L)note , explicit sexual content (S)note , and bloody violence (V).


Unsupervised provides examples of

  • A-Cup Angst: Megan even hallucinated the mirror mocking her for being flat-chested.
  • Adults Are Useless: Seems to be the case with most of the adults on the show, though Gary and Joel don't seem to believe it.
    • The teachers range from well-meaning, to apathetic, to outright incompetent. Consider the case of "Slow Joe" on the episode "Stupid Idiots": the teachers were either untrained, or simply didn't bother, to screen him for a specific learning disability, and simply lumped him in with the other mentally handicapped kids (who get "taught" in a shipping container). When the students demand that everyone be allowed to take the P-Dot test (an ersatz PSAT), Slow Joe is the only student in the entire school who gets a perfect score. As it turns out, "Slow" Joe simply has a crippling speech impediment - which the school completely failed to diagnose, much less help him with.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Russ whips one out in "Fires & Liars".
  • All Periods Are PMS: Usually mild-mannered Megan suddenly gone berserk when new girl stole her period medicine in attempt to get high.
  • All-Loving Hero: Both Gary and Joel are ridiculously nice and accepting to everyone. Megan doesn't even count them as real friends as a result of their Love You and Everybody attitudes.
  • Baseball Episode: Gary and Joel try managing a team to get more positive influences with mixed results.
  • Berserk Button: Darius's sensitive to his "weight problem." Also, don't diss the sun in front of Joel.
    Joel: It's just when people don't love sunshine I get fricked out, man! ... it makes me so mad sometimes I wanna murder the whole world.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Sid told the boys a story about him living with kangaroo pack. It was supposed to teach them that they won't be happy pretending to be something they're not, but they only noticed that he had sex with a kangaroo lady.
  • Black and Nerdy: Darius definitely has the most school smarts of the group and is the only one in the "eagle track", their highest academic curriculum.
  • Buxom Is Better: The high school boys certainly think this of Danielle aka Rocket Tits.
  • Cheerful Children: Gary and Joel are the epitome of this trope.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Although the F stands for "frick".
  • Crapsack World: Gary and Joel's home lives are pretty screwed up, as is their neighborhood and city. But shockingly they don't let it deter them from being pretty happy...most of the time.
  • Dancing Theme: Gary, Joel, Darius, and Megan get to show off some moves during the short theme song.
  • Dean Bitterman: Principal Stark isn't the most extreme example, but she's made it clear that the happiness of her students is not her priority.
  • Delayed Explosion: Happens when the boys are waiting for a dumpster to explode, shortly afterwards the whole parking lot goes up in fire.
  • Disappeared Dad: Gary's dad left ages ago, and all he has to remember him by are his own drawings.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Dirt's got a Capuchin monkey at his apartment.
  • Expy: Gary and Joel are a kinder, friendlier, but still ignorant version of Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • False Flag Operation: Gary and Joel decided to set building on fire to prove that town needs fire department. Megan came along so she could write a report for school newspaper and frame homeless people.
  • For Science!: Sid claims that above-mentioned Kangaroo romance was "in the name of bloody science".
  • Free-Range Children: Helps to reinforce the lack of parental supervision
  • Funny Foreigner: Both of Gary's neighbors, Sid and Martin, hail from Australia and Panama respectively.
  • Happy Dance: "Gonna get new drawers~! Gonna get new fricken' drawers!"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gary and Joel are this in spades.
  • High School Dance: "The Night of a Thousand Lights" is this for Mayford High.
    Darius: Dances are times of significant sexual benchmarks in a young man's life. It all goes down at the dance.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Megan struggles with this, to the point where she volunteers for the new student tour program to force other kids to hang out with her.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Joel believed his brother was gay and ashamed of himself, but he was actually drug addict who had sex with men for money.
    • In the same episode Megan was mistaken for gay by a lesbian student. Her own mother was suspicious of Megan's sexuality as well, which causes her to push Megan onto questionable boys.
  • My Beloved Smother: Darius' relationship with his mother is like this. She even hires a babysitter to watch over him and brush his teeth.
  • Mysterious Teachers Lounge: Mysterious even to a couple of the teachers.
  • Parental Neglect: The main driving force behind the entire show. Gary's stepmother is ether out of town with her boyfriend, or heartbroken and sitting in the dark smoking pot. What exactly going on in Joel's family is yet to be seen.
  • Perpetual Poverty: It's stated that the boys are "poor as dirt" but they still manage to feed themselves and get by so far.
  • The Pollyanna: Gary and Joel
  • Reality Ensues: Jake Justice, the landscaper eventually develops skin cancer, from all his time in the sun, and not wearing sunscreen.
  • Skunk Stripe: Principal Stark. Mocked by kids apparently calling her "The Skunk".
  • Token Minority: Darius
  • Ungrateful Bitch: When a homeless woman saves Megan from a burning building, she proceeds to express disgust at being touched by her, and runs off screaming, intending to get an AIDS test.
  • Two-Teacher School: So far there's only been Ms. Petters, Ms. Davis, and Coach Durham. Durham doubles as the baseball coach and the turtle English teacher.
  • Verbal Tic: Gary and Joel frickin say frickin in almost every frickin sentence.
    • It even shows in their writing. Anti-violence posters they made in 3rd episode are filled with word "frickin" and other swearing.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Sid.
  • Wild Teen Party: Unlike most examples, Gary and Joel face next to no consequences.
  • Wretched Hive: Gary and Joel's neighborhood is a complete shitbox.
  • X Meets Y: A Lighter and Softer Beavis And Butthead(or Superbad) meets It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia