Cube Critics

Cube Critics discuss ‘Smiling Friends’ and ‘Bridgerton Season 3’

A side by side of two shows
Characters from "Smiling Face" left, and Nicola Coughlan, right, in Bridgerton.
Adult Swim | Netflix

Cube Critics Jacob Aloi and Kyra Miles discuss an absurdist cartoon comedy for adults and a Regency simp pretending to be a player.

The following are capsule reviews edited from the audio heard using the player above.

‘Smiling Friends’

“Smiling Friends,” a unique adult comedy on Adult Swim and the Max streaming service, is created by two YouTubers who bring their distinctive absurdist, multimedia humor to the show.

The series revolves around a quirky charity of the same name, composed of crazily drawn critters whose mission is to spread happiness in their community. The show takes viewers on adventures, from a “Lord of the Rings” style quest to rescuing a celebrity from cancellation. In its second season, it parodies action movies and presidential elections.

What sets “Smiling Friends” apart is its underlying optimism; despite acknowledging the world's flaws, it promotes a message that things can improve — a refreshing take in adult animation, which often veers towards pessimism and nihilism.

The show’s style is distinctive and aimed at an adult audience, making it a standout for fans of mature animated content.

“Smiling Friends” airs on Sundays on Adult Swim, with episodes available the following day on Max streaming.

— Jacob Aloi

‘Bridgerton Season Three’

“Bridgerton Season Three” is romantic, it’s dramatic, it’s tense — everything you want from the show. So far it isn’t hitting like the past seasons. But pish posh, I’ll continue to watch.

This season, we see a softer side of pining and groveling, particularly with Colin Bridgerton, the third Bridgerton sibling, who is finding himself and his feelings for Penelope, who is also Lady Whistledown (spoilers).

The focus this season seems to be on Colin’s personal development, as he transitions to genuinely pursuing Penelope. He’s a simp pretending to be a player — and he’s failing.

While the show continues to move away from historical accuracy, indulging in its Regency fantasy where racism is absent but sexism and homophobia persist, it remains compelling. “Bridgerton Season Three” is available on Netflix, with part two set to release on June 13.

— Kyra Miles

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