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Downtown is a little-known animated series that ran on MTV for a single season in 1999. Yeah, MTV – but don't expect superficial bubblegum entertainment here. Like on the more popular Daria, the main sympathetic characters are eccentric outcasts. Whereas Daria was all about a suburban high school, this series revolves around the daily lives of a diverse group of friends in their early twenties in New York.

The episodes are full of anecdotes gathered in real interviews conducted on the streets of NYC, lending a very realistic feel to the series, and especially the dialogues. While the storylines can get a little juvenile at times, the truly great animation more than makes up for that. The medium is used to full effect here, frequently mixing dream/imagination/storytelling sequences into everyday scenes with clever transitions. The great color schemes, likable lead characters and innovative electronic soundtrack are additional bonuses.

Above: Four minutes from the Insomnia episode.
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