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STUDIO: Cartoon Network / Time Warner
RUNNING TIME: 148 minutes
• I’m Pissed
• ATHF Zombie Ninja Pro-Am Minus the Explosions
• Terror Phone
• More Funny Pete Stuff
• Radical Axis Presents Radical Axis
• Commentary on select episodes
Anthropomorphic food items live in New Jersey, squabble amongst themselves, their neighbor and the batshit crazy characters who come in and out of their lives each week. Something usually winds up dead at the end of every episode.
The voices of Dave Willis, Dana Snyder, Carey Means and countless others. Created by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro.
It’s more of the same for this wildly popular Adult Swim program, wacky characters, manic, bizarre humor and the ever present reset buttons. Some shows wow you with originality, still others can milk a formula for all it is worth. ATHF Season 6 is most certainly in the latter category. Fans of continuity and character are advised to stay away.
Most shows aim for the age range of 18-39 males. Aqua Teen Hunger Force, now in its sixth season, targets a much narrower target audience: 18 to 23, or, college students. At 15 minutes an episode, they are the perfect length for study breaks, pot sessions and waiting for your room-mate to finish banging his girlfriend. This also explains why the ATHF movie was crap: the format and humor grow thin after the allotted 15 minutes are up. Older people can appreciate the style, I know I myself laughed quite a bit, but I know that the ATHF ship has sailed. I’m out of college and like so many childish things, I’ve put my past obsession with them away.
The season begins, oddly enough, with the ‘Teens’ absent (they’ve been kidnapped by their landlord) and so the first three episodes are slightly different in that we follow Carl (voiced by Dave Willis), the gangs’ cranky, lazy next door neighbor. Despite my age, Carl never gets old and it’s fun seeing him in the situations usually reserved for the ATHF. Living in Jersey, we all know several people like him and he has some of the best lines outside of Master Shake.
The show falls back into its standard rhythm when the gang returns, creating ridiculous situations and then returning them back to normal at the beginning of the next.
I imagine an ATHF script meeting is filled with beer, nachos and an obscene amount of marijuana. The stories and jokes that the Williams Street team comes up with are far outside the outside of reasonable: they’re unhinged. It’s a sitcom, sure, but a sitcom on drugs. In one episode, Shake (Dana Snyder), Frylock (Carey Means) and Meatwad (Dave Willis) encounter a drunk genie, the next Shake has been turned into a black man and on yet another, they’re hosting drug addicted Jesus fruit. The show is popular and long lived because of this; I guarantee they will never run out of bizarre creatures to throw at them, and though the plots are often similar: set up, introduction to new characters, hijinks, solution and (usually) death by explosion, the aforementioned short running length distracts you long enough to not notice or care.
The comedy is juvenile, rude yet still highly entertaining. The interactions between the three wildly different personalities of the Hunger Force makes the show watch-able outside of the weekly situations. The best, and fan favorite, is Master Shake, who is the worst part of the human psyche in cup form; he’s selfish, greedy, insulting towards his room-mates and absolutely hysterical. He says what we all want to say. Basically, he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. Master Shake, however, is the smartest guy in the room, and is often the source and solution to their problems. His deadpan delivery of his lines may not always get a laugh, but when they land, they land. In this psychological examination, Meatwad is the child, he’s the pre-Freudian manifestation of ourselves when all the world was a curiosity and the second funniest of the group because often he doesn’t know what’s going on and, when the chips are down, will either order Brazilian ice cream in bulk or rip out your eyes. To say that there are characters is to perhaps give them too much credit; all three will do what is necessary to advance the plot. But since you’re watching it with your dealer, you don’t care.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force started off very strong and peaked around season 2 or 3, with almost every episode quotable in some way. Even limping along, some of the situations are stale, and the Spacecataz characters are absent this season, the show can elicit at least a chuckle from even the most grown up viewers. College students will eat this up, as they always have and always will, and the rest of us, those who’ve graduated, can sit back and remember happier times before bills, before jobs, back when all we needed to laugh was a milk shake, a box of fries and a meatball. Aah, the simple life is indeed good.
The show looks as good as always, no change in the animation. The voice acting and sound work is quality, nothing too flashy but it is grounded in its own bizarre reality effectively. The DVD case and menu itself have a fun look, a sort of pop-art, 8 bit throw back, very minimal and cool.
The two disc set comes with a good helping of special features, both animated and live action.
I’m Pissed – is Carl monologuing about the 2007-2008 sports season, which was obviously a very good year for him (he’s a Giants fan). It also shows you that Carl can be funny without the rest of them.
Radical Axis Presents Radical Axis – a faux 1940s documentary film about the animation studio that produces ATHF. The style has been done to death by everyone, but there are a few choice jokes (involving a copy machine) that make this little short worth it.
ATHF Zombie Ninja Pro-AM Minus the Explosions - a look at the 2007 PS2 ATHF game cutscenes that have the Force going to play golf after Frylock is accepted to the country club. The humor is on par with an average episode, but the 3D quality to the CGI ruins the characters, they move and look funny.
More Funny Pete Stuff – a few of the coming up promos for some of the earlier episodes of the show, narrated by Carl. Also a weird promo for ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’, a show which never made it to air (and the promo is painfully unfunny).
Terror Phone – this is a live action horror/comedy from the creators of ATHF. It works as a parody up until it cuts away to a pointless, stupid behind the scenes joke that goes on for far too long. It loses whatever good will it built up until the credit sequence, featuring a kick ass original song, which goes from funny, to stupid, to funny, back to stupid and finally ending on funny.