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4.0 out of 5 stars Number One in da hood, G., 8 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Series 1 [Adult Swim] [DVD] (DVD)
This gets confusing before I even start talking about the show itself, so you should be in the right mindset when I get around to discussing it in the next paragraph. Here we go: In 2005, my American girlfriend introduced me to "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (hereafter abbreviated to ATHF for convenience), which had been playing on TV and having DVDs released in the States since 2000. It's now 2009, and here in Britain, we've only just got Volume One on DVD. We've got a LOT of catching up to do. Got all that so far? Because it only gets stranger from here . . . .

ATHF is, for lack of a better word, bizarre. It revolves around a trio of food-based sleuths (who don't actually do that much sleuthing) living in a New Jersey suburb next to an understandably irritable, put-upon fat slob named Carl. Master Shake is a selfish, stupid, flighty bully and 6-foot-tall talking milkshake. He's convinced he's the leader of the gang, but the only reason anyone goes along with his grandiose commands is to try to get him to shut up for even a moment. Frylock, a hovering cyborg and super-duper-sized portion of fries with a stylin' vandyke, is the laid-back brains of the outfit, tasked with most of the actual thinking, footwork, and social interaction. Meatwad, the least member of the group in just about every way, is a beach-ball-sized rolling clump of minced meat (supposedly beef). He's a mumbling, easily-influenced, puppy-like, happy-go-lucky moron who wants nothing more than to have fun, but usually gets stuck with all the nastiest grunt work, like pulling the ATHF's Danger Cart around, and is the most frequent target of Master Shake's malice. The trio (with different voices, designs, and personalities) made their debut many years ago on an episode of Cartoon Network's highly-acclaimed mock talk-show, "Space Ghost Coast to Coast," where they acted as the pushy mascots and overseers for a (fictional) fast-food chain which was sponsoring the programme. They promptly stole the show and were eventually awarded their own series just to get them out of the way.

Our three heroes (for lack of a better word) must deal with the monstrous, rampaging consequences of Dr. Weird's mad science, internet spamming, Ignignokt and Err (the abusive, stoned, and kleptomaniac Atari-2600-reject aliens known as The Mooninites), unsanitary living conditions that breed kind-hearted talking mould, a crime syndicate of Leprechauns, emotionally disturbed talking dolls, various evil clones gone horribly wrong, and a pair of unbelievably inept Plutonian villains tooling around in a familiar-looking ship stolen from another Hanna-Barbera cartoon . . . and that's just for starters. When they get the chance, they try to sneak a swim in Carl's pool, which infuriates their territorial neighbour no end. It's all interspersed with rap / hip-hop music stings that the young people are so into nowadays. In addition to the 16 regular episodes, this 2-disc set also contains the original cut of the pilot episode, "Rabbot," commentary tracks for three of the episodes, some footage from a San Diego Comic Con presentation, and an advert for Flying Lotus. And I looked all over the place, but couldn't find any Easter eggs on either disc.

ATHF is like no other show out there (thankfully, because if there was something else out there like it, I think my brain would likely melt). While I don't think it's THE BEST cartoon in the [adult swim] stable (and hence only four stars), I find it refreshingly different, surreal, and funny enough to warrant buying the DVDs and trying to getting more people onto the ATHF bandwagon. It has certainly proved popular enough to be [adult swim]'s longest-running series, so most people must enjoy it just that little bit more than I do. Anyway, if you're not familiar with ATHF, I recommend a rental to see if it's your cup of tea before committing to any purchases. But if you enjoyed the 2005 ATHF movie, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters" which came out here in Region 2 as "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters for DVD" during 2007, you'll also like this (Volume One of the TV show), which was first broadcast in 2000, many years before the movie originally came out, and has now only just been released in Britain in early 2009. Now my head hurts and I need a lie-down. And some candy.
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