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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

Squidbillies: Volume One (review)

The guys who created Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Space Ghost Coast to Coast joined forces to create this entry for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim that asks the daring question: Is hillbilly humor funnier when it’s tentacle-waving squids being crass and stupid? The answer is, sadly, no. The rough and scraggy animation is refreshingly distinctive, but the humor tends toward the obvious: cars wrapped around trees, proud ignorance, ethnic bashing, big hair, the pitfalls of homeschooling, and so on. Adult Swim devotees, typically teenaged boys of all ages, apparently think it’s the funniest thing in the late-night bonger block, but it’s one long overbaked “you might be a redneck squid if…” joke. These two discs include all 20 episodes from 2005 and 2006 — basically, everything that’s aired up till now — plus six never-before-seen pilot episodes, an anime talk show, deleted scenes, making-of material, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

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  • Oh god, I’m an Adult Swim devotee, but I think Squidbillies is a pile of shit. Just awful. And at least all of the other people I know who are also into Adult Swim think the same way.

  • MaryAnn

    Glad to hear it. :->

  • Mike Brady

    I agree wholeheartedly. The funny thing about Adult Swim is that most of their shows seem awful at first. They get inundated with hate mail every time they introduce something new. Then many of those same shows become cult hits. The upshot of this is that they seem to think they can throw any crap and have it stick somewhere. They’ve stopped listening to poor reviews and negative feedback because they’ve begun to interpret it as a measure of success.

    This time, they couldn’t be more wrong.

    I’ll admit that it usually takes me a while to warm up to a new show, but I see nothing worth salvaging in Squidbillies. I often have the TV on in the background when working at night, but I abhor that show so much that the TV immediately goes off lest that bile should seep into my ears. Unfortunately it means I miss whatever good programming they might have on afterwards, but it’s just not worth the risk. It’s just not worth the risk.

  • Patrick

    It’s a bloody shame that with the exception of “Futurama” and “American Dad!”, “Family Guy” is the most coherently written cartoon on Adult Swim.

    When did incoherent non-sequitur gags become *automaticaly* “funny”? Did I miss a meeting?

  • MBI

    Adult Swim’s allegedly random shows — “Metalocalypse,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Sealab 2021” — are actually rooted in character interactions, even among absurd situations.

    “Squidbillies” was okay the couple episodes I saw. “Tim and Eric Awesome Show” and “Tom Goes to the Mayor” is the really toxic stuff — awful, awful.

  • MaryAnn

    It’s a bloody shame that with the exception of “Futurama” and “American Dad!”, “Family Guy” is the most coherently written cartoon on Adult Swim.

    They didn’t originate on Adult Swim, though.

  • ItWasAllADream

    Anybody catch the English import called “Darkplace” now on Adult Swim?…I think it’s supposed to be spoofing early 80s soap operas but w/ a supernatural bent. The one episode I saw was kind of amusing…humor’s very “British” if you get my drift..

  • Okay, I’ll confess that you’ve got to take this show with a grain of salt the size of a Buick but I actually found it somewhat funny. I think it helped that I grew up around people like this–when you get invited to a high school keg party that features no less than fifteen kegs, you begin to appreciate Early Kuyler and his frequent bouts of drunkenness in a different way. If you’re looking for highbrow, naturally you shouldn’t be watching Cartoon Network in the first place but if crass humor heavy on the hooch is up your alley, then so too “Squidbillies”.

  • “It’s a bloody shame that with the exception of “Futurama” and “American Dad!”, “Family Guy” is the most coherently written cartoon on Adult Swim.”

    The Boondocks and The Venture Brothers say “hello”.

  • Miguel

    For me, there are a few episodes of Squidbillies that are hilarious. All the rest are absolutely horrible, and more likely to make me retch than laugh.

  • Jimbo

    I can’t believe what I’m reading here. You guys are clearly corny people who don’t understand what comedy is anymore. Squidbillies is PURE comedy..perhaps the best original adultswim show. So is Tim and Eric Awesome Show. It may be off putting for people who are easily disturbed but for those of us twisted enough to enjoy it we love every awkward crude nonsensical second of it.

  • 10010100100101010010

    Hi. I’ll preface this by saying I, a teenage boy, know well that I am in Adult Swim’s target demographic. I think when you merely skim the surface of something that attempts to be funny, you rob it of its inherit right to be judged with one’s fully unobfuscated perception.

    Consider Tim and Eric. Crude. Stupid. Sophomoric. One wonders if there are even jokes in the show. But when you stop scrutinizing over the seemingly inane content, take a step back, and cleanse your mind of prejudices, then you see what it truly was meant to be.
    The entire show is a parody of public access television. It’s poorly acted, badly timed, sloppily edited, and full of awkward pauses accompanied by horrible production values. The other parts of the show (sketches, songs, and fake ads) within mostly catalogue tv programs whose formula has been tinged with the absurd satire of Tim and Eric. Like with most absurd comedy, it’s hit or miss. But the thing is, Tim and Eric’s final product is so similar to the formula of real life shows, that it captures the stupidity of television, along with adding in some absurd humor. I find it all brilliant. I can’t believe I’m typing that but really, that’s why I like it. It’s different.

    To recapitulate: I’m a snob. It’s satire.

  • I think you’ve gotta be in your 30s to love Squidbillies (and Tim & Eric). Luckily, I am and I do. Of course, I’ve also got a broad sense of humor, but both of these shows are appointment TV in my family; my wife and I snuggle up and laugh our asses off for (almost) every episode.

  • Blank Frank

    To each their own, but yeah, I’m growing sick of the ‘random shit = absolutely funny!’ style of humor. And is it just me, or is the animation on most of the Adult Swim originals getting more and more half-assed?

    It almost seems like anti-snob snobbery: as a reaction against decently-drawn cartoons with coherent plots and a mixture of humor, we get a string of non-sequiturs riding a single joke, looking like it was knocked up in Flash in half an hour. Most people don’t get it, so it must be good.

    The grandest irony is, now that Cartoon Network has proven there is a market for animation for adults, their ‘mature audience’ stuff is far more immature than the cartoons they produce for actual kids.

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