How would I describe Aqua Teen Hunger Force to someone who had never seen the series? I wouldn't. The episodes are only 11 minutes long – just sit down and watch one.
How would I describe Aqua Teen Hunger Force to someone who had never seen the series … because he's blind? Better question. It's the adventures of a box of fries, a milkshake and a wad of meat. They fight crime. Or, at least, used to fight crime. Now, they hang out, annoy their neighbor, destroy a lot of things and meet a bunch of bad guys who inexplicably still want their destruction.
Brought to you by the same folks who bring you Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law and the now-deceased The Brak Show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force has become an anchor in Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" programming.
Episodes included in vol. 3 are:
Frat Aliens - Two aliens crash on earth, and proceed to hit on Frylock, kill a pledge and get shot into Carl's laser-protected house.
Total Recarl - Carl is destroyed in Frylock's new environmentally-friendly toilet, and put back together using, among other items, eyeballs and a toy truck.
Kidney Car - Shake destroys Carl's car, Meatwad gets Carl's car through charity, and then Shake destroys Carl's new car.
Revenge of the Trees - Tree court is rough, as Shake is summoned for various crimes against the environment.
The Cloning - One of the funniest episodes of the set: Frylock has a cloner (of course!) and clones televisions, while Shake clones money. Both items eventually come alive. Best line: "We should have cloned twenties. Jackson wouldn't have given a (beep)."
Broodwich - A scary sandwich will kill you if you eat it.
The Dressing - A turkey from the future talks. A lot. Then it gets drunk.
The - Frylock moves out. Shake decides that's the perfect time to play raw chicken baseball in the living room, while Frylock has a hard time finding new friends. Hilarity ensues.
The Cubing - A really, really annoying cube talks. A lot. And spouts clichés and bumper stickers. Hilarity does not ensue.
The Last One - This is, in fact, not the end of, but the last of the year. The villains get together for a conference – including the excellent cameo from David Cross. The conference is hosted by the Moonenites. The Teens, in fact, don't make an appearance until the 11th minute.
The Clowning - Carl gets a wig that makes him a hit with the ladies (or, with a lady, at least), but has side effects. It's an excellent chance to learn to woo women the Carl way. It involves copious air guitar.
Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary - It's got the best Dr. Weird opening (it's three seconds long and consists just of one profanity). Shake rewrites the birthday song that goes on for a very long time. A really, really long time.
The Shaving - A weird onion-spider is really bad at scaring people. Shake gives him a helping hand – and by "helping hand," I mean, "shows him how to kill."
It's hard to describe the humor of this series. The easiest way is to break down the three characters: Frylock is the "straight man," the one with the intelligence that is there to balance the utter weirdness of Shake and Meatball. Shake, meanwhile, is the personification of overstatement and understatement; his reaction to every event in the series is either wildly overblown or ridiculously underplayed. Poor little Meatwad fills out the cast, fulfilling the farcical rule that violence and ugliness, as long as its target is not harmed, is funny (see, for example, Meatwad stepping on hallway landmines in The).
But none of this is information that the viewer needs to appreciate the series. It's not for everyone, but fans of absurd humor and other adult cartoons (whether it be one of the aforementioned Adult Swim properties or a show like South Park) should love Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Video and Audio:
The series is presented here in the same full-screen aspect ratio as it is shown in Cartoon Network. The colors come across very nicely, and there are few to no digital flaws to be found. The soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 5.1, but while there is an occasional sound effect coming from the back, mostly it's just extra speakers for the 2.0 mix.
The second disc of the set is loaded, with 11 promos, storyboards, a karaoke feature for the new birthday song of Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary, outgoing phone answering machine messages (Carl: "Hey, this is Carl. New Jersey rules, you backwards, retarded creep."), three deleted scenes and four scripts. There are no "play all" options for most of these, which is annoying with so much material.
There is also a 37-minute featurette entitled "How to Score Big Making Money Writing for Television." It's mostly patience-trying, especially the early writing stages, but watching the table read towards the end is interesting, as you see the actors looking at the script and laughing at it for the first time.
Finally, there are commentary tracks on The Shaving, The Clowning, The Last One and Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary. The tracks are occasionally informative, sometimes funny and sometimes flat out bizarre. There are a lot of voices on each one, and it can be difficult to figure out who is saying what.
It's hard to enthusiastically recommend Aqua Teen Hunger Force vol. 3 to anyone who hasn't seen the show before. But for everyone from those who have caught an airing on Cartoon Network and enjoyed it to the hardcore, memorize-every-line types, this two-disc set is nearly perfect.