Reviews: Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Started Strong. Went Downhill Hard.

When ATHF was in its earliest seasons, this show exemplified all that was good about Adult Swim in my mind, and to me, it was the standout program for the dark, surreal humor that the program bloc was pushing. For that reason alone, I'm not surprised that unlike its earliest contemporaries, the show stuck around a long time. However, there was one caveat to its longevity.

The longer the show went on, the worse it became until towards the end it was essentially un-watchable. I can even pinpoint the moment the show began its decline. The first three seasons are great. Season 4 is when the decline really begins and while there are still some funny episodes in Season 4, this was the beginning of a long, slow descent that gradually turned me off of this program completely. Episode 88, which was the episode with the live action mixed in was the last episode of the series that I really enjoyed. After that the show changed its name and relied less on actual humor than it did on outrageous dead baby comedy that stretched the definition of comedy to its very boundary and the changing show name gimmick. That was it. The show wasn't even attempting to be clever any longer and eventually I just quit watching.

A mixed bag by anyother name

This show... Oh man, this show is without a doubt the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. That's the only phrase that does it justice. There's no rhyme or rhythm to what's going to happen. With Negative Continuity at full throttle, anything and everything can happen. This makes the series incredibly unpredictable with outrageous swerves and deaths coming out of nowhere. This is actually a pretty good thing as it keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what kind of insane thing is going to happen next. And more often than not, the show delivers.

Except sometimes, you don't enjoy what you get. The show contains very generous heapings of black comedy that more often than not, comes off as a bad case of Dude, Not Funny!!. In particular, I especially hated it when Master Shake microwaved not one but 2 kittens! Like, that's not even shock humour, that's just really poor taste.

In other cases, it's actually pretty funny and the black humour is actually genuinely funny. I'll admit, the series made me laugh more than a few times.

And then there are moments when it's just plain weird to the point where you question yourself if the 10 minutes you spent watching it was worth it. That's another thing worth mentioning actually. Each episode is only 10 minutes long, so you can quickly watch one episode and if it's a particularly crap one, you don't lose too much time watching it.

Overall, The series just baffles me. It's an incredibly strange and surreal experience to watch this show and it can be real hit-and-miss with its pretty original plots and heavy abuse of negative continuity. There were times I laughed, there were times I was deeply shocked, and there were times where I muttered to myself, "what the actual fuck did I just watch?" I'd recommend watching the first few episodes to get an idea of what the show is like, as I really can't decide whether to recommend watching the series or not. It's just that strange

Funny, but not for everybody

A great, quirky little show with funny characters and situations more than out-and-out jokes. Not for everybody, but great for those who can get into it.

Probably the weirdest show on television, and that's saying something. If you can dig it's odd sense of humor and bizarre premise, though, you'll find a show that hits more often than it misses. Certainly it's not for everyone; it's big on Dead Baby Comedy, Crosses The Line Twice and Overly Long Gag as well as a penchant for very little actually happening, but if you like conceptual, character-based humor and can take joy in comedic sociopathy, you'll enjoy most of it.

A few caveats: the show takes some time to get into, and until you understand the characters you probably won't like it. Some of the episodes are only really funny on second viewing, and some of them are just plain bad. The show is also generally funny in short bursts; it's ten minutes long for a reason. Trying to do an extended binge is not recommended unless you're a huge fan.

Overall, I'd say thumbs up to this one, but be warned that it's not for everybody and it might take awhile for you to get into it.