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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Squidbillies – Volume One

Squidbillies – Volume One


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B+     Episodes: C+



Just when you thought Adult Swim’s late night lineup could not get any weirder… along comes Squidbillies.  From what can only have come from the sick yet creative minds of Adult Swim animators is Squidbillies: Volume One now on DVD. The premise of the series is simple yet unique.  There is a family of squids (Early, Rusty, Aunt Lil, and Granny) who are nothing more than squid-trash (I would say white-trash but they are all different colors).  Moving on, the family is in a run down, hick town that is in a constant state of chaos it seems; mainly due to Rusty and Early.  And with only one incompetent, moron of a cop on patrol, nothing much ever gets solved.  In fact that cop seems to die or at least get mutilated in each episode…very odd. There are monsters, squids, insanely obese women who live in garbage dumps, and power hungry creatures who run multi-billion dollar companies.  Basically the theme of Squidbillies seems to be, Anything Goes.


Fans of the network know that Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has always been a great haven for creativity and comedy.  But recently there has been a shift in Adult Swim’s programming that allows any pure nonsense or dribble to appear among other great series.  Some may say it is just a matter of taste, but no it is a matter of those shows just being awful.  With series like Space Ghost, The Brak Show, Sealab 2021, Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force that pioneered the way for controlled chaos to be a staple in Adult Swim animation, it is a shame that in some way Adult Swim thinks they can but any old crazy series on and it will work.  Examples of series that were pure garbage include 12 Ounce Mouse, Tom Goes to Mayor, Saul of the Mole Men, and so on.  I guess you could say that for every 1 great show a network puts out there is 5 bad.  Honestly in the case of the aforementioned BAD titles on Adult Swim, it is more likely that the creators actually thought fans of the network would suck up what ever was put in front of them.


Squidbillies dances the line between pure nonsense and comedy gold.  If the series is not careful it may end up on the butcher block amongst other series that were too big for their britches.  Ninety percent of the time Squidbillies has a moderately cohesive storyline that can draw in fans and manages to not take itself so seriously that it has to push values like The Simpsons or even South Park.  It is the cross between the nonsense and the solid story arches that keep fans interested.  The name of the game for Adult Swim is Controlled Chaos.


The technical features on this 2 Disc, 20 Episode DVD set are nice but not fantastic.  The image and animation technique used throughout the series is meant to give off a gritty, dilapidated aura and it does just that without detracting from the picture quality. The 1.33 X 1 image, however, to a degree is soft but clean; the colors and brightness are very consistent nevertheless.  The sound is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix with no surrounds, a feature lacking in many recent adult swim releases.  The extras are quite admirable for such a new show; in fact you may not have enough tentacles to wrap around the plethora of features offered. 


Extras include 6 extra ‘never before seen’ pilot episodes that are quite funny, a segment called Anime Talk Show that is ummm…interesting to say the least, a featurette on Comic Con 2004, a bunch of deleted scenes that neither add nor detract from the series, a huge gallery of art/music, a Behind the Scenes look, and a few more extra special features that shouldn’t be missed.


In the end, the series is creative and ridiculous.  Most definitely worth a watch; so slap on that trucker hat and pour the moonshine, because you are about to see something strange.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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