For those of you out there who are hungry for a greasy helping of high-caloric comedy, your time has come.
On Jan. 29, the fifth season of the longest-running show on Adult Swim, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, will be released on DVD. The season is packed with hilarious episodes filled with the disjointed, random humor for which ATHF is famous. The DVD contains 15 episodes including “Hand Banana,” “The Star Studded Christmas Spectacular” and both the censored and uncensored versions of the racy “Dickesode.”
Set in southern New Jersey, the show was intended to focus on the three main characters operating a detective agency. As the show developed, that idea was replaced with the show’s wild and random happenings.
Cartoon Network first aired ATHF on Dec. 30, 2000, as part of a four-show block of cartoons produced by a division called Williams Street. For an 11-minute show, it continues to demonstrate stamina by always bringing new material to its viewers, a rarity among shows with little character development.
Sealab 2021, The Brak Show and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law also premiered alongside ATHF. Among those, ATHF is the only show still in the regular line-up and the only one to inspire a film – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.
By now, most of the college-age population has probably had at least a passing familiarity with this trio of anthropomorphic fast food items. Those who sit down to watch ATHF for the first time should prepare to see little continuity between morbidly gross and sometimes sexually charged episodes.
The fifth season is one of the best in terms of the episodes. Changes are apparent in the character development, especially with the sarcastic and condescending Master Shake. In “Hand Banana,” Shake remarks how Hand Banana, the dog that Frylock and Meatwad created from Shake’s DNA, has brought them together as a family. “Hand Banana” was one of the funniest episodes ATHF has ever made. After creating Hand Banana, the Aqua Teens enjoy his friendly demeanor while he repeatedly rapes Carl, their next-door neighbor, in private.
Another great episode is called “Global Grilling,” where Shake purchases a nuclear-powered grill that punches a hole in the ozone layer, which then leads to mucus men (called Mucazoids) enslaving the earth. It turns out that it was all in Shake’s imagination. Then the episode turns into a public service announcement about why it’s important to eat your boogers, so the mucus men don’t take over earth.
Eye-catching packaging and great DVD extras are par for the course for the Adult Swim-licensed box sets – and ATHF Vol. 5 is no exception. A vignette where the Aqua Teens respond to critics, a mock guitar tutorial called “Learn to Shred Like the Master” and some interesting footage of adult-film star Tera Patrick with a hot dog are just a snippet of the extensive extra footage included.
A mural of the Vol. 5 characters – who include New York Giants center Bart Oates, Andrew W. K. and, of course, Tera Patrick – decorate the interior of the DVD case. ATHF is known for its frequent inclusion of celebrities. Past seasons have featured guitarist Zakk Wylde, rapper MC Chris, rock legend Glenn Danzig and comedian David Cross.
ATHF Vol. 5 is a feast for the faithful and will be a necessity for any fan of the show.