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February 5, 2008

New Aqua Teen DVD will get on swimmingly with stoners

As it enters season five, many of us may wonder just how Aqua Teen Hunger Force has survived for so long. But despite being deemed a stoned-college-students-only affair, Aqua Teen has some redeeming qualities.

Much like South Park, season five of Aqua Teen contains crude, vulgar, and sexual humor presented in a distinct cartoon format that mixes computer effects and real images. The 15-minute episodes are easily digestible and cover a wide range of topics, including global warming, gay rights, and corporate advertising.

At the end of the day, most of us derive some kind of pleasure from laughing at others’ stupidity, and that is all the humor of Aqua Teen is. Few comedies are universally funny, and by now, Aqua Teen has a reliable fan base that the creators are aware of, I’m sure.

If you have not enjoyed previous seasons, number five will not do anything new for you but confirm prior reservations of the immaturity of the show.

Episodes often make semi-clever attempts at a strong statement, but the sheer stupidity of the characters makes them hard to see. The messages are also trite, and often milked to the point of no return (see the “Boost Mobile” episode).

Season five suffers from some terribly uneven writing from character to character as well. Meatwad’s lack of education and curiosity about the sexual themes Master Shake brings up are consistently laughable, and Karl’s arrogant-yet-friendly state is funnier than it sounds, but Shake usually has nothing interesting to say and his constant desire to get laid quickly dies as a joke once you realize he is a milkshake with no applicable organs. Frylock, a talking carton of french fries, is a voice of reason that hovers over the show, but he only confirm ironies that are usually obvious, like the fact that Shake is not a human.

Overall, this season of talking fast food does not break any new ground, but it offers some lasting images: a spaceship made of out penises; a yellow dog that rapes Karl every night; a gay, hairy and dirty foot; and giant men made out of mucus. The DVD cover features an animated Tera Patrick in a bikini, eating a corn dog, as well as a giant penis with glasses. This is the subject matter of Aqua Teen season five. If it sounds entertaining to you, you should watch it.

The extra features on the disc are forgettable and tedious to sit through, so they might as well not exist. The single most positive thing about the show and the DVD is that the entire season is only 3.5 hours long; so no matter how important your time is, you can probably spare enough of it to evaluate the most recent offensive and crude cartoon phenomenon among college stoners.

While it’s likely that you will ask for those first 15 minutes back, do not let that scare you away.