Judge Ryan Keefer gon' take that southern born and raised marine cephalopod and treat him like his prad and joy, lemme tell yew somethin'!
Squidbillies is an American cartoon made for Americans, by Americans,
For those that don't peruse the Cartoon Network much anymore (myself included), let me try to break the show down as much as I can. The premise of Squidbillies seems to take a well known and entrenched southern stereotype, throw in some seafood deliacies in trucker hats, and call it a show, right? If you want some more story behind it, everyone lives in north Georgia, and the main character, Early, gets a girl named Krystal pregnant, but then he's arrested for robbing a convenience store and sent to jail for 15 years. Krystal has the baby and abandons the boy named Rusty at Early's sister's house. She raises him until the police find a meth lab in her house, and Rusty is left to find another home. Rusty discovers Early just before he's released from prison, and the show follows the pair, with Early trying to find a job, and Rusty trying to get "schooled," as it were.
There are a few occasional funny moments within this frantically drawn and put together cartoon show of ten minute episodes, but it seems like nothing more than capitalizing on the remnants of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. So, if you're a redneck who likes Larry the Cable Guy and takes large quantities of Ritalin, this might be the show for you.
People seem to like Squidbillies because one of the creators (Dave Willis) was on the popular Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and before that did some work on Space Ghost. So by definition does that make it funny? Cripes, I don't know. In fact, not liking this show probably makes me older than I am, which is depressing to me. But I found this to be more of the same old "poking at the Southerner" stereotype with an occasional laugh. The "electric jug at Rush" joke every so often did make me laugh, but my sides hadn't split. The guys at the Cartoon Network do have something going for them though; they make the shows only ten or twelve minutes a clip which gives the writers a chance to make sure it doesn't flounder or spread the humor too thinly. But it's weak as it is, so what does that say? Maybe the goal is to be so quick so that you don't confuse the voice of Rusty with that of Family Guy's Chris Griffin, I don't know.
Technically, the show's full frame and two channel stereo format is preserved over two discs, and they're perfectly acceptable. I've always said low production values begat low expectations, and it's just fine by me. Disc One includes several unaired pilots, humorously titled "Five Pilots of the Apocalypse." The pilots are done in voiceover form without finished animation, and you can tell it's wildly improvised from the work that's there. Over on the second disc, Early appears on a Space Ghost segment, and the creators' appearance at the 2004 Comicon is shown, along with some deleted scenes. There's some early sketch work included too, along with a roundtable discussion with the creators as they drink, smoke, and recollect. A piece on Unknown Hinson, a musical contributor to the series, wraps it up.
Overall, fans of Squidbillies will be proud to find that Volume One has enough bonus material that they should eagerly pick this up. For the uninitiated, I recommend you watch the shows on the Cartoon Network before leaping headlong into this set; and what better time, as a new season is scheduled to start airing in early 2008.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• 6 Never Before Seen Pilot Episodes
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