Judge David Johnson always serves his squidbilly fried with horseradish.
Our reviews of Squidbillies: Volume 2 (published April 15th, 2009), Squidbillies: Volume 1 (published November 7th, 2007), and Squidbillies: Volume Four (published June 21st, 2011) are also available.
Confessions of a gangrenous mind.
From the folks at Adult Swim comes the epic telling of an all-American family that happens to be made up entirely of tentacled freaks. They're the "Squidbillies," part squid, part hillbilly and Volume 3 introduces Early, Rusty and Granny Cuyler to all manner of wacky scenarios like the threat of illegal immigration, a gay pride march, an extraterrestrial visitation, and a two-part kidnapping super spectacle.
Squidbillies is one of the bite-sized Adult Swim series, with episodes running about 12 minutes each. I'm a fan of this format as the abbreviated runtime keeps the humor and action distilled. Say what you want about the series—and I will in a moment—but at the very least they hum along nicely.
The show is hit-and-miss, but can be solidly funny when the writers are on their game. The gags are a mix of gory slapstick and insult humor, and with the small episode set-ups, the jokes roll by quickly. So if a flat one hits, it's not long until another opportunity arises. This helps give Squidbillies the feel of a funnier show than it probably is, but whatever. If you siphon some laughs from it, then it's a success.
I am, however, mixed on the show. I certainly laughed in places, but my issue with Squidbillies is that it's too…easy. Make no mistake, 90% of the comedy is redneck humor, the writing aimed at the expense of the hillbilly caricature. There is much drawling, bigotry, fundamentalist Christian mockery, and homophobia; there's even a Sarah Palin shot tossed in. So, easy. It's not terribly challenging to drum up jokes based on widely recognized (and widely used) redneck stereotypes. Squidbillies is sort of like LeBron James going to the Miami Heat to pursue a championship; it will probably get the job done but the whole thing seems a bit cheap.
The DVD is effective, the rudimentary animation looking fine in the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. A 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix pushes the audio, and extra features include an art gallery, DragonCon interviews and some bonus footage.
Not Guilty because I laughed, but these guys are going after low-hanging
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