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Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 4

One of the most unusual shows Cartoon Network has to offer in its Adult Swim time slot, Aqua Teen Hunger Force has forged on and in the process cultivated quite a cult following either in spite of or because of its innate quirkiness. For the uninitiated, the series is based on a trio of superheroes who are essentially an anthropomorphized Happy Meal: Meatwad (a meatball), Frylock (a large order of fries) and Master Shake (a giant milkshake). Now the gist is their show doesn't rely on their fighting crime the way the opening segments depict, but rather day-to-day life sharing a house in Jersey with quite a bizarre array of plot twists occurring that aren't necessarily linear in nature. Add in a slovenly neighbor named Carl who comes off like a cross between Archie Bunker minus a family unit and The Family Guy's Glen Quagmire with the loser quotient upped considerably and the result is comedy gold. Season Four features episodes that include bizarre occurrences like an accidental torching of Santa Claus that results in his ending up with a soccer ball skin graft ("T-Shirt of the Dead"), Carl and Meatwad having a weight loss contest that leaves the aforementioned neighbor with parasitic consequences ("Diet") and an exotic dancer voiced by Scott Thompson who also doubles as an electrical utility worker ("Dusty Gozongas"). And while certain scenarios like Master Shake getting infested by viruses that take over his mind while writing bad Off Broadway plays fall flat ("Hypno-Germ"), creators Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis once again hit the mark.

Special Features: Adequate

Unless you've followed this show from the beginning, some of these extras might prove to be a bit puzzling like the live-action featurette "Raydon." Others, like the failed spinoff "Spacecataz," is amusing once you view it in its entirety versus seeing it piecemeal as it chronologically appears at the beginning of each episode in this box set. And then there's "F- Art," a tribute to the legions of ATHF fans who submitted a huge array of artwork themed around their favorite heroic Happy Meal.



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