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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Aqua Something You Know Whatever goes back to the Stone Age

Fans might have missed the return of Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim a few weeks ago. This is because it has, yet again, changed the title. The series, now known as Aqua Something You Know Whatever, has not lost a bit of its comedic charm, and after a couple of years of mediocre tales, has returned to its former glory. This is definitely apparent in this week's installment, "The Granite Family."

"The Granite Family" plot is simple enough. Master Shake (Dana Snyder) has trouble relating a a Flintstones-esque cartoon on television, so he decides he needs to live through the Stone Age in order to get the jokes. Never mind that TV won't be around in that era. Frylock (Carey Means) offers his time traveling thong to Shake, but Shake decides a better option is to start a nuclear war, which he handily accomplishes, and the planet's cities are reduced to rubble. Riding out the event in Carl's (Dave Willis) bomb shelter, Frylock plans on using his thong to stop Shake, but fails.

Continuity has never been as important as laughs to Aqua Teen, no matter what the title of the series is. There have been many episodes where things are destroyed and characters die. Luckily, none of that sticks, as the show works because of the people and settings that make it up. Yes, Shake manages to level society in "The Granite Family," but that's just a great demonstration of how self-centered Shake is. Things will return to normal next week.

Nor should one worry about believability. The fact that Shake can easily sneak into the White House and launch missiles at Russia via a big, red, unguarded button is humorous and drives the plot forward. It's not important that there is no way this situation could take place in real life. Shake needed to reach his goal, and fast, so the writers devised a visually humorous way for him to do so.

Besides how funny the episode is, and believe me, there are a ton of great jokes, there are also a lot of terrific references shoved in. Anyone who enjoyed The Flintstones back in the day will grin when Aqua Teen pokes fun at the tropes and repeating elements of the classic series. Animals not enjoying their jobs? Yes, please! Longtime fans of this series will delight in a brief cut scene of Ignignokt (also Willis) and Err (Matt Maiellaro) on the moon, somehow understanding what Shake is doing. Plus, who can resist the obvious digs on Time Warner and Fox?

Now, my only problem with Aqua Teen has always been that it sometimes gets a little gross. For instance, in "The Granite Family," is it necessary to see Meatwad (Willis again) holding a steaming bag of liquid poo in the bomb shelter? This isn't funny to me, and actually interrupts enjoyment of the show. But perhaps to some fans, this kind of humor is what they are looking for, and if so, Aqua Teen has you covered,

Overall, the new season has been pretty solid, including this episode. Watch Aqua Something You Know Whatever Sundays at midnight on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Check out my new website, JeromeWetzel.com.  If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Article first published on TheTVKing

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