Of all the bizarre premises on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, Squidbillies may be the most twisted yet. It concerns the Culyer family, a family of squids left behind when the pre-historic oceans receded from the Appalachian region of the north Georgia mountains. Patriarch Early, son Rusty, and Granny all live together in a one-room shack here, and are about as hillbilly as squids can get.
The show was created by Dave Willis, who previously worked on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and before that Space Ghost Coast To Coast. Like Aqua Teen, the episodes are short; each one runs about ten minutes. Squidbillies Volume 3 features all ten episodes from season four, which originally aired in 2009.
The Culyers found themselves in some strange situations that year, to say the least. The very first show on the DVD, “Anabolic-Holic” is a classic. Rusty wants to be a WWE-style wrestler, so he naturally starts bulking up with steroids. He beats Thunder Clap at the big Pay Per View event. This leads to Thunder Clap’s wife leaving him for a younger man, and him losing his reality TV show. The fact that Hulk… err, Thunder is voiced by wrestling legend Mick Foley is just gravy.
“The Fine Ol’ Solution” sees reactionary Early pissed off about immigration. Leading a Klan-style rally, he carries a sign that reads “Ameri-Can, Mexi-Can’t.” Then there is the Granny episode, “Confessions Of A Gangrenous Mind.” The poor wrinkled squid desperately wants to get laid, and resorts to picking up truckers on the CB. When this doesn’t work, she regales her family with tales of her conquests over the years, including '70s basketball hero Dr. J.
The season wound up with a two-part story concerning a family reunion. Early’s cousin shows up with his human wife and their kids for the big get-together. The successful cousin, who got his GED and now works as an insurance adjuster, is appalled by the conditions Rusty lives in. So they decide to “rescue" the kid. At first Early and Granny are fine with it, until they realize that their welfare money will be cut off.
Part two finds a hysterical media storm surrounding the squidbillies as they desperately search for the missing boy. I loved the CNN-type crawler that accompanies an interview with Early: “Inhalant enthusiast breaks silence.”
The DVD includes some bonus features, of which “This Ain’t A Hat, It’s A Ragtop For A Sexy Convertible” is the most notable. Like all good old boys, Early has a never ending supply of descriptive caps. The feature presents every one of them, from all four seasons of the show. They are all pretty funny, especially the one that reads “VPILF” with a picture of Sarah Palin, and another with the immortal saying “Hold my hat while I have sex with your wife.”
On Adult Swim, the occasional swear word is bleeped out, and the episodes are presented that way on the DVD as well. This is one funny family of hillbilly squids, and Squidbillies Volume 3 worth checking out.