Take everything you ever heard about hillbillies—or rather every stereotype you ever heard about hillbillies—and add, well, squids, and you pretty much have summed up the animated show Squidbillies from Adult Swim. Now in its seventh season, although this DVD is of its fifth, Squidbillies chronicles the adventures of Early Culyer the ‘Appalachian mountain squid’ who lives with his son, Rusty, and his mother, Granny. Early’s adventures usually involve him concocting a ridiculous scheme to make lots of money or to make his family do his every bidding, although his schemes typically backfire horribly and end up humiliating him and everyone else he knows.
If that sounds like a thin premise to hang a plot on, it is, but luckily, each episode is only approximately eleven minutes long. Thus all those things that complicate plots, such as character development, are abandoned in favor of filling the short run time with as many gruesome gags and as much toilet humor as possible. Indeed, there is little that this series will not joke about and, while it may not go so far as South Park, Squidbillies is not squeamish when it comes to insulting almost everyone.
For instance, one episode that in particular Christians would find offensive is called “Praise Jebus,” in which Early takes advantage of Granny’s irreverent religious fervor. I say irreverent because Granny’s “relationship” with Jesus is never taken seriously and is usually treated as a delusional affection for an imaginary friend. In this episode, Early impersonates Jesus to force Granny and eventually most of the town to do whatever he asks them. Here, Christians are not only put down, but Christ’s own name and image are explicitly taken in vain.
Squidbillies isn’t squeamish when it comes to anything, though, and bloody, gory violence is frequent. Characters are often blown to bits, dismembered, disemboweled, crushed, etc., with copious amounts of animated blood splattering the screen, and yet they appear in the next scene relatively unharmed. Graphic sexual references and profane language pepper the dialogue and grotesque imagery is everywhere.
The only vaguely “good” character in the series is the Sheriff, who tries to stop Early in whatever scheme he has got himself into, usually unsuccessfully. So, there is nothing that warrants a recommendation for anyone to see this series, which has no redeeming qualities, almost no positive characters, and no real creativity beyond finding interesting ways to maim cephalopods.