Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Broken Logic of Aqua Teen Hunger Force

In an early episode, the Mooninites arrive, and encourage Meatwad to steal neighbor Carl's pornography, and also, randomly, his dresser. The drag both out to the woods. The porn is a big hit but the dresser is "infinitely boring" (the Mooninites use words like "infinite" in an attempt to talk more sci-fi, since they are from the moon). The Moonities want to set the desk on fire, but Meatwad objects, saying that that is where Carl keeps all his clothes. "But look at these girls" the Mooninite says, referring to the pornography, "they don't have any clothes and they are very happy. Look, these two are kissing." Surreal is not just random, it breaks apart things that work perfectly well and reassembles them into new weird forms. You can see that there is a logical thread here, even though you would never be persuaded by it.

In another episode, on of my favorites, the gang is faced with a doll, a doll that is alive for no real reason. The doll belongs to Meatwad, and Master Shake would love to set it on fire just to wreck it, but is dismayed that it wants to commit suicide. So Master Shake has to rethink how to be evil. He proposes to throw it off a cliff, a cliff he claims is the one from the movie Highlander. It will make the doll immortal, and thus impervious to suicide. When Frylock objects that this is not the cliff from Highlander, and that the Highlander was just a movie, and besides you have to be born a Highlander, Master Shake says "I saw cliffs in that movie. The Highlander was a documentary that was filmed in real time." "Real time" of course, has nothing to do with being realistic, it just means that, as in 24, the thing takes as long to watch as the time the characters experience. Highlander was not filmed in real time, but there is a free-associative logic to his thinking that you can almost understand, if only for a split second.

1 comment:

nicholas reed said...

This was the very reason I liked the first couple seasons. There was a randomness to the show when taken as a whole, but the individual bits had their own strange logic. Almost stream-of-consciousness. The more recent episodes (and the movie, to a certain extent) seem to have lost this in favor of straight up randomness for no reason.

All that said, Venture Brothers is possibly the best thing [adult swim] has ever or will ever show.