This is not a show I immediately loved, revered or even liked. It was more like a curiosity, a pig fetus in a jar of embalming fluid. Something I wished to understand and appreciate. If the Church of the SubGenius had produced a television show, I am certain it would resemble The Venture Bros. Huh? You lost me.
When you have graduated from the community college level of pop culture trivia via The Family Guy, only then are you eligible to enter into the graduate school of all animated television shows’. This is an experience that requires a serious time investment in a variety of disciplines.
These would include but not limited to:
- Hanna Barbara Animation
- Marvel Comics
- The Occult
- Adventure Novels
- David Bowie (There’s a reference to Him or His music in every episode)
- Counter-Culture Revolutionaries
This is a show that intellectually digs where other’s scratch. And this is where it may lose you. Unlike other adult swim offerings, this one will practically challenge you to watch or turn the channel. It requires an education. And I am not saying that to be rude or elitist. You will either get the jokes, have access to an extremely pasty and lonely ex-Jeopardy champion who can fill you in on them (Ken Jennings I am looking at you) or be totally stumped as to why this show is funny.
This heavy-handed comedy to be sure, but like a Dennis Miller concert, the creators will throw the audience a bone every once in a while. They do this with a seemingly simple plot device that unwinds itself into a boa constrictor that forces viewers to re-examine what they thought they knew.
Because of this, it requires a participation I have yet to see in other programs. And this is what I like about the show. It doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator in the food chain. It doesn’t pander to yahoos. To be fair, it doesn’t care that some of its choices will result in them losing some of their potential audience. It challenges, engages and ultimately abandons those not worthy to achieve the greater call.
To that I say good riddance! The broadcast networks have plenty of swill for the bovine masses to consume. Let the natural order weed them out and leave those left with an inside joke to slam mediocrity.
A Synopsis For Those Who Appreciate Prose
Now in it’s third season on Adult Swim, watching The Venture Bros. is like picking the bones clean of all your childhood memories, raping them and then setting fire to the carcass as you struggle to understand the depth of the hilarity laid before you. And afterward, as the smoke still stings your bloodshot eyes you are left only to wonder what there is still left to lampoon, what other pop culture sacrifices these godless men will kill...week after glorious week.
A Synopsis For Those Who Don’t Appreciate Prose
After the passing of the great scientist, inventor, philanthropist Dr. Jonas Venture, the family business now falls to his son Rusty or Dr. Thadeus S. Venture. With the help of his sons Hank and Dean, Team Venture takes on extraordinary adventures and foes alike.
Dr. Venture - James Urbaniak Hank Venture - Christopher McCulloch Dean Venture - Michael Sinterniklaas Brock Samson - Patrick Warburton (High-Five!)
Take one part Johnny Quest and then mix in The Hardy Boys, Doctor Strange, Doc Savage and a running tribute to the musical legend of David Bowie.
You can expect to see things like a transvestite modeled after Hunter S Thompson, retired Scooby Doo villains and parodies of the Legion of Doom, referred to as the Guild of Calamitous Intent.
If you have a devil worshiping Occult fanatic who can fill you in on the mystical details, that would be ideal. Email me your questions and I can forward them to my contact in the underworld.
Airs Next: Cartoon Network at Saturday 11:30 PM (30 min.)