Tag: animation

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel”

TV & Radio
So hey, I'm a little late on this review.  I know that seems inexcusable since it is the season premiere, but my damn DVR didn't record this when it was supposed to.  And if it's not on my DVR, it doesn't exist.  But enough of that...VENTURE BROS. IS BACK!!%$#! I think the question I asked as season 3 ended  - in what direction do Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer want to take this show? - has been answered, at least on the basis of "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel".  They're going to get even deeper into the show's characters, while at the same time strengthening their geek cred.   And we're also going to get plenty of laughs.  So we got that going for us, which is nice. (more…)
Venture Bros. season 4 trailer?  Oh yes!

Venture Bros. season 4 trailer? Oh yes!

TV & Radio
The trailer for the upcoming season of The Venture Bros, which was shown at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, is up on the Adult Swim website.  But I'll save you the trouble and just post it here. Not sure how much more of Sgt. Hatred I can take, but other than that this is pure win.  J.G. Thirwell's music continues to be a vital part of the Venture experience, and the animation is at least as good as last season's.  I caught a nice Raiders of the Lost Ark reference, and had to look up LARP.  Oh and I laughed a bunch of times. Yeah, this is shaping up to be a kickass season.
Tube talk: 2008-09 TV season report card

Tube talk: 2008-09 TV season report card

TV & Radio
Television.  Love it or hate it, it sure beats reading or taking out the garbage.  I don't post all that frequently about TV on this site, but man do I spend a truckload of time watching it.  So here's a breakdown of the shows I watched over this past television season, and what I thought of them.  Overall it was a pretty good year, and the spectre of the writers' strike is already a distant memory. American Dad! - I can only guess that more of Seth MacFarlane's attention has been directed towards this show than Family Guy, which is the reason it has consistently been the funnier of the two.  Or maybe he isn't overseeing it, and that's why it's funnier.  Either way, this season saw a drop in quality from the previous few but was still pretty good.  Any bit with a Roger/Steve pairing was
Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)”

TV & Radio
I think I'm gonna need some more time to process the season 3 finale of The Venture Bros., but for right now I can't help but feel a bit let down. I think that's because Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer haven't yet figured out what they really want their show to be.  Do they want it to be an homage/parody of the action/adventure genre, or do they want to fully invest in their own universe and mythology? All signs pointed to the latter as season 2 progressed, and that was reinforced this season with so many plot- and backstory-laden episodes.  The laugh-out-loud moments decreased in general this year, but the payoff was ostensibly a series of richer stories and an opportunity to appreciate the show with more than ironic detachment. (more…)
Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)”

TV & Radio
No more flashbacks, no more character sketching, and no more filling in questionably important bits of history - the season finale of The Venture Bros. is all about moving forward.  All the buildup and all the backstory is done, so I hope you were paying attention. Actually, if you think about it almost all of this season's back end has really been the finale, since most of the episodes have picked up right where previous ones left off.  So in that sense, everything from "Tears of a Sea Cow" forward has been part of one big story arc. (One caveat before we move forward: the first few minutes of this week's episode were cut for the television broadcast.  If you want to see the entire episode uncut, you can watch it on adultswim.com.) In the cold open, things look bleak for the
Venture Bros. wrapup: “ORB”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “ORB”

TV & Radio
Setup episodes can be very tricky to pull off.  They've got to provide enough information to set the stage for what is to come, and yet be entertaining in and of themselves.  Too much information and the story becomes cluttered, and not very fun to watch.  But make things too subtle, and the episode can seem like a one-off at best, a throwaway at worst.  So how does "ORB", an obvious setup episode, fare? Pretty well, thankfully.   The mystery kicks off in the cold open, as the too-smart-for-his-own-good Billy Quizboy pulls a Beautiful Mind and unravels a hidden message in his copies of the old Rusty Venture cartoon.  It's a set of coordinates leading to the Venture Compound, in what turns out to be Brock's herb garden.  When Brock refuses to help dig, it's up to Hank to do the work
Venture Bros. Wrapup: “The Lepidopterists” (S03E10)

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “The Lepidopterists” (S03E10)

TV & Radio
At some point before season four of The Venture Bros. gets underway, I'm going to run a countdown of the top 10 episodes from the first three.  And right now I can't think of any reason why "The Lepidopterists" won't be on that list.  With a few exceptions, I've been thoroughly entertained by all of this season's episodes, but this one had me laughing out loud as much as when I discovered the show sometime around the beginning of season one.  And that's definitely saying something. To start, the cold open here is one of the funniest of any show I've ever seen.  We join the action right where "Tears of a Sea Cow" left off - with the Monarch's flying cocoon hurtling toward Spider-Skull Island and a showdown with Dr. Jonas Venture, Jr.  JJ doesn't quite get what's going on ("not sure w
Venture Bros. wrapup: “Tears of a Sea Cow”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Tears of a Sea Cow”

TV & Radio
Ever been on a blind date that you knew was a disaster right from the start, yet you felt obligated to see it through to the bitter end?  Such seems to be the recurring fate of the Monarch, forced to endure a supremely lame archenemy pairing at the beginning of "Tears of a Sea Cow" (working title "Murder O'Clock").  But soon the misery is over, and he turns his attention back to his true hate...Dr. Venture. After quickly (and permanently) dispatching his newest and lamest foe, Dr. Dugong, a frustrated and bored Monarch can't restrain himself any longer - with Doc Venture away showing his Vacuum Boom-Broom, he gives in to his true feelings and takes #21 and #24 out to f&*@ up an empty Venture compound.  The Monarch and #21 take a hilarious slide down to the Monarchmobile (#24 wisely
Venture Bros. wrapup: “What Goes Down, Must Come Up”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “What Goes Down, Must Come Up”

TV & Radio
Well that was...f&@*ed up.  It seems poor Doc Venture is once again left to clean up one of his father's messes.  And speaking of Jonas Venture, the shine sure has come off his apple this season, eh? The action this week returns to Venture Industries - deep below Venture Industries, in fact (just how friggin' big is this place anyway?).  Rusty and Brock drop through the floor of the compound and find themselves trapped in different areas of what's revealed to be a giant nuclear fallout shelter.  While Brock ends up chatting with a miniaturized cohort of the late Dr. Venture (the cleverly named Dr. Paul Entmann), Rusty fares considerably less well. It turns out the shelter is still inhabited, and has been since a 1978 accident forced its closure.  Well, maybe accident is stret