Monday, May 25
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Tag: Dr. Girlfriend

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Assisted Suicide”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Assisted Suicide”

TV & Radio
For those who follow these episode recaps, apologies for missing last week's of "Bright Lights, Dean's City".  Real life got in the way for the first few days and by the time it got to Wednesday it seemed a bit pointless to write a recap.  But real quickly - it was probably a B-, if for no other reason than it felt like the lesser companion to "Everybody Comes to Hank's".  It was goofy but I think I'm done with the whole Phantom Limb/Prof. Incredible duo for a bit. So on to "Assisted Suicide", in which Dr. Orpheus returns and the show hits a high mark.  As self-contained episodes go, this was one of the best over the past few years.  The dialogue was crisp and funny, and there was just enough emotional depth to make it more than fluff.  And did I mention Dr. Orpheus?  Because he never g
Venture Bros. wrapup: “Pomp and Circuitry”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Pomp and Circuitry”

TV & Radio
For the second episode of The Venture Bros.: Season 4.5, the action (and the comedy to a lesser extent) gets dialed back in favor of some really solid character development.  It appears to breeze by but on closer examination a lot took place.  Firstly, the boys are finally done with their bed-based education (via the "Nerd Pods") and are graduates.  Of what, exactly, we're not sure, as we see when Billy Quizboy attempt to play the role of guidance counselor. To nobody's surprise, everyone but Rusty can see that Hank and Dean are ill-equipped to take on the real world.  But really, does that make them any different than the rest of the cast?  Have any of these people ever held down a legitimate job?  Super scientist doesn't count, unless you really are one and not just saying it.
Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider”

TV & Radio
So how do I go about getting me one of those Statutory Ape t-shirts? Or for that matter, an Innerspace DVD? Oh hey, welcome back Venture Bros.!  It's been far too long. Anyway, we are finally ready to resume the fourth season, and "The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider" does it in classic style.  No heavy myth exploration, no huge character growth, just lots of great dialogue and action.  And that's a great way to dive back into the show. So about the title - it's an homage to a novel called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about a man who awakes from a coma unable to communicate other than by blinking his left eye.  That's pretty much how we find ol' Rusty at the beginning of the episode, except that he's in Sgt. Hatred's jeep and is being trailed by the flying cocoon (pilo
Venture Bros. wrapup: “Return to Malice”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Return to Malice”

TV & Radio
OK, so not every episode can be a stone classic.  I said last week that I like the more self-contained Venture Bros. episodes and I stick by that.  But this one felt a little disjointed until the last few minutes.  Maybe it's Doc Hammer's approach to the source material.  Don't get me wrong though, there were plenty of good moments and laughs. Maybe part of the problem is that with three separate storylines to focus on (Sgt. Hatred and Rusty trying to save the boys, the boys contending with a grief-stricken Henchman 21, and the Monarch in desperate need of some Benadryl), there was simply too much ground to cover.  I'm not sure what I would've cut, but I think the Hatred/Rusty bit felt the most flat.  After earning some redemption in my eyes over the course of the season, Sgt. Hatred wa
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: “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: “Home Is Where the Hate Is” (S03E04)

TV & Radio
As depressing as it is to contemplate, we're now just about one-third of the way through season 3 of The Venture Bros. I'll let that sink in for a moment before diving into the newest episode, "Home Is Where the Hate Is." This week picks up the thread of the season premiere, as we see how the Monarch is adjusting both to married life and life without Dr. Venture as his arch-nemesis   He and his new bride, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, are the newest residents of Malice, a housing development for supervillains.  But first the Monarch undertakes some housecleaning, which is to say he burns anything that reminds him of his wife's relationship with Phantom Limb. But it turns out that what's really bothering the Monarch isn't Phantom Limb; it's his new post-Venture life.  Depressed, he declin