I know from reading Jackson Publick's LiveJournal that producing The Venture Bros. this season has been an arduous task. He, Doc Hammer, and the rest of the AstroBase crew have been working on season 4 since at least summer 2008, and even at that there was a lengthy break in the middle and a shorter break before the season finale. While I give the guys all the credit in the world for busting their ass to produce one of my favorite shows, I can't help but wonder when burnout will start to set in. There's already talk in fan circles that "Operation: P.R.O.M." could just as easily be a series finale as a season finale. But speculation over the fate of the show can wait for another day. Let's first take a look back at the first-ever one-hour Venture Bros. episode and try to figure out w
One of the ways you can gauge the strength of a show's is not how well they produce original plots and storylines, but how they rework old tropes into an entertaining package. It's sort of like how Led Zeppelin made the blues into something you didn't have to force yourself to enjoy. The Venture Brothers did much the same in its first season by repackaging a litany of hackneyed cartoon plots from the '60s and '70s into a wholly fresh enterprise. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer migrated away from that more obtuse approach as the series progressed, preferring instead to develop a more intricate, original mythology. Every once in awhile, however, Doc and Jackson kick it old school and produce a self-contained story that feels more like a fun one-off than a very important episode. "A
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.
I came to an important realization while watching last night's episode of The Venture Bros. - of all the characters in the Ventureverse, the pair of Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy is my least favorite. So read my take on this episode with that in mind. As with the premiere episode of the season, "The Invisible Hand of Fate" is devoted to flashbacks intended to provide insight into some characters (in this case, the aforementioned Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy). We learn that the pair were in cahoots on a quiz show (Quizboys, which White hosted) in a setup obviously recalling the 1950s game show scandals. When Billy's scam is uncovered, the pair are exiled and take to the underground quiz circuit to raise money for a trip to Venture Industries (where they hope to gain e...
Ahhhhhhhhhh, that's better. After months and months of waiting, Season 3 of The Venture Bros. is finally upon us. And true to form, the season opener, "Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny," was full of surprises (so if you don't want to know them, stop reading now). The first surprise is that no one with the surname Venture appears for more than about 10 seconds in this episode, and even then they have no dialogue. Rather, this was all about the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend (who will apparently not be changing her name to Dr. Wife despite her recent marriage to the Monarch). The story of their odd courtship is told through a series of flashbacks, with the framing device being another Monarch trial - this time held by the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Second surprise -- turns out th