Tag: Rusty Venture

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “Operation: P.R.O.M.”

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “Operation: P.R.O.M.”

TV & Radio
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
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: “Everybody Comes to Hank’s”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Everybody Comes to Hank’s”

TV & Radio
When I first discovered the secret of Hank and Dean Venture - that they're merely the latest in a series of clones whipped up by their father - I was pissed.  Even within the kooky world of the Ventureverse, where henchmen die left and right, it seemed to devalue their value as people.  It made for some good sight gags (particularly the death montage in "Powerless in the Face of Death"), but felt empty otherwise.  I posted as much on Jackson Publick's blog, and he didn't take too kindly to the criticism. But I think what I objected to in truth was that having the boys as clones gave Jackson and Doc a sort-of Venture Plot Etch-A-Sketch, where they could simply hit Reset and still get to off them in increasingly gruesome ways. So when they removed that crutch at the beginning of this seas
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: “Self-Medication” (S04E06)

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “Self-Medication” (S04E06)

TV & Radio
I'm a week behind on recapping the latest VB installment, but since last night's episode was a repeat of the season premiere it's all good.  So without any further preamble, let's get into it. The formula for "Self-Medication" is vintage Venture - some intense action (particularly during the cold open), and some further exploration of the larger theme of failure that permeates the entire VB universe.  And by the time we're done, some major characters find themselves at a crossroads. First up is good ol' Doc, who nearly meets a gruesome end at the hands of a newly emboldened and energized Monarch (how can you not love a device called a 'scarionette'??).  Rusty is literally saved by the bell, when a fortunately timed therapy appointment triggers a new Guild clause (the Mental Healt
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: “Perchance to Dean” (S04E03)

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “Perchance to Dean” (S04E03)

TV & Radio
Stupid real life is really putting a crimp in my ability to review this season of The Venture Bros.  As a result, you may have noticed that last week's episode - "Handsome Ransom" - was skipped.  I'll get around to it at some point, but suffice it to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit.  And now on to newer business. I don't know about you, but Season 4 of VB is clicking in a way that Season 3 seldom did.  Maybe it's the more character-driven storylines, but it doesn't feel as if Jackson and Doc are trying so hard this year.  "Perchance to Dean" is a perfect example.  It's got the feel of an early episode, but with the comedic and storytelling sophistication of more recent efforts.  It really is a neat hybrid, just like Dean's creepy, Phantom of the Opera-esque clone brother. We ge
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…)