For those who didn't hear, The Venture Bros. started either its fifth season or the second half of its fourth season on Sept. 12. Considering that the show hasn't been broadcast since December 2009, this is a significant thing.
In the event you've only just discovered the program, here's a quick run-down of some of the background and characters in this fun and sophisticated universe created by Jackson Publick.
The central four main characters are Dr. Rusty Venture, his sons Dean and Hank and their bodyguard Brock Samson (who was replaced in the most recent season by Sargeant Hatred, although Brock still features prevalently in the series).
It's really a different kind of show, the type of show that has to be on cable, on a channel like HBO (or Comedy Central). You certainly can't picture it on CBS, in a comedy block between 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Gary Unmarried.' I love how an animated Gervais looks like Fred Flintstone's brother.
The appropriately named Bif Bang Pow!, a collectibles manufacturer, announced today a deal with Cartoon Network to make a new line of toys based on the Adult Swim animated comedy. Fans can look for a collection of action figures, bobble heads, vehicle models and other goodies.
This is a great sign for a show that deserves a lot more attention than it gets. As well-written as The Simpsons or South Park, Venture Brothers shows off spot-on parody and multi-layered jokes in every episode.
But, as the show ramps up the action content and significantly sweetens its visuals, its increased intensity might be driving away some younger viewers.
As The Clone Wars moves through its second season, the war is growing -- both in scope and violence. Viewers are seeing more dead Clonetroopers, more crashed vehicles and more beloved characters in deadly jeopardy.
Its ratings continue to cruise in hyperspace (especially for males), but I wonder if the darker tones of season two could drive younger kids and their parents away from the show.
(S04E03) I swear to you, dear reader, that I do my best to stay somewhat objective when reviewing The Venture Bros. It's tough, though, when the writers keep knocking them out of the park like this. We're only a few episodes in, but I'm already enjoying things more than I did with season three, and it's not just because this episode had mind-blowing prog rock and UPS guys with the Shining.
Admittedly, there isn't a ton of competition as action shows are few and far between on TV these days. They're expensive to produce in live action, so reality TV, detective shows and "chick-flick" dramas drive network schedules. Since the Star Wars universe exists only in the imaginations of George Lucas and his team encamped north of the Golden Gate bridge, The Clone Wars has more room to play affordably.
The second season of The Clone Wars launches this Friday on Cartoon Network. To build some force behind the premiere, LucasFilm Animation hosted a press event at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. Munching on Wookie-Cookies (as all of the catering was Star-themed) and rubbing elbows with costumed Clone Troopers and bounty hunters, show creators and cast members mingled with reporters in an enthusiastic, nerd-friendly atmosphere.
While I don't think I"ll be getting my answer anytime soon (perhaps the zombies will simply get locked in the Disney vault), some animator decided to redo the introductions to the 1960's Marvel Comics television cartoons in the zombie style. The original cartoons were essentially stop-motion comics of the original Lee/Kirby works. It's rather impressive how accurately the animator duplicates and parodies the original intros.
These videos can either be taken with humor or disgust as Zombie Captain America decapitates several soldiers and the heads of Norse Gods are thrown around. I leave it to you to judge for yourself. The videos are after the jump.
[via Topless Robot]
This news has already been floating around for a while, thanks to sites like the Mantis-Eye Experiment, but things have been confirmed by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer during their panel at DragonCon. Some footage of this has finally been released by AdultSwim.com, so you can stop crawling around YouTube for people's crappy cell phone recordings.
The two new original comedy animated series include Regular Show and the intriguingly entitled Horrorbots. The former was developed by the network's sort of "animator in training" developmental system, Cartoonstitute.
Regular Show is created by J. G. Quintel and was developed as a short for the development program. In each episode, "two bored groundskeepers, Mordecai (a six-foot-tall blue jay) and Rigby (a hyperactive raccoon) are best friends who spend their days trying to entertain themselves by any means necessary, much to the displeasure of Benson (their boss, who is a gumball machine) and to the delight of Pops (an older, lollipop-headed gentleman)."
My hopes are pretty low, given that the production credits of the team involved (Alex Zamm and David Goodman) include Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board, Inspector Gadget 2 and Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Goodman is also a writer/producer of Family Guy.
Is it possible to create kid-friendly fare based on cartoons of my childhood that is also pleasing to adults? When I think of this genre, I can only come up with the awful Scooby Doo movies and Alvin and the Chipmunks (and despite sucking hard, both movies are either getting or have had sequels).
Based on the people involved, the movie will likely be juvenile and formulaic. I look forward to it with the same glee I look forward to train wrecks.
We feared it couldn't be done, but it's going to happen! I can hear sour-faced now-20-somethings celebrating now. Yes, they're quiet, but they're definitely excited. Keep it cool, guys, keep it cool.
Actually, there's a lot of Trek stuff that's been brought to my attention floating around the Interwebs in anticipation of the Star Trek movie opening this coming Friday. There is this beauty of William Shatner serenading George Lucas. Or this lovely Christmas ornament. Or this great article about Shatner being the one, true Kirk.
I have my trepidations about recasting these television icons. In the new cast, as far as I know, neither of the actors who play Kirk or Spock are Jewish. Chris Pine isn't even Canadian, for Spock's sake.
Despite all this, I'm still seeing the movie opening weekend. In the meantime, Trek Yourself is after the jump.
Granted, Thor isn't one of Marvel's top tier, like Spider-Man or the X-Men, but he's easily in the second tier. Given Marvel's current strategy of a shared universe of movies leading to The Avengers movie, the character will only get more popular over time.
To me, the classic Marvel cartoon remains the Spider-Man one from the 60's, but Marvel had a bunch of other cartoons in the 60's of the original Avengers characters, including Thor, based on the Kirby comics of the time. They each had some memorable, albeit brief, opening jingles. After the jump, I've included the one for Thor. Sing it! "Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard..."
(S03E11) We haven't seen the entire Venture family really buckle down and do some hardcore adventuring since last season's "Twenty Years to Midnight". This was more of a Da Vinci Code-esque adventure though, in the sense that it also involved mysterious paintings, secret codes, and weird albinos. This was one of the best episodes of the season, finally setting us on the right path to understanding many of the strange revelations from the flashbacks. Plus, it has set the perfect tone for our inevitably epic two-part season finale, starting next week.
Four years ago, it looked like this series was a go, but somehow, it just went. Our friend Jane Espenson penned some of the scripts, and tells us she's in if the project ever takes off again. And rumors abound that the Buffy animated series may just be revived.
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