the venture brothers
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).
Frankly, it's overdue. Action figures are usually reserved for kid's or cult movies and television shows, and Team Venture is definitely the later. In fact, other than the DVDs and a set of exclusive mail-order t-shirts, there really hasn't been that much supplementary merchandise for the show (and the midnight timeslot of the latest season doesn't help promotional matters).
One popular rumor regarding the merchandising delay is negotiations between Adult Swim and Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick and company over who gets what share of the loot. One can only hope that, if true, that issue has been resolved.
Admit it, you'll only be buying the figures in order to sleep with your very own Doctor Girlfriend. Or maybe that's just me.
(S04E07) Wow. And wow again. Not only did we actually get closure on a few issues that had the potential to drag on forever (Archie and Betty/Veronica style), but we got one the best episodes of the season. I carefully considered whether my love for the Order of the Triad was making me a bit biased, but I honestly think this episode was a perfect example of advancing characters without sacrificing the comedy that made us fall in love with The Venture Bros. in the first place.
Also, they introduced the hottest VB lady yet, and I dare anyone to try and convince me otherwise.
Community: I've liked this show since the pilot and I'm thrilled to see it taking off. In the beginning, I enjoyed its snappy dialogue and overall attitude, but feared that it wouldn't find a direction until NBC got impatient and chopped it from the schedule.
(S04E05) This episode was certainly a surprise in many respects. It was one of the funnier installments of the season so far. It also brought back a lot of old themes and cleared up some incomplete storylines that had started to gather dust. On one hand, I'm glad that those have been resolved, because most of them were revealed to be kind of irrelevant anyway, but I also felt as though it was rushed, like, five loose ends from old major arcs had to be hastily tied up in twenty-some minutes. Well, it's better than continuing to string us along, right?
(S04E04) It's enough to make you stop believing when tears come fast and furious, in a town called Malice. Yeah. I totally just made that up. Right now. Free words of wisdom, from me to you.
This episode wasn't spectacular for the purposes of laughing-out-loud. It was funny in a few moments, yes, but I spent most of the twenty-some minutes resting my chin on my fist, brow furrowed with concern. All the characters are going through some heavy stuff right now, and that inner turmoil, dealing with loss and identity and love, came bubbling to the surface in this episode. Doing so, again, isn't much of a gut-buster, but it makes for beautiful character development. Can you tell I have faith in this show? Maybe a little too much.
Aside from the consensus on Twitter and elsewhere that the adventure/comic book parody series (think 'Jonny Quest' on acid) is up to its usual standards of inventive ridiculousness and nerd-culture savvy, there's also a tangle of new plot and character complications to keep fans buzzing until next Sunday's episode. Here's a crib sheet to help you catch up ...
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 intro goes immediately into silliness, noting various significances of the number four, most of which are completely ludicrous. In the preview, Hank is sporting a different haircut, and I have no idea what's happening with Dean. He seems to be bonding with his father, among other strange misfortunes.
Brock is only in a quick clip with a shaven head without a clue as to what's happened to him since he quit his bodyguard position. The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend only appear in a brief segment, as well. It's weird to see 21 without his henchman outfit.
It's a source of perpetual heartbreak for me, knowing that the many people I convert with my DVDs are just a mere drop in the bucket. Even worse, despite the insane number of fans that flood convention floors to hear Hammer and Publick talk, other [adult swim] celebrities of arguably less awesome programming get the mainstream love. Just check out this great LA Weekly interview (and photoshoot, ladies) with Hammer and Publick to remind yourself why these guys are so marvelous.
Summer Heights High: Including this Australian show from 2007 is only kind of, sort of cheating because it premiered in America (HBO) this year. Ha! Loophole! Anyway, this show was a great discovery and it's worth a look if you're into mockumentaries. Chris Lilley's performance(s) were hilarious and I am not ashamed to admit I still get "Naughty Girl" stuck in my head every once in a while.
(S03E13) It feels like the third season started only yesterday, but it's over, kids. Even though it didn't end with a massive cliff-hanger like in previous seasons, it certainly went out with a bang. Because the lovely, creative people that make this wonderful show can feel our pain in waiting, Season Four is already in production and actors will be recording next month. Calm yourselves. If you're still looking for goodness to get your fix, check out our VB-related posts.
The best part is his Patrick Warburton impression, which was brief but sounded pretty spot-on. Apparently, all it takes to do a decent Brock voice is to drop your tone down, groan with frustration and say, "Ahh, boys..." Sinterniklaas also shares a story about one of his biggest fans' Dean tattoo, which is sweet and further enforces that the folks on Venture Bros. are super wonderful to their fans. Click after the jump and check it out.
(S03E12) Firstly, a bit of news. Both Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, as opposed to a solo Doc, will be attending this year's Dragon*Con in Georgia, so go see them if you can. Secondly, the guys have done a video commentary for "ORB" and you can watch it on Adult Swim's website. Not as many off-topic ramblings that we know and love in this one, so if you miss irrelevance and mimed nunchuck skills, revisit the old "The Buddy System" commentary. And last but not least... This week's episode premiered on the Adult Swim Fix as usual, but this time there's actually bonus footage that was not included in the televised version. It's pretty self-contained, but definitely worth a watch. I've embedded it here, to save you that exhausting trip across teh internetz.
(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.
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