Happy Wednesday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! It’s the middle of the week, which means its time for your weekly dose of Pop Culture Wednesday! This is the place where we appreciate and critique any and everything in the vast world of popular culture. Today’s topic is a show that I absolutely love and I cannot wait for it’s season six premier in February. I am referring to Adult Swim’s longest running series, the Venture Bros.
The Venture Bros. is a peculiar, yet still amazing, television program. The show premiered in 2003 and it’s sixth season will be airing in February of this year. Yeah, the show’s averaging one season less than every two years. However, rather than have the seasons come out quickly, the writers of the show, Jackson Publick, James Urbraniak, and Ben Edlund, have instead elected to make essentially each episode of each season a pointiest and hilarious twenty odd minute endeavor. The show’s other unusual quality is that it has perhaps evolved more over its run than any other television series. The Venture Bros. originally started as a work of parody and openly mocked many of the stereotypes and clichés found in comic books and children’s cartoons of the seventies and eighties. Today though, the show follows its own extremely elaborate narrative in addition to including making references to and taking shots at today’s ever-growing geek culture.
As the show’s title suggests, the “main characters” of The Venture Bros. are Hank and Dean Venture. They are two naïve fraternal twins who go on adventures with their scientist father, Dr. Thaddeus Venture, their father’s bodyguard, Brock Sampson, and their robot companion, H.E.L.P.eR. Already the parallels to cartoons like Johnny Quest are becoming prevalent. However, rather than having the events of this series take place in a fictional, consequence free world, it takes place in a fairly grounded reality and events and characters are affected accordingly. Dr. Venture, for example, was a boy adventurer during his childhood, similar to Hank and Dean, and it scared him for life. Being put in increasingly dangerous situations every week caused him to develop a very skewed and cynical view of the world and a deep rooted inferiority complex to his scientist father. Perhaps the best, and most hilarious, instance of the show having character’s face real world consequences is when the Venture family’s nemesis, The Monarch, is sent to prison for his many crimes and takes part in the prison’s “Scared Straight” program to reduce his sentence.
While the show was initially very episodic, with the events of one episode barely having any impact on subsequent ones, the program has grown exponentially to having one of the most complex and compelling plots in all of television. It manages this without betraying its initial mindset of parody and utilization of the absurd. Throughout many of the shows long running storylines are characters like: a shape shifting David Bowie, a giant lawyer, a demonic Mary Poppins version of Henery Kissinger, a somewhat inept necromancer, and an incredibly violent Capt. America parody. This show is able to take even the craziest idea and expertly utilize it for comedic or dramatic effect.
One of my favorite aspects of the show, with all of it’s many strong points in mind, is its clear and powerful character growth. The Venture Bros. is a series with many great characters, with some being extremely relatable and others being so high concept that they are almost instantly entertaining. The Venture Bors. masterfully makes many of these cartoon characters grow and evolve in ways that feel entirely human and genuine. Watching a character grow into a more complete person, only makes me love that character even more and relate more deeply to their struggles and hardships. The character of Dean Venture embodies all of this perfectly. Here are some clips and images of him beginning to become more of a fully formed person, one of his character’s major turning points, and where he is currently in the series.
Is Dean’s character done growing yet? No, of course not. None of the characters in The Venture Bros. are, and that’s what’s so great. The show has proven that literally anything and everything can happen to any of these characters and that they can change and gown into a better or worse version of themselves in response. I have no idea what is going to happen when season six premiers next month, but I am eagerly awaiting to go on the zany, colorful, bizarre, nihilistic, and failure filled ride. I hope all of you reading this will join me.
Well, there you have it. Go watch The Venture Bros.!!!! Seriously, I have not met a person yet who has not liked it. Speaking of likes, give this post one, please! If you have any questions about The Venture Bros. feel free to ask it in the comments section and I would be happy to get back to you. If you want to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe to it in the upper right tab by using your email. Alternatively, you can stay informed by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you have an awesome rest of the week and encourage you to return here on Saturday for the next installment of Game Grind.