The Venture Bros. (2003– )
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The jazzy music and voices are also top-notch. Unlike many other cartoons, the voices are funny without getting unbearably grating. Speaking of which, when I first saw this, Brock Samson sounded really familiar... turns out he's none other than Patrick Wharburton (aka David Puddy). They could not have picked a better actor for the part.
If you like dark humor, satire, and overall zaniness, it doesn't get better than this.
Venture Bros. However stands apart from the rest and provides truly intelligent, well thought out, over-the-top and hilarious entertainment. The show is a perfect balance between tasteless humor and really clever subtleties. The homage/lambasting of early adventure animation/comics is spot on. The characters are full of depth and they're engaging. Brock Samson could pwn Chuck Norris any day of the week. What more could one want?
When I first saw this show I thought it was one of the more ******* up shows I'd ever seen. I was surprised just how graphic it was with particularly disturbing images(guy getting his eyes gouged out, watching a henchman struggle with his last breaths as he's strangled to death by Brock, poll vaulting off henchman's jugular...etc.)
I was not turned off though because aside from the surprising imagery, the jokes and references were all spot-on. I was laughing the whole way through and intrigued around every corner.
Truly, my only real gripe with the show is that it has a hard time taking itself seriously and often resorts to fairly flippant endings and/or resolutions that sometimes I feel aren't necessary. I think the show could support itself just fine with a persistent story arc, which I think we are starting to see more of in the new season anyway, so that's good.
And again, Brock Samson, there could hardly be a better cartoon character.
Check out this show, it's well worth it. I hope that it continues for a long time.
User Rating: 9/10
BOTTOM LINE: GO TEAM VENTURE!
Forty years and two very cynical, jaundiced eyes later, we now have The Venture Bros., which liberally and hilariously skewers the, shall we say, irrational exuberance of the times. The most obvious target is Jonny Quest, but little from the period escapes the series writers' acerbic wit.
Son of Jonas Venture, Dr. Venture is sort of how you might expect Jonny Quest to have grown up -- forever living in the shadow of his father's greatness, leaving him insecure, sarcastic, and in a semi-permanent state of midlife crisis. Alas, Dr. Venture's own brilliance was not passed on to his boys, Hank and Dean Venture, who are in all major respects self-absorbed, easily distracted, and not too swift. In other words, normal adolescent boys. They are watched over by their hired bodyguard, Brock Samson, a chain-smoking seen-it-all paramilitary type from the Office of Secret Intelligence, whose extraordinary competence and calm under pressure is exceeded only by his -- as another poster put it -- relentless brutality.
The Venture Bros. is full of the obvious jokes (dim-witted villains surrounded by even dimmer-witted henchmen), but it also makes funny observations about the incongruity of its inspirational sources.
Example: Like Dr. Benton Quest, Dr. Venture is a super-scientist, making advanced gadgetry as easily as we might make a TV dinner. But what do you do when your lab becomes crammed with unwanted or no-longer-interesting inventions? Yup. Hold a yard sale. Try not to be surprised when all your arch-nemeses show up.
Another example: In episode three, we are asked to cast our minds back to the 1970's series The Six Million Dollar Man and wonder: What were Steve Austin and Sasquatch *really* doing chasing each other through the woods?
The music in Venture Bros. is also magnificent -- not just the signature tune, which takes its roots from the brassy modern jazz of the period, but also the background music throughout the episode. The music's sheer bombast is a perfect complement for the overblown, exaggerated characters, especially the villains.
Though a bit uneven in its execution -- it might actually benefit from being shorter -- there's plenty of funny stuff here to keep modern cynics laughing out loud.
User Rating 10/10
The show has all the elements of a Jonny Quest episode, but with a humorous (and sometimes raunchy) twist. I sure hope this series makes it out on DVD sometime soon.
When I was vacationing in America, I had the chance of seeing The Venture Bros. on Adult Swim. After watching only one episode I already decided to buy the DVD. I've been in love with the series ever since.
The humor is everywhere. It's in the dialogue, it's in the story, it's in the characters. The show contains many and many parodies of movies, comics and other cartoons. Sometimes there are even straight rips. And yet, The Venture Bros. cartoon manages to stay unique and original.
I recommend this to everyone.
I was a little concerned about how they would top Season 1, because that set the bar extraordinarily high. I was not disappointed as Season 2 was AWESOME.
Brock: Hank, no! It's suicide!
Hank: Well then I'll see you in Heck!
Thank you, Mr. Publick and Mr. Hammer.
Hank and Dean, in their naivety, work perfectly as counterparts to the bodyguard, Brock Samson, and middle-aged, scientist father, Dr. Rusty Venture, who constantly have to look after the boys well being even though they have extra "copies" of them. Though, in my opinion, the real driving mechanism of the series has to be The Monarch, at least from a comedic perspective, especially in episodes involving the love triangle with Dr. Girlfriend and Phantom Limb. In the end, we have a gaggle of characters that seem as though they were created by a bored junior high student during a free period who are all woven into a parody of Johnny Quest that is surprisingly enjoyable and better than most of the Adult Swim lineup.
At first glance, I admit I didn't initially understand a lot of this series; but let's face it, how can anyone understand a series at first- glance? You have to watch further... which is what I did.
The storyline is great, the characters are well put together and (aw hell, I better just say it or it'll back up on me)... Brock Sampson kicks major ass! Time has taken its toll on Adult Swim, but this definitely stands the proverbial test of time.
One more thing: GO TEAM VENTURE!
What's great is probably how a lot of these parody shows would make the villains more interesting than the good guys. That's not always a bad thing, but the awesome thing here is that the good guys are just as funny and entertaining as the villains. It's just great seeing them all play off of each other given how different their personalities are. It's dynamics like these that make for a great cast of characters. As one of the greatest adult cartoons ever made, it's also great that it doesn't go too far with its obscenity or violence.
Some adult cartoons like modern "Family Guy" just try to disgust their audience to show how edgy they are. True, we get into some pretty dark territory in this show every now and then, but it never really goes too far. It portrays the characters realistically and never has them try to gross out the viewers. We really do see character development and more of a story go on. Every character has their own quirks that it's hard for me to pick a favorite one. Maybe Henchman 21? He went through great character development. While not as good as "Rick And Morty" still awesome. ****
It's amazing how every season is very different, but still true to the heart of the show.
Everybody should listen to the commentary tracks of the DVD's. They're very unconventional, but very interesting. They never seem to directly talk about The Venture Bros, but if you listen carefully they tell you an enormous amount about the show. Far more than in other tv show commentaries that directly cover their subjects.
Doc and Publick might jerk us fans around quite a lot. But I love these characters, they do grow in huge ways, and at the end of the day, "I'll come running, just to do it again."
Venture Bros. relies on quick jabs to 60-70's cartoons like Jonny Quest, blended with neon punk status of the 80's, a fine mist of the 90's smothered with present day appeal of adventure and/or sci-fi comic books, fads, movies, and TV, and then pasted on with futuristic leaps of almost surreal mechanisms of failure. Lots of failure, but in a very good way.
The pokes and prods are endless. Sean Connery. Doc Savage. Clones. The Legion of Doom. Robots. The pot-head/lesbian/abusive version of Scooby-Doo. More Clones. Blacula. Gay Monks. Sexy Russian Spies. Doctor Strange. Charismatic bad guys. Self-serving over pompous good guys. David Bowie. More 'effin clones.
About the only bad thing about Venture Bros. is that it's on at night, very late night, which minimizes it's viewers. But, hell, we live in the land of Tivo's, DVD's, Blurays, so, yes, do what you have to do to see it.