Monday, February 18, 2008

Venture Brothers Season 2... now available on Netflix

The second season of The Venture Brothers, one of my favorite shows currently on TV, though the third season is not quite in view yet, is now available on DVD, which means you can rent it on Netflix.

You haven't seen the first season? Okay, first things first. It's available on Netflix, too.

This picture is from the climatic scene from Twenty Years to Midnight. From left to right, starting with the little guy, we have Jonas Venture Jr., Brock Sampson, Doc Venture, Sally Impossible holding her son Rockit, mentally challenged New York Jets fan Ned (is that redundant?), Dean Venture, the former pirate captain and Hank Venture. Seem like a lot of characters to keep track of? This isn't half of it.

The show is kind of a parody of Jonny Quest, but that really doesn't do it justice. The writers Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick both have close ties to the 90's classic The Tick, and the creator of that show Ben Edlund still kicks in an idea or two occasionally. In the same way that The Tick was a study of the super hero genre, The Venture Brothers is an exploration of super-villainy and the exciting career world of being henchmen. And there's lots of great references to the music of the past 40 years or so.

If I have a quibble, it's that the commentary tracks are intentionally weak. TV writers, especially TV comedy writers, are among the bitterest people on the planet, and Hammer and Publick are no exceptions. Sometimes, when writers become producers, their attitudes get a little better, but not so with these guys. While their ideas actually make it to TV, the most powerful medium on the planet today, the psychological cost is very high. The largest part of that cost is dealing with the people from the network, who in the case of Adult Swim are not only meddlesome, as all networks are, but also stunningly cheap. Hammer and Publick take this out on the viewing public by yammering pointlessly on the commentary track for the most part.

As much as I love the show, and I love the show a lot, I'd like to tell these guys that the people who choose to listen to your commentary aren't the enemy. We are actually your fans, not the people paying you peanuts and screwing with your artistic vision.

Just sayin'. And Go Team Venture!


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Now playing: The Band - When I Paint My Masterpiece
via FoxyTunes

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you have these guys all wrong. (Not to mention several of your facts: Sue Impossible should be Sally Impossible, Doc Hammer didn't write for the Tick but was a college roommate of Ben Edlund.) Their commentary is really random but its a mix of hilarious stories and social commentary about the things they love and hate. All of their characters have so much heart, it is obvious their creators do too. Rather than write action scenes, they focus on back-story and personal relationships. You should check out their blogs.(jacksonpublick.livejournal.com and www.myspace.com/dochammer) You will see that they really love their fans. They respond to comments and regularly write about how cool fans are when they meet them. When they were talking about not caring about commentary because they "already have your money" they were just goofing with us. Jackson Publick also regularly blogs about adult swim functions and praises the network. I'm glad you like the Venture Bros., as you should- its brilliant, but you are making these guys out to be dicks when they are just being themselves and goofing with their fans.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for the corrections, I edited the post to reflect them.

I still don't like the commentary tracks much, and I listen to commentary tracks religiously. I also stand by my view that TV writers are a bitter bunch in general.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't doubt that they are bitter, based on their own comments. I'm just saying, you act like these guys are taking something out on their fans, and they are not. They love their fans and its so apparent to me that I feel copelled to write about it.