Monday, June 4, 2007

Now Playing: The Venture Bros. Season 2


Season two picks up right where Season one left off, with the Venture clan not especially torn apart over the last-second deaths of sons Dean and Hank. Heck, even the opening credits star Venture patriarch Rusty along with bodyguard Brock Sampson and neighbor/necromancer Dr. Byron Orpheus. The show basically hits the ground running and the hilarity is out in full force this year.

Once the kids’ death is explained away courtesy of a side-splitting montage, the Venture clan is reunited once more and on to new adventures featuring recurring villains like Baron Underbheit, Phantom Limb, The Monarch, and dozens of other characters with classic names such as Manic Eightball, White Noise, and the mysterious Grand Galactic Inquisitor.

The fiendishly-voiced Dr. Girlfriend also returns as do HELPR, Richard Impossible and the Impossible Four (the target of one hilariously off-the-cuff snarky comment), Monarch henchmen 21 and 24, Master Billy Quizboy, Mr. White, The League, and new characters Jefferson Twilight and Dr. Henry Killinger.

Yes, the insanity continues at full speed and if one joke doesn’t make you laugh then three more will hit you in the face in the next 10 seconds.

For my money though, nothing prepared me for the hilarity of "20 Years 'Til Midnight" which introduces the famed Grand Galactic Inquisitor and kicks off with Brock finding a video tape from Rusty’s father, Jonas Venture Sr. As it turns out, Jonas Sr. stashed special equipment all around the world that must be assembled at a certain time and in a certain location or else the fate of the world would be at risk. Naturally, the specific time is a day after they watch the tape so the race is on all while under the watchful eye of the Inquisitor. I never saw the ending coming and laughed so hard at the final rant that I practically passed out.

Equally funny was the episode where Molotov (name deleted) trains the boys in the ways of hand-to-hand combat and heavy weaponry while Brock is out on assignment, although several moments in the Scooby-Doo spoof "Viva Los Muertos!" rocked the comedy scale pretty dang hard. Creator Jackson Publick has a knack for skewing about as juvenile as is possible to go, but then teeing off a home-run of a punch line at just the right moment.

The result is a gaspingly funny series that I am now convinced is the funniest thing Cartoon Network has on its schedule. The downside is that season three won’t hit the network for probably another year, with season four hitting the year after (or so). In the meantime, definitely check out this and season one if you like your comedy bizarre, fast, and furious.


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