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Series: The Venture Brothers


One of the reasons I love trawling the Madman catalogue is that it’s full of undiscovered gems. Undiscovered by me that is. But from time to time there’s a movie or a show that I am well aware of and, for whatever reason, have either actively avoided (usually because of some preconceived idea about the show) simply never gotten around to watching. This post isn’t so much a ‘review’ as it is a notice to anyone who hadn’t been watching The Venture Brothers, for either of those two reasons, to start watching it immediately – or sooner!

Yeah, sure, I’ve got a pile of stuff sitting on the shelf waiting to be reviewed. But I’ve become so fond of this show in such a short time that I felt the need to slap some kind of endorsement up here on elroyonline. In the past couple of months, often when I should be watching something for the purposes of reviewage, and more often than not in the company of my better half, TheGLB (Who has also become quite a fan of the show) I’ve worked my way through the first three seasons on DVD.

Former child star Dr Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture begrudgingly lives in the shadow of his late father, the brilliant scientist, inventor, industrialist and adventurer, Dr. Jonas Venture. Rusty too is a *somewhat* brilliant scientist and inventor, however he lacks the physical stature, prowess and confidence of his father. He’s puny, pointy, has very little in the way of business acumen and is a tad creepy. However through his father’s vast fortune and global business Rusty is able to live the life of an adventurer and, for the most part, is seemingly well regarded. Rusty’s own inventions are not unremarkable, although they are often questionable or, at worst, crimes against nature: Rusty creates a type of holo-chamber which creates the perfect virtual-reality for anyone who enters. However the team shuts the machine down when it is discovered to be powered by the heart of a dead orphan boy.

Sharing the Venture compound — and many of the adventures — are Rusty’s sons Hank and Dean. Like Rusty, neither Hank nor Dean is “the whole package”. Dean is the smarter of the two, but something of a “candy ass”. Hank is a little more adventurous, but extremely gullible. Both use 50’s vernacular, like “gosh” and “golly gee!”. Despite their frequent adventures Hank and Dean have lived something of a sheltered life, their view on the world, is… well, cartoon like.

Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI) agent Brock Samson is without doubt the only reason that Rusty, Hank or Dean survive any of what happens around them. Perfectly voiced by Patrick Warburton [The Tick], Brock is the manliest bodyguard to have ever walked the earth… and he has the mullet to prove it. His only weakness is for the Black Widow like foreign agent, Molotov Cocktease. Despite evoking his license to kill at any given opportunity – usually with is bare hands – Brock is seemingly the only character in the show with any real moral compass. He has taken Hank and Dean under his wing and is often more of a father figure to them than Rusty is.

The show’s *adventures* are more often than not provoked by the actions of Rusty’s sworn arch-nemesis (a self assigned title), The Monarch. Monarch’s “arching” of Dr Venture is unlawful, in that it is unsanctioned by the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a shady body created to govern the matching of super-villains with super-scientists for the purposes of arch-nemesising. Monarch’s arching is mostly in conflict with is on-again, off-again partner, the disturbingly hot Dr Girlfriend. The butterfly themed Monarch’s unapproved arching does not go unnoticed by the Guild!

The fourth season of The Venture Brothers is currently airing as part of Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network, but the first three seasons are available for purchase here in Australia. For any fan of the superhero/villain conventions this series is a must own. It’s ongoing story develops all the characters involved far deeper than any other Adult Swim series before. As much as I’m a HUGE fan of the silliness of the vast majority of show’s in the Adult Swim catalogue, The Venture Brothers is without doubt, the driest and the smartest of all the shows I’ve watched… and it’s still pretty silly at times too.

[source] [trailer] [bonus clip]

© 2005 Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the logos, THE VENTURE BROS. and all related characters and elements are trademarked of and © CARTOON NETWORK. A Time Warner Company
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