THE VENTURE BROS.: SEASON TWO
God, I love THE VENTURE BROS. This is, hands down, the smartest, funniest show being produced by Cartoon Network for their ADULT SWIM time block. As I stated in my review of season one, THE VENTURE BROS. is like JONNY QUEST on acid- with all the elements of the classic animated kids show are in place, but this decidedly adult parody of the program skews everything in a hilariously inappropriate direction. Many of THE VENTURE BROS. off color moments had this reviewer rolling on the floor with laughter.
The show’s title characters are teenaged twin brothers named Hank and Dean Venture. Hank and Dean are innocent, and goofy to the point of being socially retarded (although there are moments where one will swear the retardation goes beyond the social level). While certainly amusing, Hank and Dean seem to be the series two least capable characters at inducing gut busting laughter on a consistent basis. Kicking the comedy up a few notches is Hank and Dean’s father, Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who in his youth was the equivalent of a real Jonny Quest. However, the years have not been kind to the former boy adventurer, as Dr. Venture has grown into a whiney, insecure, pill popping middle-aged man, who is, at best, a rather mediocre scientist. Filling out our troop of intrepid heroes is Brock Samson- the Venture family bodyguard, a secret agent and living lethal weapon, with a libido that won’t quit; Samson is one of the series most broadly drawn and hilarious creations.
Of course, what would any parody of an action adventure series like THE VENTURE BROS. be without its villains. The Monarch is Dr. Venture’s chief nemesis and one of the show’s biggest laugh getters, thanks to his over-the-top antics, incompetent henchmen and relationship problems with his better half- Dr. Girlfriend. With her Jackie O wardrobe, Victoria Secret Model body and Harvey Firestein voice, Dr. Girlfriend could be my favorite character. Also in Dr. Girlfriend’s favor is the fact that seems to be the series’ voice of reason, but that isn’t to say her head is screwed on correctly either, as her relationships with The Monarch and his romantic rival The Phantom Limb will attest. The vocal talent behind THE VENTURE BROS. features James Urbaniak, Christopher McCulloch, Michael Sinterniklaas, Patrick Warburton and Doc Hammer.
THE VENTURE BROS.: SEASON TWO ($30) comes to DVD in a two-disc set that features the following thirteen episodes from the show’s sophomore year: Powerless In The Face Of Death, Hate Floats, Assassinanny 911, Escape To The House Of Mummies Part II, 20 Years To Midnight, Victor. Echo. November, Love-Bheits, Fallen Arches, Guess Who's Coming To State Dinner?, I Know Why The Caged Bird Kills, ˇViva Los Muertos!, Showdown At Cremation Creek Part 1 and Showdown At Cremation Creek Part 2.
Warner Home Video has made THE VENTURE BROS.: SEASON TWO available on DVD in a full screen format that is representative of the original television broadcasts. Like season one, the episodes look terrific on DVD. The 2D animation appears clean, nicely crisp and incredibly bright. Colors are well saturated, but not ridiculously so. Blacks are deep, whites completely clean and the contrast is just is just what one should expect from an animated program.
Surprise! Surprise! THE VENTURE BROS.: SEASON TWO is offered on DVD with Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. As expected from an animated program, these tracks are lean and mean, and don’t exceed the limitations of the broadcast medium. The forward soundstage remains dominant, but there is a pretty nice spread across the front channels. The surrounds add mild effects, along with a bit of musical and ambient fill. Dialogue is crisp and very easy to understand. Fidelity is very good for this type of program, with the musical component being very well represented. An English 2.0 track has also been included on the DVD, along with English, French and Spanish subtitles have been provided.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a few choice supplements. Running Audio Commentaries are provided for all of the episodes, along with Deleted Scenes and a Tour Of Astro-Base Go.
As I stated above, I love THE VENTURE BROS. the show is more fun than a barrel of demented super-villains on Prozac. The episodes look and sound great and there are some cool extras! Very highly recommended. Go team Venture!!!
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