Attention Must Be Paid: The Venture Bros
If you’re new to the Attention Must Be Paid feature, here’s the deal: when I run across something that I think is great and isn’t getting the props it deserves, I write it up in this space.
People aren’t necessarily ignoring the Venture Brothers, but it isn’t the household name it should be – it truly is one of the great comedy cartoon series of all time, right up there with the Simpsons, Futurama and South Park. Now that season four is over, let’s take a look at what has made the Venture Bros. so great and why the show is more than worthy of your attention. Check out this example.
What makes the Venture Bros. so special is how it appeals to everything we know while being fresh and interesting at the same time. Hank and Dean Venture, who are the titular brother characters, seem to parody the Hardy boys, yet Hank looks a lot like Fred from Scooby Doo. When Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture references his childhood, he seems to be telling stories right out of Jonny Quest. Dr. Jonas Venture is reminiscent of many characters, but perhaps the most reminiscent of Iron Man’s father, Howard Stark. Brock Samson (voiced by Patrick Warburton, who I love) is a member of the Office of Secret Intelligence, which wears uniforms that immediately invoke memories of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Marvel Comics, as does his on again/off again love interest, Molotov Cocktease, who is reminiscent of Marvel’s the Black Widow. I could go on and on (Professor Richard Impossible and his family are reminiscent of the Fantastic Four, the The Monarch is reminiscent of a campy Batman villain) with the show’s countless allusions and references, but for all it has going in the wink and a nod category, it has it’s original points in characters like Doctor Girlfriend (who is now called Dr. Mrs. The Monarch since their wedding), and Triana Orpheus, Dean’s crush.
The Venture Brothers is well written – the arcs are riveting while the show mixes action, drama and hilarious comedy. Check out this mix of henchmen 21 and his departed friend, henchmen 24. “Smurfs are mammals!” Word, 21. Word. I could go on and on, but you’re much better served by watching the show (the first season is cheap – there were only 13 episodes) or checking out some clips on YouTube. But if you’re not watching the Venture Bros, you’re missing out on the best action comedy series of all time.