Huhh huhh, heehee hehe. From Paramount and MTV Home Entertainment comes the DVD release for the triumphant return of television's favorite delinquents, with brand new episodes from animation mastermind Mike Judge. And although the formula hasn't changes since the late '90s, the same level of humor is still present today. Which made this well worth the long wait for casual and hardcore fans alike. Huh huh, I said "long" and "hard."
I have to admit, I've been a fan of this show since the first time a saw it as a kid. There was just something "giddy" about the way the characters made me laugh compared to other stuff on TV. The "cartoon-cartoon" phase was in full effect on Cartoon Network, and South Park had recently became a must watch for me when I could catch it on Comedy Central. I always enjoyed these programs when I was young, and I still tune into South Park religiously. But Beavis and Butt-Head had another element to it. Perhaps it's their complete absence from the real world and it's consequences. It could be how the script was written to be predictably hilarious. Maybe it was the "swap" between the short "adventures" and cracking jokes at music videos. Better reasoning is that it's probably some combination of these elements that made it my favorite comedy show growing up. Since then, I have become more fond of Park for my weekly dose of animated funny and the satirical slap to current events and culture. But I am glad to report that this new excursion into Highland is every bit as funny as it was when Starbucks and Nirvana were all the rage, man.
What makes this new season work is the fact that Judge didn't feel like anything needed a "facelift" since 1997. He knew his stock characters supplanted in new American obsessions would yield the same effect: silly, side splitting moments. He was right. The very first short from the new batch is a prime example. "Werewolves of Highland" opens up with the boys sitting in the theater watching one of the Twilight films while attempting to pick up chicks. So Butt-Head, being the genius that he is, decides that he and Beavis need to become creatures of the night in order to score. I won't give away the punchline, but just know the executed plan is as asinine as one would imagine it to be. Some other new "trends" that get exploited include the guys stumbling into a tech support center and offering "assistance" to needy customers, and the duo creating a makeshift Asian massage center in the mall in an effort to, you guessed it, "cop a feel" like "those dudes" do.
There is also a good mix of shorts that would have fit right in with the original run. Predicaments that wouldn't have been out of place 14 years ago. Such as Beavis plopping down on a copy machine and inevitably falling through, putting his "bunghole" at serious risk in the process. The really cool factor that these bring to the table is the opportunity for other classic characters to join in on the action. "School Test" has the guys preparing for mandatory state evaluations. And their probable low scores could put the jobs of some at Highland High in jeopardy. Enter peace and love hippie extraordinaire Mr. David Van Driessen, whose approach of allowing the boys to "grow" on their own remains steadfast. But the nervous train-wreck that is Principal McVicker takes it upon himself to assure they don't "screw things up" as usual. Others such as: Coach Buzzcut, Todd Ianuzzi, Stewart Stevenson, and Tom Anderson make nostalgic appearances that are not only appreciated, but very effective in certain scenes.
Of course, what would this show be without the "in between" bits that were once inhabited strictly by music videos. In the '90s, there were a bevy of clips to chose from and create funny commentary about. But with the iTunes generation came the life-support status of videos. So, while the two rip on "Kids" by MGMT, Katy Perry's "Fireworks," and "Touchin' on My" by 3OH!3, Viacom has let Mr. Judge have free reign on their library of shows and events. This might be the most important innovation to the new run, and will probably sustain a new found level of popularity in the foreseeable future. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 style cut-ups to clips from True Life, 16 and Pregnant, and Jersey Shore are very, very funny. It is quite a change from the music video overdub, where the jokes can arrive at any time. When a show is being ripped, a "blurp" from one of the on-screen personalities, like Snooki, is used to say why and how these people are complete dumb asses. And the same strategy is used on the the other aforementioned shows. Even an excerpt from Spike's The Ultimate Fighter is put up for the sake of adolescent humor. Another strong plus is the occasional celebrity voice acting that comes intermittently. The amazing Pamela Adlon (from King of the Hill and Californication fame) lends her pipes, as does David Koechner (Talladega Nights and Waiting).
Despite the set I received was on DVD, it had very good quality. The animation came off as clean and colorful; definitely stronger than I had anticipated on this particular format. And although it's not the most "necessary" of aspects, the Dolby Digital track was crisp throughout and even had a few moments that could be called "clever". The Special Features section had really good selections, it's just a shame there aren't many to chose from:
-2011 San Diego Comic Con Panel: 20 minutes in length, featuring a recording of the press junket that was held with Mike Judge as Johnny Knoxville asks him questions about the origins of the characters, what influenced the return, and what can be expected from the new season.
-Beavis and Butt-Head Interruptions: Jersey Shore inspired overdubbed phone calls where the guys talk with the crew about random quips, like "hooking up" and Vinny farting.
-Silence Your Cell Phone: Short PSA with the boys reminding people to shut up during the movie.