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DVD Review: Beavis & Butt-head, the Mike Judge Collection, Volume 1

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As inane and idiotic as admittedly likely all involved in their creation would attest that these characters were, the other thing even their worse critics would have trouble denying was that they struck a most definite & resounding chord with some segment(s) of society, as well as laid a groundwork for some of the most dominating trends in not only animation but series and feature entertainment for the young adult and old child market overall.

Now that you’ve made it through that monster sentence, soak up the knowledge that, yes, Beavis and Butt-head were pioneers of a sort, blazing a trail of stupidity, showing that you didn’t necessarily need cute characters, or animals practicing random violence, or to cover up the tracks of what you were trying to get across to the masses vis a vis some secret code to the youngsters, you could just shoot straight at the gut and parody with devilishly accurate acumen a certain segment of society and make that segment especially as well as many others laugh their asses off, not only at themselves, but at society’s reaction to them, and at the blinders that the world puts on thinking that there’s just no way that the marginalized can be really that far out on the margin yet sitting right in our own living rooms.

Hmmm. Not sure what I meant by that either. Something about how as dated as it seems now, there was just nothing like the original huh-huhers at the time, and honestly there ain’t to this day, but there are damn sure a wide array of quality diverse children, grandchildren, and bastard step children. Adult swim, in my eye, directly evolves from MTV’s fairly gutsy at the time call to put these two morons on our tv screens. It’s odd, furthermore, to think that as much as we complain nowadays about corporate censorship and big brother watching what we’re doing in the republican age (and not that I’m saying this is a bad thing, hey, let’s keep the red markers at bay by all means), when you consider the hubbub that Beavis & Butthead sniffing paint thinner in their backyard drummed up, it seems like we’ve got it easy now by comparison. And no this is not a scientific analysis.

Anyway, enough pontification. The package comes with 3 DVD’s, the first 2 being the best (according to Mike Judge) of the cartoons from the early years. Gems include the classic cornholio (tee-pee for my bunghole) episode, as well as Beavis and Butt-head getting demoted all the way down to kindergarten, wherein Butt-head makes the observation, “Hey Beavis, these chicks are flat.” I’m a sucker for the one where they get thrown in the trunk of their idol, Todd’s, car for a whole night and then thank their lucky stars they even got to hang out with the skuzzy loser. As for the third disc, it has a lot of extras, including a fairly interesting documentary behind the scenes type deal with interviews and clips and other etcetera. Disc 3 also has some videos on it, complete with our two heroes mercilessly ragging on them and/or praising them, the funniest having to be their evisceration of grim reaper. Ah, the unknown wisdom of the dumb.

One thing to be aware of is that many of these episodes are “director’s cuts”. I’m not sure if this means they cut stuff out, added stuff in, changed things here & there, what have you. I like to think (hope) that series creator Mike Judge, being the original man behind the curtain, made whatever changes he did with an eye toward making them better, not strictly more fit for mass consumption, but seeing as I don’t have a crystal clear memory of every episode as I saw them on MTV back when they first aired, I honestly don’t know what exact changes were made, or why.

Be that as it may, these are some pretty damn funny cartoons, at least to me. With their stupidest fish in the bowl philosophical ideologies, these two brave knights of pop culture weave in and out of our subconscious, as well as pinging random outdated memories that we thought best left on the shelf, providing a high satisfaction rating as well as allowing us to burn time spent watching them on the television without a single brain cell necessitating utilization, except to ponder the imponderables of whether or not you were evenly remotely like that when you were in junior high, and if you weren’t, did that make you a better person, or you just thought you had half a brain in your head, considering all the mistakes you made and turns you took and hackneyed ideas that fell apart, maybe you should have just stared at the idiot box and yakked it up without a care in the world? Hey, these guys did and they’ve created millions of dollars for most everyone involved. They may, like Beavis opined about Korn’s music, appeal less to the ear, and more to the sphincter, which is by no means a bad thing.
ed:JH

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About alfred

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Heh heh, you said, “sphincter,” heh heh.

    Great commentary on the cultural influences of one of my favorite cartoon duos.

    I am actually going to click the link and order a copy right now!