DVD Review: ‘The Venture Brothers’ Season 3 Blu-ray
Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 6:06 pm
The Venture Brothers Season 3 — Blu-ray Edition
Created by Jackson Publick
Starring James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Christopher McCulloch, Doc Hammer
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date: March 24, 2009
It’s easy for me to write about the things that I love. If I’m really passionate about something, I can go on and on about them for some length of time. Well, I love The Venture Brothers. The show is hands down the funniest show currently on TV, and I have never been happier to receive an assignment from my masters of Doom than this one. I have been watching this disc more or less non-stop for the last week, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. If you read this sight, if you like comics, or sci-fi movies, or music, or old cartoons, or laughing in general, you should be watching this show.
To give a basic premise of the show is to do it discredit, since they do a lot of different things with each episode, but the basic plot is this: Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture has two sons named Dean and Hank, and a bodyguard named Brock Samson, and they go around having adventures, mostly involving Dr. Ventures arch enemy, the Monarch. However, every family has problems, and this family is no different: Dr. Venture is a pill-popping failure, Hank and Dean have an annoying habit of dying all the time which doesn’t agree with their lifestyle, and Brock hasn’t met anyone he wouldn’t like to kill. The easiest way to describe the show is to imagine if Jonny Quest was mixed with Marvel Comics, and a few drops of G.I. Joe, drop them in a blender, add some cocaine, smash the blender with a hammer, and throw the results against the wall to see what sticks. That’s the best way that I can describe it, and that doesn’t really begin to scratch the surface.
Season 3 of the Venture Brothers is different from the first two in that it really goes into the histories of many of the characters, yet still introduces us to new and hilarious characters. Let’s do an episode by episode breakdown. That sounds like fun.
Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny: The season starts off with a bang as we look at the relationship between series villain The Monarch and the now Dr. Mrs. the Monarch. We still don’t learn why the Monarch hates Dr. Venture so much, but we do get to see how the two of them got together. However, the most important part of the episode is when we get to hear Dr. Mrs. the Monarch’s murderous moppets, Tim-Tom and Kevin, for the first time. Tim-Tom and Kevin are hands down, the best (mostly) new characters of the season, and I could watch a whole series centered on them.
The Doctor is Sin: This episode sees the return of one of season 2’s greatest characters, Dr. Henry Killinger, and his magic murder bag. This time he’s come to work his managerial powers on the Venture clan, and turns Venture Industries into a working company. I love Killinger almost as much as I love the Murderous Moppets, but one episode a season is good for him. Be warned, the DVD is now uncensored, which is good on one hand but also means that we the viewers are subjected to a fair amount of animated wang.
Home is Where the Hate Is: An interesting episode, with some good lines, but most importantly, it’s the introduction of Dr. Venture’s new arch-enemy, Sgt. Hatred. Sgt. Hatred, like so many other things on this show, is brilliantly hilarious, mostly due to the voice actor’s efforts. The rest of the episode is an odd mish-mash of elements, with the Venture’s going to a party at Sgt. Hatred’s house, Tim-Tom and Kevin trying to kill two of the Monarch’s henchmen, and the Monarch trying to kill Dr. Venture.
The Invisible Hand of Fate: This is my current favorite episode of the season, mostly because of a few funny lines in it. The episode looks at the background of Master Billy Quizboy, and finally reveals how he got his mechanical hand. My favorite part of the episode is anything involving Colonel Hunter Gathers, Brock Samson’s Hunter S Thompson meets Nick Fury partner, who is one of the more inspired creations of the show.
The Buddy System: Doc Venture opens a day camp for boy adventurers. This one has some very funny gags, again largely involving the murderous moppets, but what may be the biggest part of the episode is the introduction of Hank’s new best friend Dermott, who may or may not be Brock’s illegitimate son. Of course, Brock might not be happy about that, as he takes an instant dislike to Dermott.
Dr, Quymm, Medicine Woman: This one is my least favorite episode of the third season, and it’s still worth watching. Dr. Venture goes to South America, and runs into his childhood sweetheart, who’s now running a double x chromosome version of his own family, complete with female bodyguard, and twin daughters. The twins take a liking to Dean, but it’s Hank who actually notices them. Oh, and there’s a were-odile (that’s a man who turns into a hairy crocodile at the full moon).
What Goes Down Must Come Up: This is another episode with a lot of disparate elements: an Ant-man analogue, Brock battles an evil computer program, Dr. Venture meets some of his old fan club who have been living under ground on a steady diet VH1 Classic, the Order of the Triad has to rescue the family. However, with all these elements going on, it all adds up to a great episode, if only to see Dr. Venture run into the lead singer of the Prodigy.
Tears of a Sea Cow: The Monarch and Hank and Dean take center stage for this episode. Brock and Dr. Venture are out of town, which leaves the boys and Dermott in charge of things, which is okay, until the Monarch decides to come calling. This is a great episode for the Monarch and his favorite henchmen, but it’s mostly a filler episode.
Now Museum, No You Don’t: Notable for being the first time we hear Reed Richards analog Dr. Richard Impossible not being voiced by Steven Colbert. Not a great episode, but one with a few decent jokes. Jonas Venture Jr. opens a museum in honor of his father, and he brings the old crew together to celebrate the opening.
The Lepidopterists: One of my other favorite episodes of the season, if only for the opening scene, where Dr. Venture’s brother, Jonas Venture Jr. uses his own personal “Voltron” to fight the Monarch. This is the best episode of the season for Henchmen 21 and 24, as they attempt to run a Dark S 7 maneuver, without knowing what that entails.
Orb: This is a very important episode in terms of the overall mythology of the show. Master Billy Quizboy finds clues in the old “Rusty Venture” cartoon that lead him and the team in search of a mysterious object that was originally studied by Dr. Venture’s grandfather. We see the beginning of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, we get our first look into how the Venture’s got into the adventuring business, and we get set up for the season finale when Brock’s car tries to kill him.
The Family That Stays Together, Slays Together Parts 1 and 2: And here we are at the season finale, which sets up a new status quo for next season. The first part sees Brock taking on a trio of deadly assassins sent by the government to bring him in. After taking the assassins down, the Venture’s eventually return to their home, just in time to join in a three way battle between the Office of Secret Intelligence, the Monarch, and an army of Hank and Dean clones. The two episodes are a perfect cap to the season, and of course, it leaves me with the long wait to the next season.
To be completely honest, I got a chance to measure the DVD against the Blu-ray edition, and I couldn’t see a big enough difference to warrant buying the Blu-ray over the standard DVD. There aren’t any bonus features on the Blu-ray that you won’t find on the DVD, with the notable exception that the Blu-ray comes with all the episodes on one disc, and also contains a CD of the shows music, composed by JG Thirwell. If you have a Blu-ray player, the CD may be reason to pick this version up over the standard DVD, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing anything by picking up the regular DVD. The bonus features on the disc are deleted scenes for every episode, as well as commentaries from series creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer. The commentaries give a good look into how the show is made, and as a fan of the show, I found them to be quite enlightening. The deleted scenes are hit or miss, and they’re just storyboards with voices over them, but they’re still decent enough.
Okay, so I’ve gone on long enough, but like I said at the top, when I really enjoy something, I can go on and on about it. There’s no reason for anyone reading this to not go out and buy this disc, and if you don’t have them already, buy the first two as well. I could watch this show a million times and never get sick of it. And since it’s time for me to sign off, I believe I will select an episode and enjoy it again. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.