DVD Review: The Venture Brothers Season 4, Volume 1
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The Venture Brothers
Season 4 Volume 1
Created by: Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick
Staring: Patrick Warburton, James Urbaniak, Christopher McCulloch
Cartoon Network/Warner Brothers
Release Date: October 26, 2010

I’ll get the easy part out of the way up front; Yes, The Venture Brothers Season 4, Volume 1 is another great set of episodes from my favorite show on TV, so yes, I’m going to give this a guarded recommendation (I’ll explain the guarded part later). The eight episodes on this disc comprise the first half of season four, and while they may not be the best of the series, they are still very funny, and fans of the show are going to want to pick this up. If you haven’t seen the show before I would recommend starting at the beginning, because these episodes are built on a lot of things that have gone on in the show before.

I don’t know if I love the episodes on this disc as much as some of the other seasons. Certainly the absence of Brock Samson (voiced by Patrick Warburton) is a big reason why I don’t enjoy these as much. There are still a number of good episodes, particularly “Hansom Ransom” which features Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) playing a very different kind of super-hero. Other standout episodes include “The Revenge Society” which features the return of Phantom Limb and which may be my favorite episode of the season, and “Self-Medication” which has Doc Venture joining a boy adventurer support group and has guest voices by Seth Green, John Hodgeman, and Patton Oswalt. There are good episodes just not as many as in previous seasons.

Sadly, the extras on the disc are not spectacular. There are a few deleted scenes, which mostly turn out to be animatics with the actors reading the lines. There are a few good jokes that were cut out, but nothing mind blowing. You also get to see the preview for the season that was shown at San Diego Comic-con in 2009, and there is a lost scene that is pretty funny. The other bonus feature is commentary by series creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, and if you’ve ever heard them talk, you’ll know you’re in for a good time. They give a lot of good background on the production of the series, and they’re very entertaining to listen to. The commentaries are the most enjoyable extra on the disc.

The main problem with this disc is that there are only the first eight episodes of season four on it. In the end, we got more episodes this season (sixteen episodes in total) as opposed to other seasons (thirteen episodes) but it’s a little bit of a pain having the season split between two DVD sets. I know that it’s a marketing thing but it still feels cheap whenever anybody does this kind of thing (see also; Battlestar Galactica).

Is this a must buy? Maybe. If you’re a fan of the show and you don’t have a Blu-ray player, or if you have to have these episodes now, then yes, it is a must buy. If you’re a fan of the show and you do have a Blu-ray player, you may want to hold off on picking this up, because there will be a Blu-ray disc coming in a few months with all sixteen episodes from season four, so you may want to hold out for that. If you’ve never seen the show before, I highly recommend picking up the first season and working your way toward this one.

These are still great episodes, and it’s still a great show, so I’m going to give this a 4 out of 5.

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