Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 7:38 pm
The Venture Brothers Blu-ray | DVD
Created by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer
Starring James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton
Warner Bros Home Video
Release date: March 22, 2011
It’s time once again for another review of a Venture Brothers DVD set, this time with Season 4, Volume 2. I’ve gone on before about my love for this show, but I think this time I’m going to say exactly why I love this show so much. If you’re looking to see whether you should buy this DVD or not, yes, you should buy it. There are 8 great episodes on here that are well worth the money. If you’ve got a Blu-ray player, then definitely pick up the complete Season 4 Blu-ray, also on sale March 22, 2011. It’s very easy for me to recommend this show to anyone who likes comic books, action, old cartoons, new cartoons, and anything that makes you laugh.
I grew up watching Johnny Quest, and the whole show started as a parody of that show. The premise for Venture Bros. is essentially “What if Johnny Quest really existed, grew up, and turned out to be a failure in life.” It’s this central premise that drew me in at first, but it is the expansion of that premise that has kept me watching.
As the show has gone on, it’s becomes more of a look at a kind of superhero universe, complete with its own unique set of rules. Throughout the show, we have seen parodies of Superman, The Fantastic Four, The Watcher, Spider-Man, and probably more than a few that I can’t remember right now. The show does more than just make fun of these characters, it speaks to why these characters are so much fun. If you can’t laugh at Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) voicing a version of Spider-Man who shoots webbing from his ass, you have lost the ability to have fun. Every time I watch this series I can’t help but find something to enjoy about it.
Now, why do I love this show? Quite simply, it is because most of the jokes are about everything that makes me who I am. I love comic books and have for a very long time. I love the serialized storytelling. I love the bright colors. I love the larger than life characters. I love that the show is always making jokes about obscure cult movies that hardly anyone has seen. I love that the show makes fun of movies that everyone has seen. I love that the show never takes itself too seriously. I love almost every element that has been poured into the show.
More than just these things, I love The Venture Brothers because it is about a cast of characters that has continued to expand and improve as the series has gone on. What started as a small group of Dr. Venture, his bodyguard Brock Samson, and the doctor’s two sons, Hank and Dean, has expanded into a large group of other heroes, villains, and various others, all with a distinct voice and character. Whether it be the well meaning but over-enthusiastic Sgt. Hatred, the loving father and necromancer Dr. Orpheus, or my favorite, Henchman 21, I have come to love all the characters on the show. It is these characters that make The Venture Brothers so watchable.
And when talking about the characters, you have to talk about the voice actors on the show, headed up by the creators. One of the most amazing parts about the show is the number of characters that Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick perform. They perform a good 75 percent of the characters, and they give each of them a unique sounding voice. Beyond that, you have to look to James Urbaniak as the always put-upon Dr. Venture, and Patrick Warburton as Brock Samson, as they are the heart and soul of the show. And then there are the guest stars. From SNL’s Bill Hader taking over the role of Professor Impossible, or the aforementioned Nathan Fillion, Season 4 may be the best season so far in terms of guest stars. The voice cast are the people who bring the show to life, and they all do a great job.
As for the actual disc, there are a lot of great episodes on it, especially the Season 4 finale. There are 8 episodes on the disc, but it is at a slightly lower price, so they make up for it. As I said at the beginning, if you want all 16 episodes from Season 4 on one disc, you’ll have to pick up the Blu-ray version. I wish the extras were a bit more robust on the disc. What you get is a commentary on every episode by series creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, and these commentaries are always fun to listen to. Hammer and Publick have a lot of fun with them, and there are always interesting behind the scenes bits for every episode. You also get deleted scenes for every episode, which are kind of hit or miss, which seems to be how deleted scenes always go. There’s also a short bit with one of the voice actors reading a certain line from one of the episodes about twenty different ways, which is pretty funny. Finally, they have a few commercials that ran before and during the season finale. Not a bad selection of extras but I am a Venture fan and I’d like to see a lot more. I guess I will have to live with it.
I think I may have said this when I reviewed the first part of Season 4, but if you’ve never watched The Venture Brothers before, this probably isn’t the best place to start, but I can’t recommend any season of this series highly enough. It is smart, funny, charming, and everything there is to like about TV. It is simply one of the best shows on TV anywhere, and if you’re reading this site, I’m willing to bet that you’ll like this show. I have no problem giving this a 5 out of 5 and I hope everyone goes out and buys it. Go Team Venture!