The Venture Brothers: a unique parody

James King, A&E Writer


This article I’ve been wanting to do for a while and it will be a bit different from my normal movie reviews, because this time I’m reviewing a show, my favorite show, The Venture Brothers.  The Venture Brothers started in 2003 as a parody of cartoons ( specifically Johnny Quest), comics, pop music, and generally pop culture. The wacky brainchild of the Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick ( also known as Christopher McCulloch), the show just ended its 7th season, with the long wait for the 8th season just beginning. It’s a show that keeps bring me back for every season. In my eyes, it’s as close one can get to a perfect show on television.

Visually Venture Brothers is endless eye candy with tons of visual gags. The character designs and backgrounds are deceptively complex. Every character is drawn in simple fashion, but it allows the show to have massive characters on screen. Every character we see in the show is distinct and different and that’s saying something when there are over 200 characters that have appeared on the show. Every background is beautifully colored and detailed, all of which is done by hand.

The writing is by far the best thing about the show. The relationships between the characters are where the show really shines. With legally safe knock-offs of superheroes, G.I. Joes, and super scientists all occupying the same world, it can be really funny seeing a subverted version of Spiderman fight with what is basically an adult version of Johnny Quest. With all the different genres coming together, you’d expect the finished product to be a jumbled mess, but it comes together really well. You’ll have a character being blown up in one scene, then you’ll see a really deep moment of character’s drama in the next. The world building and mythos the show creates is spectacular with so many and lends itself incredibly well to the kind of theory crafting shows like Rick and Morty enjoy. The show constantly surprises me with its reveals and callbacks, saying any more could ruin the show for any new potential watchers, so I won’t go into that here. 

Now that isn’t to say that there isn’t a few bad aspects of the show. The first season, while probably filled with the most quotable lines, kind of meanders as the show tries to find its voice and style. Some of the characters in the show, like the protagonist Rusty Venture, can come off as unlikable and, while I believe that is by design, it can still turn people off to the show since he’s one of the characters we spend the most time with. There are also very long breaks in between each season. Sometimes the wait for new episodes can be upwards of two years.

I love this show because it feels entirely unique in its own weird way. It’s a show that only gets better with each passing season and It’s a show that reminds me not only why I love animation, but why I love media in general. 

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