Beavis and Butt-head

TELEVISION | Last night the new season of Beavis and Butthead finally started on MTV, after a 14 year hiatus (not considering the feature film B&B Do America). Like old times, the episode was actually two separate episodes, with the first one being slightly longer than the other.


Note that this review is entirely based on my impressions of these two initial episodes. By the time of writing (Oct. 28, 2011), these are the only ones that have yet been broadcasted to the public.

Episode 1: Werewolves of Highland

The first half of the show was the Twilight inspired episode Mike Judge mentioned at the New York comic book convention ETC last week. It starts with Beavis and Butt-head sneaked into a movie theatre talking down the new Twilight movie Breaking Dawn, ruining the whole movie experience for the (exclusively) teenage girls populating the theatre. Definitely some funny moments happening here.

They eventually get thrown out of the theatre, and receive a private lecturing from hippie school teacher Van Driesen why werewolves are so irresistible to girls, and that werewolves emerge from bites by people that have already turned. So, they decide to go look for a werewolf and find a hairy, mad old bum who accepts to bite them in exchange for some chewing gum. They end up with all sorts of bacterial diseases from the bum, and start getting real ill. Still thinking they're transforming, they go out looking for chicks. Two girls eventually happen to walk by our anti-heroes who are now half passed out, and decide to take them to the hospital where they get their catheters changed.

Then the first Jersey Shore clip appears, which actually was quite entertaining even for someone who hasn't previously watched the show, such as myself. It's funny how even numbnuts like Beavis and Butt-head can make the participants of the reality show appear even more stupid. It's apparent Mike Judge refuses to let even the least intelligent cartoon characters ever created sink as low. I beforehand feared the possibility of the reality show overdubs becoming a bit heartless, considering how overexposed these sad, promiscuous youngsters already are. But so far the comedy is well balanced enough to not get too raw and humiliating.

Episode 2: Crying

The closing half of the show was a less story-driven episode, in which Beavis "discovers" a slice of onion in his chili dog. Not knowing what it is, he puts it right into his face, giving it a good sniff, making his eyes fill. Ironically enough, his running eyes coincide with a cheesy love drama on TV. For the remainder of the episode, Butthead just keeps on teasing Beavis for crying "like a little girl" over anything. Militant, steroid-induced gym coach Buzzcuts also makes a brief appearance in this part. The episode doesn't really go anywhere however, and is undeniably predictable. Especially for anyone familiar with previous episodes of the original series.

Anyway, we ultimately get to see Beavis and Butthead 80 years later (hence making them 95 years old), where Butt-head stills goes on and on about Beavis' "crying" as a fifteen year old.

In the episode was also an overdub of some MTV documentary about an unemployed 25-30 year old porn addict living in his grandma's house. The overdub start out okay, but gets a little repetitive towards the end. Some funny gags, but not as amusing as the Jersey Shore bit.

My overall impression so far

Although produced and broadcasted in high definition (HDTV), the show still had the old school 4:3 aspect ratio, like the old series. The picture quality is improved significantly as it's now all digital. Environments and the overall colouring of glow and shades have also been given a major facelift along with the new digital technology. To avoid making it look entirely like a modern Walt Disney movie, the shaky, rough animation so characteristic of the show remains the same, however - as should.

Music videos

Recycled frame from circa 1993.
The music video overdubs consist almost entirely of reused frames from the 90's series, which are all in low resolution, giving it an odd and very inconsistent look. Especially when material from the earliest seasons (which is very sketchy and low-res) get recycled, right after watching the crisp, almost clinical looking, new drawings. The few videos that B&B got to see in this first episode were both modern dance tunes. The audio mixers worked in favour of the music, apparently, being loud as hell initially. But as soon as B&B started talking, the overall volume turned rather low, making it hard to hear their commentary unless adjusting the volume back and forth.

Bottom line

All in all, quite an enjoyable first start for the new era of Beavis and Butt-head. If you like B&B to begin with, you can't really go wrong, with Mr. Judge still in control, and still doing his bearing part of the voice acting. Hoping to see some more classic characters reappear, such as the elderly neighbour Tom Anderson.

Eager to watch more of this!
/theJo

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