Early Review: The Venture Brothers Season 5 Premiere “What Color Is Your Cleansuit?”
I want to start by saying that when it comes to adult audience cartoons or any show that I watch, that The Venture Brothers rides very high at the top. I consider it one of the most funny and clever cartoons out there. I could easily chalk it up to the humor, or the massive pop culture references, but either way, this show has been a constant joy over the years. The show is something of a “what if?’ story focusing on if a very failed middle-aged former Johnny Qwest-like character becomes the single uncaring parent of The Hardy Boys. Of course, instead of the wholesome goodness of the Hardy Boys or Johnny Qwest, we get sex jokes, gratuitous violence, and a nerd-catering influx of pop culture jokes. It does demand something of a patient audience as the animation process sometimes delays the show more than a year or so between seasons. But after a 3 year wait, Team Venture has returned!
Tonight, I was able to attend a special screening of the show’s 5th season premiere at Alamo Drafthouse a few days before it airs. Since the Alamo Drafthouse began franchising (I’ve been to the original and superior theater in Austin a few years ago), I’ve been happily attending a few of their special events such as the “Evil Dead 2 Horror Show” at the new Denver location. So, when Venture Brothers was announced, I couldn’t avoid going, even if the only seats left were separating my wife and I with 2 handicap spots between us. Tonight, in addition to the new episode, they played the season 4 finale “Operation: P.R.O.M.”, which was a good move, considering that due to the lengthy animation process, nearly 3 years have passed between seasons (save for a special Halloween episode a few months back). Prior to the show, there was a drawing for some original animation cells from the show’s past seasons, in which, I was one of 4 lucky people that won! My animation cell was of Dr. Richard Impossible from the episode “Bright Lights, Dean City”, in which, Dr. Impossible becomes a super-villain joining the ranks of Barron Ünderbhiet and Phantom Limb. It’s within my top 5 episodes of the show and it was very cool to win a piece of the show’s history. In addition to the drawing, all attendees were able to walk out with a special edition limited print poster.
No matter what you go to see at Alamo Drafthouse (if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby), you’ll definitely want to arrive a good 20-30 minutes early in order to catch the awesome pre-show (and of course take advantage of the full lighting to order off the menu). In this case, we were treated to music videos of David Bowie (aka The Sovereign/leader of The Guild Of Calamitous Intent) , Iggy Pop and Klaus Naomi (linked b/c the video is awesome) as well as Arrested Development performing “Mr. Wendell” (whom was used as a gag in the season 4 finale). They began by showing the season 4 finale “Operation P.R.O.M.” uncensored, which is amazingly a lot funnier with the swearing added in. The uncensored swearing was especially funny when various characters described the sex act of “The Rusty Venture” and it’s many, many horribly disgusting meanings much to the shock of Dr. Rusty Venture whom had no idea of his namesake being used in such a manor. The episode was a lot of fun and I still laugh at all the scenes involving the Hunter S Thompson inspired Col. Hunter Gathers and the Teddy Roosevelt/Thunderbolt Ross/Nick Fury hybrid character of General Triester. Especially, when the good mustachioed General acknowledges that he’s dying of “the pee-pee cancer” and leaves Col. Gathers in charge of O.S.I. as he rockets himself into space via missile, possibly killing himself, with a sticky note reading “fix it” in hopes that Aliens will find him and cure him of his incurable disease using their advanced technology. The heartache of Dean Venture as he finds out that the object of his affection, Triana, has found a boyfriend named Raven (whom is a crippled Edward Cullen parody character) is still laugh-out-loud hilarious as he tries horribly to win her back. Overall, it was a wonderful refresher in a room full of other Venture Brother fans laughing at every joke and awkward situation.
Next was the new episode “What Color is Your Cleansuit?”. I’ll be very careful to not spoil anything but I will tease a few things to be excited about (No worse than what you see in a preview or hear in a comic-con panel). First and foremost, before the premiere Sunday, you definitely will want to watch “Operation P.R.O.M.” as this picks up literally, the next morning (linked to see it for free online if you have a cable/satellite provider, just have to log-in) . In addition if you want to jump onboard and start watching the show, here’s a fun 8 minute re-cap to explain the last 4 seasons. With the new episode, we see Col. Hunter Gathers in his new job as head of O.S.I. , Gary (aka 21) in his post-Monarch Henchman life, Brock investigating the apparent suicide of Moltov Cocktease, and so on. If you caught the Halloween special “A Very Venture Halloween” a few months ago, you sort of got a glimpse of things to come such as Dean’s new Gothic look and Hatred’s new face tattoo. This episode marks the start to those changes of the characters . Despite the near 3 year gap between seasons, there are awesome new-ish event references to Game of Thrones and Bath Salts along with the more common Star Wars and Star Trek jokes. In addition, some supporting characters such as Hatred and Billy Quizboy (who gets his own arch-enemy this season) comes off as the strongest characters in this first episode along with Dean Venture who gains a potential new love interest and new darker attitude. With tonight’s screening as a sign of things to come, I think we’re in for a very hilarious season of The Venture Brothers! The first new episode in nearly 3 years definitely did not disappoint and is definitely worth the wait. It’s good to have Team Venture back!