Reviews: The Venture Brothers

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The best written show (animated or otherwise) on TV
Unwilling to take the easy road as a mere shallow parody of Jonny Quest, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer have instead shaped the complex Venture universe into the best show on television. The Venture Bros operates on the concept of a mix-and-match world of differing fictional universes and genres. In this universe the real world interacts bizarrely with the fantastic, creating what can only be described as a surreal reality. Here we find real characters behind the grotesque masks of Super-heroism and villainy. They didn't choose this world, it chose them. And in their incompetence and failure hilarity ensues.

Failure is the stated theme of the show, Doctor Venture is a mediocre scientist, The Monarch is an ineffectual costumed menace, even Brock, the show's most formidable character, is trapped in a job he's vastly overqualified for. The complex characterization that emerges from the early episodes blossoms into a world of mundane personal problems dressed up in the guise of fantastic adventure. Add onto this Jackson and Doc's esoteric pop-culture references and faux-retro set design and you have a show both funny and beautiful.

And to discuss the characters is even greater. Brock is an inspired creation, the most macho, murderous man on the planet. And a devoted Zeppelin fan. Doc Venture is an effective opposite of Brock, short, weak, and oozing with a creepy sexuality. The titular Venture Bros present a view of isolated adolescence, somehow becoming more awkward than you could ever have imagined being. Doctor Orpheus is just one of many Captain Ersatz characters (in this case Dr. Strange) in the pan-fictional Venture universe, not to mention one of the funniest. And, of course, #21 and #24 are the funniest duo in the history of anything.

What The Venture Bros. presents is a funny, well written, pseudo-realistic, identifiable Television Program. The best on Adult Swim. The best on late night. The best on cable. The best on television.
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