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Our reviews of Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume 1 (published November 8th, 2005), Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume 2 (published June 14th, 2006), and Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume 3 (published August 9th, 2006) are also available.
Frog Baseball…need I say more?
Beavis and Butt-Head (both voiced by Mike Judge, King of the Hill) are a pair of high schoolers whose chief interests include trying to have sex, heavy metal, TV, bodily fluids, and nachos. When not watching music videos or trashy television, the pair can be found traveling the suburban jungle of their small town, Highland, on a quest to "score," preferably with a "hot chick" who has "big thingees."
Beavis and Butt-Head: Mike Judge's Most Wanted collects the duo's greatest hits as chosen by their creator onto one DVD. Included are:
• "Lightning Strikes"
I'll be honest, upon receiving Mike Judge's Most Wanted in the mail I was a little hesitant to pop it in my player. See, growing up, I was one of those kids with pop culture obsessed parents that didn't like to put limits on their young child's viewing habits. This is how I became obsessed with Beavis and Butt-Head from an early age. Staying up late to watch the show (and other weird programming from MTV's Liquid Television era) became a weekly ritual. Soon, collections of comics, books, soundtrack CDs, videos and apparel followed. By the time Beavis and Butt-Head Do America came out, I was a full fledged, ten-year-old junkie, able to "Huh-huh" and pontificate on the merits of "cornholios" and "thingees" with the best of them. I was wildly unpopular with my friends' parents and our family's Christian youth minister, but that's beside the point.
This means Beavis and Butt-Head is as engrained in my psyche as Nintendo's Virtual Boy, The Spin Doctors, or Space Jam, all of which I loved as a kid and all of which, to coin a phrase, sucked upon revisiting as an adult. As such, I've always worried that my warm feelings toward the show was pure nostalgia, that, like 80 percent of my youthful obsessions, Beavis and Butt-Head wouldn't hld up.
Upon watching Most Wanted, I can only say: brothers and sisters in Butt, how wrong I was.
Beavis and Butt-Head remains a laugh-out-loud hilarious show, driven by two protagonists that are all id, often to the point it borders on sociopathy. There is not a shred of decency or morals in the two. They are disaffected, socially retarded, mentally damaged, utterly insipid and completely hilarious. They are the worst elements of every young man distilled into a pair of teenagers who are nothing but dumb and crazy. As such, Beavis and Butt-Head's misadventures are fantastically entertaining.
The collection presented here doesn't have a weak spot. Each episode (which span roughly five to ten minutes apiece) are well oiled joke machines of physical, bodily, and parodying humor. While it's difficult to discuss each segment without stepping on the jokes (a glance at the titles basically explains the premise of each), my very favorites of the set are the ultra violent "Nosebleed," wherein a simple nasal leakage very nearly kills Beavis, and "Animation Sucks," a ten minute commentary on the cartoon industry and the success of Beavis and Butt-Head that may be the cleverest piece of animated meta ever to air on television.
If I have one complaint about Most Wanted it is the lack of music videos included on the set. One of the most ingenious ideas to come out of the Beavis and Butt-Head factory was their commentary on music videos, as dictated by the very meta idea that they were constantly watching MTV (um, back when MTV showed music videos). I remember the duo's crude accompanying comments as the typical highlight of each episode; that they're left out here is a shame for newcomers to the show.
Speaking of which, the DVD seems pre-designed to newcomers, as it is promoting the upcoming season of the show. In terms of double-dips, you could do much worse—the picture is and audio are about as clear as you're going to get on a show of this age.
Extras, however, are where the disc really shines. Aside from a five minute preview of the new season (which looks very promising), we're treated to an original, uncut version of the perennial Beavis and Butt-Head short "Frog Baseball," as well as a very in-depth documentary on the show's origins, Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-Head. The latter contains comments from Judge, the show's writers, producers, and famous fans like Kurt Loder and Trey Parker (South Park). Each feature is as entertaining as the episode's themselves and more than worth a watch.
Overall, Beavis and Butt-Head: Mike Judge's Most Wanted is a very solid mixtape of classic cartoons for newcomer and rediscovering fans alike. The episodes hold up well and the disc is modestly priced. I can't think of a better primer for the upcoming season.
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