Venture Bros: Careers in Science

A triumph.

Is it my imagination, or is the female astronaut with the big, bushy red hair but no face supposed to be a reference to the mayor’s assistant in Powerpuff Girls, who has the same haircut and the same unshowable face?

I’m curious if there was a number of character designs developed and rejected, or was the character faceless to begin with?

In general, the sweetest of the Venture Bros. episodes and the most generous in spirit. Rusty almost comes close to being likable.

It’s bizarre how the show walks this line between total parody and genuine drama. For instance, we are clearly not meant to take any of these characters as human beings, and yet they have all been given real backgrounds and personalities. They don’t just do whatever’s funny for a given situation, they react in character and without reliance on catchphrases or punchlines.

J.G. Thirwell’s music is overwhelming. Try watching the show on a home theater system with 5.1 surround sound.
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22 Responses to “Venture Bros: Careers in Science”
  1. greyaenigma says:

    OK, the parallel between Miss Cosmonaut and Sara Bellum pretty disturbing. Does that mean the guy is the Mayor? Not very bright or worldly, worthless without her, and teetering on the edge of insanity? I think the idea of such a sexually active character tied mentally to the innocent PPG is more disturbing than vomiting streams of cocoon juice. But as a commentary on this hot but faceless Miss Bellum… Hmm.

    It’s also sad that the character I felt sorriest for in that episode was HELPR.

  2. popebuck1 says:

    I always wonder just how the space station went from a bustling can-do metropolis, back in the ’60s, to being a derelict hulk with a staff of two in the present day.

    Probably something to do with the kick-ass “technology will save the world” spirit of the Kennedy years collapsing into the failed cynicism of the ’00s, or something – I’ll leave the analysis to the grad students writing “The Venture Bros.: A Sociological Analysis.”

    “I hate Phantom Space Man!”

  3. eronanke says:

    Sharky’s Machine….

    I love the boys’ reaction when they find their father ‘dead’, and one of them screams,
    “Why would Phantom Spaceman do this?!”
    I love that the kids are so blinded in their desire to have adventure that they can’t actually process that there is a BAD GUY who might HURT someone, even though they were earlier told that he had KILLED everyone on the spacestation.

    • popebuck1 says:

      I think it’s clear throughout the series that the boys have… well, let’s call it a highly abstract view of concepts like “danger.”

      Like when Dr. Venture calls Hank out on his completely nonchalant reaction to finding his father transformed into a big caterpillar, and Hank basically shrugs and says (in so many words) “What do you want? We see this kind of shit all the time!

      Or, similarly, when Dean is much, much too okay with the idea of Hank becoming a living bomb in “Ice Station Impossible!”

      • eronanke says:

        Oh, I agree, the concept of danger is very skewed for them, however, the concept of a non-happy ending is where I think they completely ignore reality.
        Their father ‘dying’ was a concept that they obviously could not grapple with.

        • popebuck1 says:

          That’s the cool part – the brothers themselves are the ONLY characters still residing in Johnny Quest world, where every new situation is just another excuse for a kewl adventure, and the concept of ACTUAL physical danger just doesn’t compute. Meanwhile, everyone ELSE is in this dreary subset of Reality Land 2006, but still going through all the motions of the Johnny Quest universe. Such levels of cognitive disconnect!

          • eronanke says:

            I dissagree- I believe the Villains are just as much in the fantasy realm. Remember when the Monarch obeys “Rusty’s Law”, whereas realistically, he probably should have just killed them.
            Baron Unterbite just as well.

            • popebuck1 says:

              I stand corrected.

              You’re absolutely right – the Monarch and the Baron are both entirely in QuestWorld as well, as is Dr. Orpheus, and it’s really just Rusty who stands outside it and say “What the hell?!”

              Brock seems to be on the border between the two worlds, going back and forth as needed. (Difference being, he knows all the rules of QuestWorld and interprets them absolutely pragmatically and without ironic comment, whereas Rusty can’t stop with the irony.)

              • eronanke says:

                The others I can think of that exist outside the Questworld would be:
                Dr. White and Billy Wizzkid
                The Impossible family (Save Prof. Impossible)
                The Henchmen
                The Pirates of Sargasso
                Dr. Girlfriend

                And that’s it.

                • popebuck1 says:

                  And even White, Billy, and Dr. Girlfriend have their moments where they buy into the “mythology” instead of acting rationally. (I’m specifically thinking of White and Billy geeking out while in the Impossible compound.)

                  The only one on your list I would totally disagree with would be Brisby, who acts like a standard QuestWorld villain for pretty much all of his episode (ludicrously constructing his “BrisbyDome” in the middle of his own theme park, the Blofeld-like trappings with the panda and mute manservant, etc.).

                  • eronanke says:

                    You’re right about Brisby, I do take him back.

                    But I’m afraid that, although they do drift into Questdom, I’m going to qualify them as “realistic”, especially given that they embezelled money for ‘helicopter fuel’ from the Ventures in their time of need. (Are you there god, It’s me, Dean”

                    • popebuck1 says:

                      I’ll give you Billy, White, and Girlfriend. I’m just saying that even they have their moments where they go all Quest.

                      But in general, you’re right, it’s like answering the phone “Conjectural Technologies: How can we make your tomorrow brighter?” They go through the motions, but their hearts just aren’t in it.

                    • eronanke says:

                      Exactly; and right before they discuss White’s problem of not flushing.
                      It’s way too real to be Quest. 🙂

          • Todd says:

            Well, in one way the show is all about Rusty and his problem with this “super-science” life. Because on the one hand, he feels inadequate because he’ll never be the super-guy his dad was, and on the other hand he’s too intelligent to be the adventure-seeking dimwits his sons are. He’s caught in the generational middle. His father lives in Questland and his sons insist that that Questland has got to exist around here somewhere, but he has neither the charisma of his father nor the adventuresome spirit of his sons. Or perhaps he once had that spirit (he did, after all, “just want to play with his cowboys”) but it got beaten out of him by his bigger-than-life father.

  4. What the heck is going on

    with the size of the content boxes?

    • Re: What the heck is going on

      I’m guessing its due to replies.

    • Todd says:

      Re: What the heck is going on

      I upped my subscription to post the “Butch Cassidy” pics above, but it meant squishing everything to allow the advertising column to the right. It’s freaking annoying, innit.

      • Todd says:

        Re: What the heck is going on

        Ha! I got around the system by upping my subscription, posting the pictures, then switching it back to free! UP YOURS, LIVE JOURNAL!

        I mean that in the nicest possible way.

  5. urbaniak says:

    I just got here. What’s an “advertising column?” When I started a paid account it didn’t affect my page layout.

    • Todd says:

      There is a step between a free account and a paid account, and that is a “sponsored” account. It gives you a lot of the same things as a free account, but it plasters a big ad column down one side of your blog.

      It’s gone now, and I should probably just get a paid account since I pretty much do this full-time now.