Venture Bros: Victor. Echo. November.

Here’s my own attempt to fix Triana’s face. Automatoid gave it a good try but stopped at her eyeball.  It is also her brow that needs to be fixed. He is anal but I am analler.

Now, if he will be so kind as to instruct me as to how to put a jpeg into a comment…

Meanwhile, there is a stunning new episode of The Venture Bros. to discuss.

My local cable company lists the programming information of “Victor. Echo. November.” as “Dr. Girlfriend and The Phantom Limb go on a double date with The Monarch and a girl he met on the internet. New.”

Understatement of the year. Outside of the context of actually seeing the show, that reads like the word salad of a man with advanced Alzheimer’s.

Poor Triana. She loses everybody she cares about to this insanity. She’s the only pure character on the show, the only one who refuses to live in a state of arrested adolescence. Or hasn’t figured out that life is more fun that way. Which makes it especially ironic that she gets dating advice from Dr. Orpheus.

And then her face melts.

This episode does the best job yet of mixing together the mundane and exotic, with a plot simultaneously so complex and static that when Brock showed up in Dr. Venture’s lounge, naked, covered in blood and holding a severed head, it took me a moment to figure out what was going on.

The voice work on the show continues to astonish, predictably along thematic lines, taking the exoticism of the characters and welding it to the mundanity of their emotional lives. Mr. Urbaniak’s takes on Dr. Venture as the superscientist who is also a clueless emotional dork and Phantom Limb as a brilliant sophisticate who dresses in a purple leotard, both voices playing against the absurdity of the situation to arrive at rich characters in their own rights. Mr. McCulloch as The Monarch becomes more and more subtle as the layers of his personality get stripped away. In this episode he almost trades places with Dr. Girlfriend in terms of self-awareness, realizing how idiotic he looks while at the same time unable to give up his dream of supervillainy. We’ve come so far from the image of the Monarch masturbating while watching Dr. Girlfriend pretend to woo Dr. Venture. But it’s Patrick Warburton as Brock that really makes my jaw drop week after week, adding impressive depth and nuance to what could have easily been a standard Warburton beefcake part. I’ve always enjoyed his work (I’m one of the few adults who enjoyed The Emperor’s New Groove) but the way he consistently plays past the character’s brutality to hit at something more human and, well, caring, continues to touch me in ways I’ve never been touched before by a heartless assassin. And Ms. Nina Hellman as the new teenage supervillain is a beguiling, subtle creation light-years ahead from the cameos she’s delivered heretofore. 

Indeed, it’s her character who casts a certain light not just on the absurd world of The Venture Bros but on our own as well.  She’s already living in a state of arrested adolescence (the character, not Ms. Hellman), it’s just one beginning now instead of in 1965 so it looks relatively normal to us.  Our own world routinely offers teenagers the chance to remain teenagers for the rest of their lives; The Monarch and his Henchmen are only the most extreme examples of it.  The reason Dr. Girlfriend continues to beguile is that she is smart enough to do without all this supervillain nonsense, but another part of her continues to put on the outfits and date the costume-clad losers because, well, probably because it makes her feel sexy. 

In a way the whole show is about arrested adolescence, with each character presenting their own take on the concept, and that includes Mr. Brisby.  Hank and Dean are the most clinical and literal of Team Venture, being seemingly unable to make it out of adolescence alive.  Dr. Venture’s more mature self literally made its break from his body to go live on Spider-Skull Island (or is Jonas his less mature self, living his playboy lifestyle?).  Phantom Limb may be a sophisticate, dealing in bureaucracy and insurance and masterpieces of Western art, but in a way there’s more than a touch of Felix Unger in him, a fuss-budget who uses his sophistication to hold the world at arm’s length so that he doesn’t have to deal with the messier aspects of adult life, like maintaining a stable relationship or taking responsibility for his actions.

Speaking of which, of the stories offered this episode for the Phantom Limb’s origin, I hope Hank’s is the real one.

It’s this quality that makes Venture Bros stand out among the typically moronic Adult Swim block, critiquing the very quality the block tries to promote.

A couple of weeks ago I was discussing Adult Swim with a middle-aged friend of mine, and we got on the subject of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  I mentioned that I had tried to watch it recently and couldn’t get through a whole episode.  My friend shrugged and said “Well, my developmentally disabled teenage sons like it.”  And I laughed and then remembered that my friend actually has two developmentally disabled sons.

Speaking of arrested adolescence, I couldn’t help giving Triana’s face another try.  This time I shifted all of her features to the right, making it more of a three-quarter profile.  I’m learning Photoshop!

And, unable to leave well-enough alone, making her a little more anatomically correct and giving her a cheekbone.  I’ll be a 10-year-old Korean boy yet!


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Comments

36 Responses to “Venture Bros: Victor. Echo. November.”
  1. From lengthy, insightful, loving critiques to Photoshopping a tertiary character’s off-model face? What happened in the last few weeks? Or is this some sort of “new journalism” meta-criticism I’m just not getting?

      • automatoid says:

        When the projector bulb gods finally smile upon you once more, you’ve got to watch Oldboy if you haven’t already. Oldboy has got to be one of the absolute best films I’ve ever seen, from either a story perspective or a cinematographical. It actually gets better and better until the climax. (Maybe in retrospect it suffers from a bit of the slight tediousness seen in a fair number of foreign films, but perhaps American cinema has just taken its toll on my attention span.) When I rented it I thought it would just be some revenge action flick, but I ended up taking home a movie that was waaaaay superior to most movies I’ve ever seen. Thankfully, I hear the American remake is in limbo.

        Huh? Triana? Who?

  2. kokoyok says:

    …what could have easily been a standard Warburton beefcake part.

    Dude! Some of his best parts were David Putty and Johnny Johnson! Extremely brutal or blue collar characters that display uncanny sensitivity and depth at rather ironic moments. It’s easy to see where Brock springs forth.

    • Todd says:

      I keep hearing him on Kim Possible, playing a more standard-issue “bullethead coach” part, and think “man, what a wasted opportunity.”

      • If you haven’t seen him in the unfortunately-aborted live action version of The Tick, you should check the DVDs out — an amazing tour-de-force of strange, brilliant stupidity — line readings that come back to me almost every day.

      • ghostgecko says:

        I’m hearing Patrick all over the place nowadays, and you’re right, Brock is probably his best role. The entire cast is freaking amazing which is one of the reasons (many reasons) it’s heads and shoulders above the rest of Adult Swim and tv in general. Agree with everything you said. It’s a bit like Tag Sale in it consists almost entirely of little moments. For a show about sasquatches, necromancers, pirate ghosts, and whatnot it’s gotten very soap opera, but in a good way.

        And yes, I’m another adult who enjoyed Emporer’s New Groove. The bit where Patrick as Krunk is performing his own theme song made me laugh so hard I almost hurt myself.

        And yay for Photoshop . . . it let me show that with a dye job, Pete White looks amazingly like Crispin Glover (and did you think pre-evil Limb looks a bit like James?).

        Besides Triana’s strabismus here were a couple of moments in this show where it looked like the alien critter for “The Thing” had infected the characters. During the Brock/Limb showdown Limb raises one eyebrow and his pupils go all wacky.
        Oh well. A few hiccups aside, it doesn’t look like it was drawn in MSpaint by a baboon holding a pencil clenched in its anus, like ATHF.

        Oh yeah, and keep up the cat cartoons. Everyone loves cat cartoons. I love cat cartoons.

  3. automatoid says:

    Photoshop BFF

    Wow, I’m a regalur interweb salabrity!

    I have to say, your picture is much better than the Lasso->Drag->Smudge dealy I did in like literally 5 minutes. (Lasso->Drag->Smudge — Story of my life.) I didn’t even fix the cut-off eye lash. I figured nobody would be anal-er than I. Yet here we are.

    But anyway, welcome to the fold. Photoshop isn’t just for pictures of Hitler any more! I actually use a program called The GIMP, which is about a half notch under Photoshop, but free.

    My sliiiight repositioning of the eye in your pic:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    And as far as posting pics in comments, I use a website called http://www.imageshack.com to host pictures. Once you upload it, you get a bunch of html code crap to copy and paste onto where ever. Livejournal seems to use the codes under “Hotlink/Thumbnail for Websites”. Hotlinking should save you bandwidth too.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Photoshop BFF

      Thanks!

      Photoshop came free with the Wacom tablet I bought a few weeks ago. I’m using it to make comics. Previously I had been using the “Paint” program that comes free with Windows, which I now see is the digital equivalent of scratching in the dirt with a pointed stick.

      • automatoid says:

        Re: Photoshop BFF

        MSPaint almost doesn’t even register in my mind. In fact, I’m not even sure it exists. I think you’re making up shit. 😐

        The tablet though – how is it? Does it feel clunky to use, or is it responsive and “high resolution” (eehhhh….by which I mean is the stylus able to be used precisely)? I’ve always thought the idea was neat, but never really looked into how useful they are in reality. If you’re taking on a project like a comic, though, I guess it must have it’s plusses.

        On a slightly unrelated note, I’ve always wanted to draw a character/characters/scene the traditional way, scan it, spruce it up in photoshop, and animate it. It’s like the charm of traditional animation meets the conveniences of today! Wow!

        • Todd says:

          Re: Photoshop BFF

          The tablet though – how is it?

          It’s taken me a couple of weeks of steady use to get use to it, but now I use it all the time. They say Scott McCloud and Brian Bolland don’t use anything else. To me it both feels incredibly precise and a great deal more expressive than it seemed at first. It feels kind of like you’re drawing with a warm grease-pencil and it gets that same kind of loose expressive quality too, once you get used to it. I did a drawing of Hawkgirl for my son Sam that turned out great, I’ll post it later.

          I’ve always wanted to draw a character/characters/scene the traditional way, scan it, spruce it up in photoshop, and animate it.

          I’m thinking of doing exactly that with Feeder Birds. First stop, Photoshop, next stop, a Mac, then Aftereffects.

          • automatoid says:

            Re: Photoshop BFF

            You’ve got me intrigued. I’m gonna have to look into tablets a little more, start comparing prices. I don’t want to end up spending too much, but I also don’t want to limit myself in the long run.
            It’s times like this I wish the communists would hurry up and get here, then we’d only have one Wacom Tablet. That would sure save time.

            So could Feeder Birds: The Motion Picture be far too behind? I think not.

            • Todd says:

              Re: Photoshop BFF

              I got my Wacom tablet at Circuit City for $99. It’s about 5×7, which it turns out is small, but as far as I can tell it does everything the bigger models do. R. Sikoryak saw it and was jealous, because he’s got a huge one the size of a 1962 Lincoln Continental and it takes up too much room in his carry-on luggage.

  4. thunder24 says:

    I really agree, this is some of Warburton’s best VO work. The part where he warns Phantom Limb to stay away from his family, reveals that he is something more than a musclehead assasin. He has feelings!
    Brilliant episode on so many levels.
    And my favorite “I met her on LiveJournal”

    • rennameeks says:

      Actually, it’s “I met her on the LiveJournal,” which adds to the depth of the line. The Monarch isn’t like us – he doesn’t fully understand the online world, since it’s not grammatically correct to insert the word “the” there. Dr. Girlfriend says something similar in season 1 in Tag-Sale regarding “the VH1.” Adding in a word that doesn’t need to be there speaks volumes in both cases.

      Or it could just be Doc’s writing style and I’m reading too much into it.

      I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the pacing of Jackson’s scripts in particular this season, by the way. Everything seems to come together quite cleanly in the finished products.

      I keep thinking of Jackson and Doc like VB’s answer to the Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCarthy – each is brilliant on their own, but when they work together, they put together something that’s even more fantastic. Because of Jackson’s action-packed scripts, Doc can imply more action and show more of the banter that deeply fleshes out the souls of the characters. But that wouldn’t work quite as well without Jackson’s brilliant action sequences that are both unique and humorous. Considering that we live in a postmodern world, where “everything’s already been done,” that’s really saying something.

  5. ayrn says:

    Wouldn’t her cheekbone be a bit higher, like kinda her father’s – all up on the sides of her eyes and freaky-like?
    Or maybe her mom was that Picasso painting…

  6. urbaniak says:

    I’m just touched that that little screen capture I made from my DVD of the episode has launched a thousand variations.

    • Todd says:

      Well, I am a Hollywood screenwriter, it’s not like I’ve got anything else to do. It’s August, my therapist is in a coma, my hooker is on vacation with my poolboy and I forgot my mantra.

  7. monica_black says:

    (I’m one of the few adults who enjoyed The Emperor’s New Groove)
    I was glad that the talking animal was the main character yet human.

    I don’t blame you for not getting through a whole episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

    And, I still think that the original version looks the most angsty teenagerish. How I would know, Mr. Urbaniak has yet to explain.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ventures and Voices

    Sorry to write in the “anonymous mode”, will try to figure the joining Live Journal thing, but not much offer here otherwise.

    Great view onto Episode 6, which was one of the best so far.

    There are so many differences to the Adult Swim fare, circa now, but I wouldnt dismiss the fact Venture Bros. had to be borne from within that experiment of tv fare.

    I could imagine a line up where there was an earlier period of fare, as its more about a sensibility – the humor and logic of Space Ghost, Harvey Birdman, or even Brak, and sometimes Aqua Teen’s hip sensibility to its public and all that.

    But, sure, when it comes to scripting, and potential for growth in regards to characters – sure, Venture Bros is another league.

    What I wanted to comment on is how well it works if you dont watch the images, and just listen to the way the soundtrack (which is like a character unto itself) and voices work. It allows to hear the character Brock really “acting”. No matter what though, I hear his voice in so many other places, it may get to be the typecast problem after this one.

    In fact, the Ventures is about timing timing timing, from the sharp graphics of the opening title graphics (wow…) and the music soundtrack, with the voices. Its so sound oriented, that the visuals are an added plus. That also allows the acting to step up a notch from usual fare.

    Ok – now for me, what starts to nerve in regards to scripts is when inside jokes take more and more precedent. Too many inside jokes about music references in one episode. I think the point is super funny, those guys and their (mostly 80s early 90s) music tastes, but still – yaz, etc.. last time it was Jesus Jones, and so on. I think the point was done now, and gets too specific about just dropping a band name, and not about what to do with it. (hangin with my homies…)

    Insider without doing much for character or the humor, and kind of gets belabored. Either it should be better embedded, like surprises discovered on replays, or be better utilized – I don’t know, as this is such a sonically rich program, maybe the actual soundtrack joins in the reference-joke then, soundtrack weave the idea in and out a bit.

    Just something… that matches the Venture bros wit more than a script tag that feels sometimes the editorial meeting was about who could top the others music reference (or for that matter..”cardsharks?”)

    It doesnt ever reveal as much as say…what you wrote about the characters using “the” in front of either “live journal” or “VH1”. That kind of more subtle but important – to character – material that slowly adds up.

    I don’t know, in the end, I guess the fear is, it will be the thing that will later DATE the material…like the Flintstones having those 60s bands and “current” hollywood stars embedded within, and so on, then in the 70s the tv celebrities on cartoon shows. And we already have the whole skewed Johnny Quest era origin reference, which worked fine.

    But what can I say, Venture Bros. is next to god at this point.

    Art

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Ventures and Voices

      Oh sorry – missed this point I wanted to mention regarding just listening to Venture Bros.
      Hearing Dr. Girlfriend, then looking. The character’s voice, has got to be the reference of Tony Curtis. Either way, it is amazing, and again, using the soundtrack as an instrument.

      Where I have some issues would be Triana – I just dont buy the voice and face as one character yet. Especially when she was crying a few episodes back for the Bros. “death”. It all doesnt fit yet as a character with expression and voice – but her voice is beautiful for the character.

      sorry for the extra tag
      Art

    • Todd says:

      Re: Ventures and Voices

      Wow. You’ve really put some thought into this. You should address your thoughts to Mr. Publick.

      To me the hip references don’t get in the way of the show. I don’t catch half of them first time around and I never listened to Yaz or Duran Duran or Technotronic or Jesus Jones or any of those bands they toss about, so they don’t really mean that much to me. I think it’s smart to include references to thing already gone by because the show won’t date the same way that way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Ventures and Voices

        will do – its just he doesnt update so much, still on the last episode, and your post was compelling. Anyway, reading both!

        art

      • mcbrennan says:

        Right here, right nooooooow…

        What do I know? Very little. But for me, a lot of these references–Yaz and Jesus Jones being prime examples–are there to demonstrate how very uncool some of these characters are. Unless you were high on ecstacy at a rave in 1990, Technotronic was never cool, and I don’t think there are sufficient mind-altering substances on earth to do much about Jesus Jones. Sure, references to Bowie or Frank Frazetta have a cult timelessness to ’em, but even they are designed to suggest an insular world of obsessive geekery, of people stuck in the past–or as you’ve observed, stuck in an adolescence that forever fixed the stars at 1983 or so. Google is probably helpful for the younger viewers. The best television, the best art, rewards repeated viewings, and VB is so layered, so dense with references and subtext, that I think people will always be able to find something new when they watch it.

  9. rennameeks says:

    (I’m one of the few adults who enjoyed The Emperor’s New Groove)

    *waves her hand furiously in agreement* I keep forgetting to actually post that I too enjoyed The Emperor’s New Groove. Solid movie that crosses a lot of lines, especially for Disney animation. It gets better with repeated viewings, too.

    Besides, Kronk is my second favorite Patrick Warburton voice acting performance.

    • Todd says:

      The story behind Groove, as I remember it, was that it was designed to be a musical on the level of Alladin but at the last moment the Powers That Be looked at the thing and said “This ain’t cuttin’ it as a musical, let’s cut the songs, re-arrange the plot and make it a straight comedy.” Kind of like James L. Brooks’s I’ll Do Anything. Given that, I was shocked to find that it was enjoyable at all, much less a pretty funny feature.

      Not only does it have my second-favorite Warburton perf, it also has my favorite David Spade performance, but I guess that’s not saying much.

      • rennameeks says:

        Yep, that’s the story, all right. That’s one thing that works about the Disney animation story process that I’ve always liked – if something’s not working, they’ll still scrap it and start over halfway through. Cost-effective? Not by a long shot. Better final product? You betcha. Guaranteed to be a hit? Hell no. Not everything can be. In this case, it was definitely the right choice. This is definitely my favorite David Spade performance too, but I doubt it would have been if it had remained a musical. *shudders*

        • Todd says:

          Cost-effective? Not by a long shot. Better final product? You betcha.

          Well, let’s not praise Disney too much. When considering “cost-effectiveness,” Disney has a very long road they look down. This is a company whose very first feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, still continues to charm viewers and (more important) bring in tens of millions of dollars of profit every year.

          When they were looking at The Emperor’s New Groove, the kind of “cost effectiveness” they were thinking of had to do with the 80 or 90 million they had spent on the movie already, plus the 50 or 60 million dollars it would take just to bring the product to the marketplace, vs. the 20 or 30 million dollars it would take to fix the broken movie, set against the (potential) 200 million the movie might make at the box office (it didn’t, it topped out around 60 or something) and the endless stream of potential ancillary revenue from decades of in-house tie-in promotion, straight-to-video sequels, TV shows, toys, games, knick-knacks, etc. etc. etc.

          Looking at those kinds of numbers, the 20 or 30 million they spent to fix the movie seemed like a good gamble, and I’m sure the movie (or at least the title and characters) has been profitable in the long run for Disney. They rarely make a misstep in the profitability department. That’s what they’re good at.

          • rennameeks says:

            Touche! I should have focused on the riskiness of the move, since some characters/movies are more marketable than others – and The Emperor’s New Groove still isn’t as marketable as some of the movies with cuter, cuddlier characters. “Ooh, Mommy, I want a stuffed Yzma!”

            Also note the lack of merchandise for the less popular features, the ones that don’t work (or at the very least, don’t work as well). There’s a certain amount of merchandising that goes with the film’s rerelease on whatever video format is in style, but beyond that (and the lackluster sequels made years after the fact), these movies aren’t heard from again.

            What’s interesting is that there aren’t more movies made this way, if it’s so cost-effective in the long run, though risky in the short term. Although I suppose that’s due to Disney’s wide ready-made audience, earned after years of effort.

            • Todd says:

              earned after years of effort.

              Decades. Indeed, Disney seems to be alone in their understanding of the potential of these properties it owns. All the other studios in Walt’s day had no interest whatsoever in the “future” of the films they were making. But Walt understood it from the beginning. Even WB, Disney’s closest rival in terms of having a huge stable of characters marketable to generation after generation, seems to consistently bobble the ball in terms of recognizing the long-term value of their property. Icons as indelible as Bugs Bunny and Batman manage to retain their popularity in spite of the studio’s constant botched attempts to make them relevant, not because of them.

  10. mcbrennan says:

    Asperger’s syndrome epidemic, perhaps?

    “In a way the whole show is about arrested adolescence, with each character presenting their own take on the concept, and that includes Mr. Brisby. Hank and Dean are the most clinical and literal of Team Venture, being seemingly unable to make it out of adolescence alive. Dr. Venture’s more mature self literally made its break from his body to go live on Spider-Skull Island (or is Jonas his less mature self, living his playboy lifestyle?). Phantom Limb may be a sophisticate, dealing in bureaucracy and insurance and masterpieces of Western art, but in a way there’s more than a touch of Felix Unger in him, a fuss-budget who uses his sophistication to hold the world at arm’s length so that he doesn’t have to deal with the messier aspects of adult life, like maintaining a stable relationship or taking responsibility for his actions.”

    There’s so much truth to this. I’m not sure if it’s arrested adolescence or just pervasive failure–failure to live up to impossible standards or to fulfil early promise, especially. Whether it’s Rusty’s boy-adventurer pedigree, Billy’s boy-genius, Brock’s football career, or the Monarch’s blueblooded trust fund origins, so many of these characters were destined for greatness and got stuck. Another specific theme I connect with is how the…the knowledge and expertise and talents of all these characters are essentially useless outside their insular little world of adventuring and “cosplay” (or costume business, in deference to the Monarch); the 60s/70s backgrounds and social “rules” are no accident. The world they learned how to live in has passed them by; The idealism of the original Team Venture is as obsolete as Rusty’s speed suits. Brock’s cold war is over; even his mentor has left it all behind, including his gender. The Guild is in league with the police. Faced with the prospect of trying to make normal human connections and fit in with the contemporary world we know (if such a thing even exists for them), Dr. Venture, the Monarch and company instead spend their time riding the carcasses of the dead past, reenacting costume dramas to keep them from going insane with boredom or despair. The scale of their “adventures” is telling: There are no world-changing inventions and no world-domination schemes. And for all the Marvel-inspired costumed supervillains, there are almost no heroes left, certainly none in costume (outside of that ethically dubious blowhard Richard Impossible, whose entire empire sits on the rubble of Ventures past). I think that’s one of the reasons that Brock in particular can be so emotionally engaging–he’s the heart of the show, trying to hold the universe together as it spins off its axis, protecting the family he loves and trying to safeguard the next generation so that someday, things will be different. He lives by a code of honor, something maybe only the Guild still recognizes. Orpheus plays much the same role for Triana, though she and Kim are more a product of our world, and more able to see the Venture family and their nemesis as anachronisms. Triana feels for the boys, but she won’t end up like them. We hope.

    Interesting also that in this world where family is so key, all the mothers are missing (Hank and Dean’s? Rusty and Jonas Jr’s? Triana’s? The Monarch’s? Just for starters…) Interesting also that the strongest female character on the show may or may not have arrived at womanhood through unconventional means, and we certainly know that the man who was like a father to Brock is now more of a mother-figure (of course, the transgender thing may be just a red herring where Dr. Girlfriend is concerned, but leave me my illusions.)

    As a more or less failed child prodigy myself, I feel for these characters even as I fear I’m probably going to share their fate. I suppose sitting up at 3am writing a 5000 word essay on a cartoon is not going to change that. 🙂 But the Venture Bros. is of course much more than a cartoon, and I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best show on television. It’s a privilege to live in a time where you get to experience firsthand something that is both great art and great fun in pop culture. There’s so much going on here, so much to think about, that it’s just a delight to watch every week.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Asperger’s syndrome epidemic, perhaps?

      And you know, I don’t think this level of discourse is inspired by Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

      • mcbrennan says:

        Re: Asperger’s syndrome epidemic, perhaps?

        It’s certainly not up to the level of this discourse.

        You know, I tried watching Aqua Teen a couple of times. All the kids love it, allegedly. But dear god…yeah, that’s awful. Not as bad as Squidbillies, but it’s bad. Really the whole [as] lineup is terrible. There are occasional inspired moments in Robot Chicken, The Boondocks shows some promise and Moral Orel was a great concept (a parody of Davey and Goliath) that went horribly, horribly wrong. The only thing on [as] that I’ve ever really enthusiastically enjoyed other than VB is Brendon Small’s Home Movies, which has some great commentary on filmmaking as well as a much funnier and more realistic, human take on childhood than the dismal South Park.