Venture Bros: Love Bheits

Random thoughts while tripping through the fragrant copse of tonight’s episode:

*The guy at the beginning of the show, standing on the volcanic landscape, turns to the camera and, for the aide of the illiterate, announces “Underland,” with a gesture as though he were ushering us into a swank restaurant. More establishing shots should be like this. I’d love to see a shot of Central Park, with the Empire State Building in the background, and a title that says “New York City,” and THEN have a guy, a cab driver or homeless guy, come on screen and say “New York City,” with the same kind of maitre-d gesture.

* Just yesterday I was thinking to myself, “I wonder where you would go to get a Slave Leia costume?” (The answer, for those interested, is here.)

*Oh hey, Luke and Leia are twins, just like Hank and Dean! And I have a feeling that Hank and Dean may not have yet met their “real father” yet either.

*So, wait. I don’t get it. You can say “Chewbacca” in an episode, but you can’t say “Batman?”

*Little miniature timberwolves. Are they bred that way, or do they naturally come in that size in Underland, perhaps because of the lack of food available? Or are they, shudder, timberwolf puppies?

*I was delighted to see Catclops, Manic 8-Ball and Girl Hitler again. I wish we had seen that Manic 8-Ball got a position in the new government at the end. Don’t tell me he died in confinement! The “tiger bomb” couldn’t kill him!

*The “cat hair in the glass of drinking water” beat took two viewings to land for me. The first time I just went “Huh?” when the Baron drinks the water and gets a weird look on his face. And sometimes the dialogue goes by so fast it takes me two or even three viewings just to catch all the lines.

*Brock’s tender mentoring of Hank makes me think, again, that Brock and Hank have a relationship that perhaps even Dr. Venture doesn’t know about.


Return of the Jedi (obviously), my favorite shot being the one where Girl Hitler adjusts her mask so that her moustache can see, an exact parallel to where Lando does the same thing.
Die Another Day for the shots of the X2 being forced down by super-magnet, with pieces breaking off and flying away.
Empire Strikes Back with the thing Underbheit lives in, and the shot of the toupee being lowered down on a thoroughly unnecessary apparatus to attach itself to his head.
Fantastic Four and Underbheit’s taste in the hooded robes of dictators of fictional Eastern Bloc nations.
Simpsons Comic Book Guy for “Lamest. Villain. Ever.”
Dr. Stranglove for urbaniak‘s “German Guy” accent on the henchman who can stop tonguing the slit (boy does that sound dirtier than it is).
Sin City for the row of women’s heads mounted to the wall.
Silence of the Lambs for the shot of the fingernails imbedded in the chair arm.

All this, and a sly comment on gay marriage too. Bravo!

Found this.


27 Responses to “Venture Bros: Love Bheits”
  1. mcbrennan says:

    I usually watch VB with the captioning on, to catch the rapid-fire dialogue…and especially lately, because I’ve been rendered partially deaf by an ear infection, long story, forget I mentioned it. Normally it’s quite revealing. However, this evening’s episode was not closed-captioned, so I missed a few things.

    I have no real basis for this, but Dean’s physical resemblance to Dr. Venture–and Hank’s to Brock–as well as Brock’s special mentoring relaionship with Hank makes me suspect that maybe Hank and Dean are clones of Brock and Rusty, respectively. Or in some way genetically derived from same.

    I think I’m in love with Manic 8-Ball, by the way. Signs point to yes.

    One is also surprised that this episode did not come with an updated public service annoucment from the Scrotal Safety Commission. Early detection is key!

    As usual, this episode was full of loaded questions/commentary on sexuality and gender, as well as–am I reading too much into this?–a subtle polemic against the Iraq war, with Ünderbheit cast as the putative Saddam? Maybe the ear infection’s spreading to my brain, but it sure sounded like had a few barbs in there about the folly of invading a country to “liberate” a disinterested population by force–perhaps best crystallized by the resulting “democratic” replacement of Ünderbheit with a President Hitler (albeit an adorable Ron-Mael-meets-Leni-Riefenstahl version). As Hank notes, that’s progress!

    But maybe it’s the antibiotics talking. Also, consider this a sort of long-winded, rambling hello. I’ve been enjoying your artwork and posts for a few weeks and have been too ill-mannered lazy to introduce myself. Hi. I’m Cait. 🙂

    • Todd says:

      Hi Cait!

      Love the name Cait. Elvis Costello’s second-or-third wife was named Cait.

      I also have a theory about the Hank/Brock Dean/Rusty clone thing. The “speedsuit” episode got me thinking about it. And Dr. Orpheus referring to Dean as having “rust-colored hair.”

      I too am in love with the design of Manic 8-Ball. He’s like Bullseye but cool.

      Caught the stuff about gender, didn’t catch the stuff about Iraq. And to their credit, the Ventures didn’t “invade” Underland so much as get (literally) sucked into it. But it is true that democracy doesn’t look quite so rosy with Girl Hitler running the country. But I at least would trust her to make the trains run on time, which is more than I can say for that Catclops ninny.

      • mcbrennan says:

        “Sucked into it”! Exactly! See, the Unterelectromagnet ray represents…um, the Project for a New American Century and/or the electromagnetic death ray personification of Karl Rove, and what better symbol of the lack of exit strategy and the intractable nature of quagmire than…um…the escape capsule shooting the Venture family back into the heart of Underland? Or the fact that Underland itself–in all its tyrannical, totalitarian, gay marriage-banning dime store Dr. Doom glory–apparently exists somewhere near the very heart of the United States itself?!

        Okay, okay, it was a reach. Sometimes a Catclops is just a Catclops. 🙂

        • kokoyok says:

          wait a minute,,,!

          I thought Ubderbheit was supposed to be Bush (crazy despot, 20 year-old grudge that’s not so popular with his citizens, made anti-gay legislature (which nicely bit him in the ass))which would kinda make Rusty Osama bin Laden (crashing an airplane into his country, and he was on dialysis for a brief period in Dia de los Dangerous (hey – I’m reaching here!)) and I thought the sardonic commentary at the end was that things would be looking up for us if we had a Hitler for president…

          …or maybe I’m just off.

    • popebuck1 says:

      Also, last week Hank was described as “the more athletic one” by Triana (to supervillainess-in-training Kim). And this week, it was mentioned that Hank sometimes exhibits an unleashed “retard strength,” which would correspond nicely to Brock’s berserker furies.

      • robolizard says:

        Dean inherited Doc Venture’s bone structure, head shape and rear end. Of course, Hank is blonde, just like Brock, while Dean has the hair color of Doc’s beard and, much like Doc, is incredibly self concious, while Hank, like Brock, is head strong, and apparently has some Judo skills of some sort.

        Jackson Publick gave a hint on his blog that the fact that sometimes the boys didn’t die together is some sort of plot hint. I’m going to guess that the person Brock regarded most as a father was… probably Jonas Venture, which is why he protects Doc., although that seems incredible contrived….INCREDIBLY contrived. Oh well.

  2. greyaenigma says:

    TiVo didn’t even attempt to record it. Damn you, TiVo!!!!!!

  3. popebuck1 says:

    Spekaing of “barbs,” the barbed-wire wedding ring (and Dean’s reaction shot as it’s shoved onto his finger) is a direct steal from Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” video.

    And did you catch that the Ventures lost their Best Group Costume award to Professor Impossible’s family, who came as the Fantastic Four? You could get dizzy just from all the meta.

    • Todd says:

      the barbed-wire wedding ring (and Dean’s reaction shot as it’s shoved onto his finger) is a direct steal from Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” video.

      Good catch! Now I know how old you are.

  4. craigjclark says:

    All this, and a sly comment on gay marriage too. Bravo!

    Not only that, but Hank’s big speech about Dr. Venture’s abortive quest to isolate the “gay” gene was also highly amusing.

  5. rfd says:

    That picture! When Jackson posted it before the season started, I thought for sure it was an accidental spoiler of cloning stuff. Then I forgot all about it. Then there it was! Not at all a spoiler!

    Hi Todd, I’m a new reader. I enjoy your cat drawings.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Those action figures are bizarre. Brock looks like a retooled Mr. Incredible and Dean has a gun??!!?

    • Todd says:

      I’m guessing Brock is a retooled Mr. Incredible. The others I can’t tell. And I don’t know who would give a gun to Dean.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, if you click their “recipe” link you learn that thet are retooled Speed Racer figures with a Mr. Incredible head thrown into the mix.

        I knew “Dr. Girlfriend” looked familiar. That’s Trixie. It’s as if Trixie were into cosplay.

        It also explains the trophies…

  7. urbaniak says:

    Dr. Strangelove for urbaniak’s “German Guy” accent on the henchman

    Peter Sellers in “Strangelove” is but one of many English speakers who have done that back-of-the-throat stock German dialect over the years. John Lennon does a version of it in “A Hard Day’s Night” which came out the same year as “Strangelove.” Although it’s entirely possible that he was doing Peter Sellers in “The Goon Show.” And both he and Sellers may well be have doing Sig Ruman.

    • Todd says:

      John Lennon is on record in many different places as a long-time admirer of The Goon Show, but the back-of-the-throat German-guy thing, as you note, has been a stock accent for probably longer than Sellers did it. And I’ve seen footage of Hitler speaking where he’s got it as well, so it could have easily come from there.

  8. mandrakes says:

    My favourite Star Wars reference was when Brock (in his Chewie costume) carried HELPeR on his back after he was damaged by the magnet. It’s identical to how Chewie carries C-3PO after he gets hurt in Cloud City. Classic!

  9. king_zilch says:

    (Apologies for coming in late – I’ve been devouring your site since the Metafilter post)

    One more meta-reference, that I didn’t catch until I listened to the soundtrack album: When Brock, Rusty and Hank are running to stop the wedding, the music contains the familiar four-note phrase from Danny Elfman’s Batman theme. Just a hint, as Hank was at his least incompetent in that sequence.