The Venture Brothers: Season One

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The world was in safe hands when Dr. Jonas Venture and his brave Team Venture were on the clock, as evil was kept in check. The genius mind of Jonas fueled Venture Industries, a firm which pioneered technological advances like the world had never seen. Between his corporation’s innovations and his team’s courage, Jonas was able to fend off opposition with ease. Decades later, Venture Industries is in the hands of Jonas’ sole heir, his son Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture. He isn’t as gifted as his father and while he tries to fill his shoes, that is most often a futile exhibition. Instead of the brave heart and genius mind of his father, Rusty has anxiety, pill addiction, and a sense of helplessness. He does have two teenage sons, Hank and Dean, though their origin is unknown and more than a little suspect. Hank and Dean live very sheltered lives, home schooled and given minimal social lives, so they are naive and painfully optimistic. But they are counterbalanced by Venture’s bodyguard Brock Samson, a mountain of a man who crushes all his enemies with no trouble. This group is challenged by The Monarch, an evil man who seeks to take out Venture and all he represents. As the two sides often clash, which group will emerge as victor, with the world’s fate in the balance?

The Venture Bros. is an Adult Swim staple, but it hasn’t been the kind of cult favorite that some of the brand’s shows have turned into. Even so, the show is one of the best Adult Swim offers and I was thrilled to see this first season released. The Venture Bros. isn’t as surreal as shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Sealab 2021 either, but it has more than its fair share of quirks. But don’t expect a manic pace and rapid fire chaos, as this is a more grounded, yet still hilarious project. The jokes are frequent and most are effective, with an emphasis on sharp one liners and turn of phrase. A lot happens here and to be honest, some episodes require a second look to pick up on all the subtle touches. The show has a unique tone and as you watch the episodes, that tone is more evident and the show’s depth shines through. The adventure elements are well crafted also, in the vein of Jonny Quest or the like, but more slanted. The inspirations from 60s action/adventure cinema abound also, both in actual content and especially in the visuals. This is a rare duck from Adult Swim in that the episodes run half an hour, instead of the usual half length. The Venture Bros. is a recommended series and a purchase is wise, since this is the kind of show you can watch again and again.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. As I said before, this series has some cool visuals, thanks to a bold color scheme and inventive animation. So it was important to have a top notch visual presentation, to let the visuals reach their full potential. And Warner has supplied a great looking batch of episodes here, so all the offbeat visuals can come across in clean, unhindered fashion. The prints have no marks or debris, which is good, since the series is so new and shouldn’t have any real wear evident. I love the color use in this series, so the bold and vibrant hues found here really pleased my eyes. No problems with black levels either, so both the color and contrast fall into place within these episodes.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is Dolby 2.0 surround, but don’t think this is going to be a feast for the ears. The music does add some depth to the audio, with deep bass and such, which is nice. Aside from that, some sound effects can be loud and directional, but this is still pretty much a straight forward presentation. The vocals sound great and the other elements fall into place, not much else we could want here. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

A handful of episodes includes humorous audio comments, while other supplements include deleted scenes, the pilot episode, the Christmas episode, and an odd live action featurette. Not a lot of goodies here, but what it is here is worth a look.

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