Aug 20 2009 2:29pm

Venture Bros. Season 4 Trailer, (or, Why Aren’t You Watching the Best Show On Television?!)

The Venture Bros. may very well be the greatest show currently appearing on television, and certainly the best thing ever produced by Adult Swim’s offbeat and often fabulous programming line-up. That’s the first thing you need to know, and if you disagree, that’s fine—but I will fight you.

(Seriously. Be at the dueling grounds at daybreak. I demand satisfaction.)

Following the less-than-glamorous exploits of aging “Boy Adventurer” Rusty Venture, along with his extended family and assorted nemeses, the first three seasons of the series have been nothing short of superb, as the narrative has evolved from a zany but utterly inspired spoof of Johnny Quest-type classic cartoons into an intricately plotted comedy goldmine of hilariously neurotic characters and bizarre, labyrinthian back-stories. As my fellow blogger Rajan Khanna has pointed out in his overview of the show, The Venture Bros. practically begs for repeat viewings—I’ve rewatched all three seasons multiple times, and am still consistently surprised by how adeptly the earlier episodes set up later developments, as well as catching new in-jokes and references each time around. There are just so many layers of humor—sight gags, plot points, punchlines, throwaway jokes—built into each episode that it’s nearly impossible to catch everything on a first viewing.

Furthermore, co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer are, hands down, two of the most brilliantly original creative minds working in television today, weaving an astounding array of pop culture references into a tapestry of glittering ’70s and ’80s awesomeness while completely eschewing any hint of the familiar hipster penchant for engaging in irony for irony’s sake. Publick and Hammer are geeks and fanboys of the first water who clearly can’t help trying to work all of their best-loved fixations and obscure objects of nostalgia into the world they’ve created—you only have to listen to the DVD commentary of previous seasons to get a sense of the sincere affection and genuine glee that goes into the creation of their material and characters. The Venture Bros. wholeheartedly celebrates a rapturously geeky eclecticism and a kind of exhilarating randomness that sometimes feels a tiny bit like maybe Joss Whedon’s evil, anarchist twin popped a handful of trucker pills and just let loose with the crazy—and I mean that, of course, in the best possible way.

Within the show itself, the characters are almost all absurdly flawed, generally ridiculous, mostly clueless, and often insanely petty, and yet even at their worst—especially at their worst, in fact—it’s impossible not to relate to them. The greatest appeal of the show lies in the sick, twisted, but strangely touching relationships that underlie all of the over-the-top dialogue, geeky banter, diabolical machinations, and general outrageousness of the Venture universe. Admittedly, you probably won’t get a lot of that from the following  trailer for the upcoming fourth season, but if you’ve never seen the show: come for the explosions, the egregious violence, and the total hilarity; stay for the most superbly plotted, ingeniously scripted cartoon ever spawned from the seething and warped cauldron of comedic genius.

(And also? David Bowie as a supervillain...Best. Show. Ever.)

donald johnson
1. deathjockey
i dont think so. i think yhat the best show on adultswim is the mighty boosh. even though it was on the bbc network first.
Jason Henninger
4. jasonhenninger
I am ashamed to admit I have never seen more of this show than a clip on youtube in which a shaman speaks of rude acts involving a dolphin.
Greg Morrow
5. gpmorrow
I love this show. Brilliant scripts. It is worth pointing out that the trailer spoils a surprise in the Season 2 finale.
C.D. Thomas
6. cdthomas
And, uh, up there, the freeze-frame of the video? That's a spoiler, too, if you haven't seen the finale, a big-ass one. It ain't Action Johnny up there, if you know what I mean and I think you do...

This show is so frakkin' deep that it'd be a spoiler if they showed a horizontal line on a white background.

And what of Molotov?


Just thought I'd say.

And Mighty Boosh is for furriners.
William Hassinger
7. iObject
I would say that Adult Swim is sporadic in its greatness. They haven't really pushed the anime boundary very well for some time now and there are definitely some shows that are just noise and color. I'd love to see them attract more like the Venture Bros. where it's really, truly, well done animation. Hell, I'd like to see AS get a whole channel to really explore the possibilities inherent in "grown-up" animation from around the world.
James C. Wallace II
8. James C. Wallace II
I will agree with you that The Venture Brothers is extremely funny, but to claim it is the greatest thing ever produced by Adult Swim is to do disservice to Morel Oral, which in my opinion is the darkest/funniest thing I have ever seen on the television machine. Come on, now!!!!

I'm old enough to remember Davey & Goliath, for which Morel Oral is based on and I can't stop watching it. That last season was beyond control...
James C. Wallace II
9. goodfellow_puck
I had to double check what blog I was reading at first! I agree, VB is hands down the greatest thing on Adult Swim, or Cartoon Network in general. And it keeps getting GREATER. This is one of those shows I wish I had Tivo for because when we all get together to watch the new eps we're laughing so hard right away that we miss about 10 jokes after that!

Anyone who hasn't seen it yet, the season box sets were and still are something like TWENTY BUCKS each and their design packaging alone is worth that. If you haven't watched it b/c you're not sure you'd like it, I've shown it to a LOT of people and never had a one not run out and buy it all the next day. Re-watch ability is high too, as stated....there's a LOT going on!
Justin Adair
10. Hobbyns
Love this show and watch it often. For some reason I hadn't heard that another season was coming, so that's good news! Brock Samson FTW!
Bridget McGovern
11. BMcGovern
@ deathjockey #1 Yes! The Mighty Boosh is certainly brilliant (as is Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, another of my all-time-favorite shows)...I'm just going to cheat here and pretend my comments were limited to Adult Swim's *original* programming :)

@ iObject #7 and James C. Wallace II #8 I haven't seen very much Moral Orel, but I hear good things, and will definitely check it out given the glowing recommendation. I agree that Adult Swim can often be hit or miss, but I'm hoping that the success of The Venture Bros. will point the suits in the direction of intelligent, higher quality programming. Fingers crossed...

@ goodfellow_puck #9 Thanks for bringing up the DVD sets--you're absolutely right: the design is brilliant, and the commentary alone is worth the purchase price.
derek andersen
12. tvc15tvc15
I will be your second in that duel.

The Venture Brothers are all the great things you say and 1000 times more fabulous than that (and 1000 times hipper than those ridiculous thumbsucking "hipsters"). I have been ACHING for the 4th season to begin and after seeing the trailer I am close to rolling onto the floor.

Thanks too for the phrase "of the first water."
Rajan Khanna
13. rajanyk
My love of the Venture Brothers is documented. I'm looking forward to the new season. It's actually the first television show since I canceled my cable service that gives me a twinge of regret. I suppose I'll just have to find alternate ways to view it.
Pelumi Adefope
14. GenghisCan
I am a diehard fan of The Venture Brothers. It's very under-rated and hilarious. I can't believe the killed 24. So sad...

As for AdultSwim's best shows I believe it's:

The Venture Brothers
Robot Chicken
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Moral Orel
The Boondocks

I have found Superjail to be funny on occasions too.

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