Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

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Kif White
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Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby Kif White » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:47 pm

I hate to say it, but I have to ask: am I the only one who is a little disappointed in Venture Bros. 3rd Season so far?

I have to say straight off, The Doctor is Sin was fantastic. No doubt about that one, it was up there with some of VB's best.

But the other three, not so much.

I have to point fingers at both the season premiere and The Invisible Hand of Fate in particular. A hell of a lot of back story, but very low on the laughs in both cases, as well as the feeling that they're cramming far too much past revelations in too quickly, clumsily and early. They also appear to take things a little too seriously, playing more on the side of actually being a Johnny Quest-esque show rather than mocking it.

The pilot had a few amusing moments, admittedly, but the story itself wasn't particuarly clever, and seemed to leave some big plot holes (such as The Monarch suddenly working for Phantom Limb when Dr. Girlfriend was his queen, when in the past he didn't seemed to know for sure whether they worked together or not). While it was just saved with a sprinkle of decent jokes, The Invisible Hand of Fate had a great G.I. Joe parody, The Nozzle, the notion of underground quizzes... and that's about it. The jokes just seemed to leave the station after abotu half-way, leaving a rather drab backstory that didn't really put a twist on anything, and, again, felt more serious and less parody and farce by the end.

The 4th episode, Home is Where the Hate Is, thankfully didn't have as much back story, but wasn't really that interesting. The main plot was so-so, but the laughs weren't as thick and fast as most Season 1 or 2 episodes. Sgt Hatred not being an overtly interesting character is probably the main reason. The main problem here was the go-nowhere, unfunny side-plot though. The whole thing with The Moppets vs. the Monarch's Henchmen just didn't catch my interest. I guess a large part of me also wants The Monarch to return to being Venture's rival for some reason. I miss the dynamic.

I don't want to be so down on the series, since I love the first two seasons to bits. But some kind of spark has been missing from this latest batch so far. I know it's early days, but half of them so far have been rather drab flashbacks that cram in too much backstory too soon, most of which consisting of mysteries behind previous questions being answered rather plainly. And while The Doctor is Sin was in funny and familiar territory, the remaining episode really hits home that The Monarch vs. Venture dynamic could be a crucial factor that will be sorely missed.
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Re: Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby Terry Y » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:44 pm

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, but I will say that this season is a bit different than what I was expecting.  Personally, I like all the backstory since it makes the characters make more sense or at least have a bit more depth.  And I personally think The Monarch will go back to arching Venture at the wrap of this season and into the next.  And I don't care what anyone says - knife-wielding midget moppets are damned funny.
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Re: Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby Kif White » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:38 pm

I have no problem with backstory itself either. In fact, in VB it's required. One of my favourite episodes is Past Tense. I just felt that it could have been executed a lot better, a lot funnier and eased in a little more than with these latest offerings.

Backstory in the past two seasons was mostly either sprinkled via off-hand comments from the characters or through small flashbacks, some of which is more speculation than fact. But suddenly in two of the first three episodes of the new season we're bombarded with a backstory barrage that's so thick that there's little left over to wonder about. Humour seemed to suffer, and not only that, but there were very little twists on any of it. For example, the origin of Phantom Limbs' limbs wasn't particuarly witty or clever, it just seemed like something you could see in any serious superhero comic, and was a bit of an anti-climax because of it.

I'm hoping the rest of the season picks up, I really am. But at the moment, the third season seems a bit like an early Jump of the Shark to me.
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Re: Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby Stretch_Dude » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:33 pm

Shockwave wrote:For example, the origin of Phantom Limbs' limbs wasn't particuarly witty or clever, it just seemed like something you could see in any serious superhero comic, and was a bit of an anti-climax because of it.


It is, however, fairly accurate to one of the theories in "Victor. Echo. November."
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Re: Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby Sheana_Molloy » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:53 am

I'd say the most recent fifth episode may be a breath of fresh air to some, considering the subject matter and jokes...

I can see what you're saying and all, but so far I haven't had many problems with it.  Jackson posted to his journal saying that this season would have a lot of backstory and not be the best intro for new viewers, and that Invisible Hand Of Fate may've seemed a little out of place because it was a holdover script from Season Two.  The premiere and fourth episode were a little imperfect, I'll admit that.

But I've been enjoying it.  I love backstory, and have been finding all the stuff revealed so far to be very interesting.  I really enjoyed Invisible Hand Of Fate (partly 'cos I dig Pete & Billy, and there was Hunter Gathers to boot).  I also feel that there's nothing wrong with playing it serious here and there, and there only being a few laughs in an episode.  This show isn't the average comedy show, it's not Laff-A-Minute goofiness with stories that completely resolve themselves with continuities that reset after twenty-two minutes.  It's been dark and has had dramatic moments since Episode One.  It's not like Futurama never had dark or sad moments (Jurassic Bark, anyone?).  Keeping a show 100% parody isn't fair to the characters, who regardless of their roots are their own individual little creations that grow and change and deserve the chance to blossom into something more than lolQuest.

And you know, preparing for the new season after so long a wait, I went back and watched the first two seasons.  While it's still pretty great and clever and all, in retrospect Season One is fairly imperfect and basic and flawed, with several episodes I don't care much for or find that interesting.  The show's a lot more complex and full of ideas and plots and emotions now, and I've never looked more forward to catching the newest episode.

(Pssst, there's that VB site of Graham's, ya know.)
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Re: Season 3, four episodes in... and a little disappointed.

Postby missy_misery » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:10 pm

I've always thought of VB being a semi-serious show, just one laden with sarcasam.  There are genuine relationships to root for and characters to invest in.  An example: while Dean and Hank's multiple deaths are played for laughs, we have genuine serious reactions from Triana. 
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