I’m sure I’ve professed my love for the Venture Brothers on this site at some point in the past. Probably more than once.
But sometimes it can be hard to say exactly why this show is one of my favorite things to appear last decade.
Hard for me, but not for writing genius Todd Alcott, who writes lengthy deconstructions of every episode of the show.
Now, The Venture Bros is a tremendously complex show — things connect to other things on many different levels. Every character, almost every beat, brings with it a whole complex group of associations, both within the show itself and also in regard to the world of narratives that the show was made in reaction to: Jonny Quest, Marvel comics, boy-adventure stories, James Bond, 60s and 70s science fiction and about sixteen million other things. There’s an incredible wealth of associations going on in each and every scene, which adds to the resonance of the show beyond the actual plot of any given episode. So the show isn’t just about what the characters say and do, it’s also about this gigantic cultural conversation between the past and the present, what we as a culture imagined the future to be and how it turned out instead.
He calls it a “show for the ages”, and like most great comedy it will probably be under-appreciated until a little time has passed, especially since some of the more recent stuff is a lot more “heady” than the earlier episodes were. But it’s a true testament to nerd culture in the new millennium.