Following the events of Operation PROM where all the hookers were transformed into giant insect creatures, Brock loses the love of his life (or so it seemed) and we finally learn what a "Rusty Venture" is, the world of the Venture Bros. is understandable shook up...but SCIENCE MARCHES ON!! Doctor Venture is nearing a deadline to complete a shield array for his brother's space station and, as usual, has pissed the seed money away and is clueless as to how he might complete the project on his own, so it's all hands on deck. Dean is in a "black" phase, but helps to recruit kids from the nearby college to get the shield up and running. Sloppy science and an overabundance of radiation changes their outlook on life very quickly. While that is the bulk of the plot, you'll also see bits with The Monarch going through Henchman 21 withdrawal (so sad!!) and Billy Quizboy's new Arch Nemesis!! The only die hard complaint you'll probably hear is that the episode is severely Brock-light, but I've got a few other bones to pick myself.
I'm not sure what I expected after this long wait, and as a fairly big fan of the show, I suppose my expectations may have exceeded reality...or perhaps it was just that the season 4 finale was so damn good, they set the bar VERY high.Whatever the case, I found this one hour season opener a bit disjointed. The Monarch steals the show with a follow up gag to the Game of Thrones reference we've all seen by now, so no complaints there. Moments with Dean are also true to form and excellently written along a logical evolution which I have come to love in the show's seasons. It seems there may have just been too many characters to write for in this one, so while some shine, others are left with little to do and are played a bit flat. A great deal of the material relies heavily on lines from movies you'd have to be my age to get. While one or two of these worked subtly into the text is always funny and the expected, slight nod to our favorite films and comics have worked to even greater effect in the past...fondly remembered...here we get a veritable hammer of pop culture swung overhand, crashing down on our collective craniums. It's a bit much.Worse, the jokes are obvious...and that is something I never expect from this crew.
Though a lot of the elements I look for in Venture Bros. episodes have returned with a mighty vengeance, I could not help feeling as if something was missing. Some element that turns a light laugh into someone spitting their drink across the room just was not there. Part of me wants to blame the hour long time period. It's a lot of space to fill with a lot of characters and must have been hell to work on. Another part of me wonders if Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick might be getting bored of their Venture universe? Could you blame them? Whatever the case may be, I'm fully aware this is only the first episode, and so there is a lot of room for the show to take off...it just seems we are off to a rocky start. Crossing my fingers that episode two will give the show a much needed kick in the ass.
Venture Bros. Season 5 airs June 2nd at midnight!