Beavis and Butthead Conquer MTV Once Again

When Beavis and Butthead debuted on MTV in March 1993, it wasn’t long before the duo were household names. The show aired from 1993 until it’s cancelation in 1997, and ran for 200 episodes. Along the way the show made many of us laugh and a lot of us cry. Some viewed the show as the beginning of the downfall of American civilization as we knew it. Some said that the show gave kids bad ideas and promoted delinquent behavior. Others felt that the humor was an undercurrent for intelligent social commentary, and others just thought it was funny as hell. Well, like it or love it the boys are back and MTV has just wrapped up the first season of Beavis and Butthead’s triumphant (or, depending on your point of view, depressing) return to television. And all I can say is they haven’t changed much.

A little more than a year ago Mike Judge confirmed his plans to bring the show back, igniting excitement and speculation among the MTV generation (definition: those who still remember MTV as “music television”.) In October of 2011 the first episode in 14 years aired and left no doubt that Judge was taking up right where he left off in 1997, as if nothing had ever happened. The shows are just as funny and stupid as ever.

Judge seems to have only made one major change to the shows format: The boys now comment, not only on music videos, but on MTV’s brain cell destroying reality shows. It makes a great show even better. And for those of you who were worried that Mike Judge would get all politically correct and sensitive to the feelings of others can rest easy, the boys don’t give a crap about any of that. Remember, their only concerns are scoring, breaking things and being cool, nothing else matters.

The animation is much brighter and crisper than it was back in the 90’s. No doubt some of this is due to the fact I am now watching it on a 65″ plasma TV rather than a 20 year old 13″ tubular dinosaur that was my sole source of video entertainment way back when. But I’m sure Mike Judge has taken advantage of the technological advances that have been made in the last decade and half since the last airing. The sound is great, and Mike Judge hasn’t lost a step in his voicing the characters of the show.

The plots are just as irreverent as they ever were. In one episode the boys mistake an abortion clinic for a whorehouse and promptly begin scheming their way in. In another episode the boy’s twitchiness gets them mistaken for drug dealers where they end up in the middle of a porn shoot. Trust me, it only gets better from there.

I f you’ve seen the show before, then you know what to expect. If you haven’t, and you only know the show by reputation, nothing s changed. It’s funny, stupid and the social commentary is, at times, insightful. I think it was a great idea for Mike Judge to bring the show back; it ended its first run way too soon. And, despite the fact I have been critical of MTV in the past, I applaud them as well. Usually remakes, reruns and rehashes don’t work well in television, but this is the exception to the rule. The first new season was a success. My only complaint is the boys seem to grunt and laugh more this time around. But, then again, maybe they don’t. Maybe I’m just getting old. Oh well. Welcome back you idiot savants!

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