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BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD VOL. 1
The Mike Judge Collection

Review by Gordon Justesen

Voices: Mike Judge
Creator: Mike Judge
Audio: Dolby Surround
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Studio: MTV Home Entertainment
Features: See Review
Length: 214 Minutes
Release Date: November 8, 2005

“Hey, Butt-head, what did they do in the olden times when they didn’t have any TV?”

“Beavis, you dumbass! There’s always been TV! There’s just more channels now!”

Shows ***1/2

Ever since its inception, television has brought us many important and landmark events. In addition, many shows were created to be embraced and loved by the viewing public, with characters that would live in their hearts as well. Unfortunately, Beavis and Butt-head may not live in the hearts of many, but to those who appreciate dumb humor as myself, the show would be a treasure for years to come.

At the time of the show’s debut in 1993, animated series aimed at adults wasn’t entirely new. By then, prime time favorite The Simpsons was well into its fourth season, while the gross out fare was already finding its way in the form of The Ren & Stimpy Show on the kid-friendly Nickelodeon network. Little did the folks at MTV realize that a little show featuring two of the most brain-dead characters to ever graces the small screen was about to become something of a phenomenon.

Beavis and Butt-head was the first taste audiences got from a then-fresh comic mind named Mike Judge. Judge, who would go on to do the equally successful animated series King of the Hill and direct the cult comedy release Office Space, knows how to achieve humor from the dumb perspective. He would end up creating an animated duo that would make Ren and Stimpy seem more like Woodward and Bernstein.

The premise of the show is as quite simple as it gets. It follows the misadventures of Beavis and Butt-head, two slacker high school students who can’t seem to talk about that isn’t relating to the female anatomy, poop jokes, and heavy metal music. Whenever they attempt to talk about any other issues, their brains seem to fry after about five seconds.

But underneath the rampant stupidity, Judge managed to throw in a level of wittiness that one would not normally expect in such a show. In some cases, the idiocy of the lead characters would often help expose the weakness of another character, even though Beavis and Butt-head would never have a clue as to what they had accomplished. They would even sometimes get the better of a person that was always getting fed up with them, such as their uptight neighbor Tom Anderson or their borderline insane principal, Mr. McVicker.

I have to give credit to Mr. Judge for finally allowing the highlights of his series to finally be released to DVD in a superb package. You may recall a few years back when you could only obtain this series through a Time Life offer, but from what I understand, each video/DVD contained only a few episodes. With Vol. 1 of The Mike Judge Collection (Vol. 2, I’m assuming, will be available in the near future), you get a grand total of 40 episodes on two discs, along with a bonus disc of extras.

Among the many classic episodes included in the package, there’s the early favorite “No Laughing”, where our heroes are forced by their principal from the frequent disruptive laughter for one day, which just happens to be the same day they will begin sex education. Can they pull it off? There’s also the dementedly funny “Most Wanted”, where B & B end up foiling a serial killer on the loose. And who could ever forget Beavis’ transformation into “The Great Cornholio”?

Out of all the shorts, my particular favorite has always been the one titled “Safe Driving”, located on Disc 2. In this one, B & B attend a driver’s ed class, where they watch a gruesome instructional film from the 50s, featuring two guys who resemble you know who. I don’t what to give to much away, but the ending of this one always gets me laughing so hard that I have to rewind it many times. And if you look closely in the last sentence, you’ll notice I said “HARD”. Huh-huh-huh-huh.

While it’s true that Beavis and Butt-head, much like South Park, will forever be an acquired taste, fans that have long awaited the series true debut on DVD will get their moneys worth a hundred percent. Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1 is one must have series package for both fans and those who have yet to experience the sheer stupidity of televisions most brilliant simpletons.

And while I’m at it, allow me to put in a request to the studio that, in addition to Vol. 2’s release, that a Special Edition of Beavis and Butt-head Do America is most definitely appreciated!

Video ***

Presented in its original Full Screen format, MTV delivers the odd but visually engaging look of Beavis and Butt-head to full glory. It transfers incredibly well to form, boasting moments of amazing color and all around image definition.

Audio ***

I was caught by surprise, tremendously, when I saw what the Dolby 2.0 mix was able to do with this show. The front speakers get an actual good working, especially in music playback. Even several settings allow for brief surround sound quality with various sound effects. Not too shabby, if I must say.

Features ****

This 3 Disc collection courtesy of MTV delivers the goods in the third bonus disc which rounds out the package. First off, Mike Judge has recut 23 of the 40 episodes on Discs 1 and 2, which are labeled as Director’s Cut episodes, allowing for more risqué humor, which couldn’t be aired on TV, to be enjoyed.

The third disc includes classic music video commentary from Beavis and Butt-head themselves (always my favorite portion of the show), as well as a nicely made documentary titled “Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-head Part 1”, as well as “Beavis and Butt-head’s Thanksgiving Special with Kurt Loder”, and various appearances at the ‘94 and ’96 Video Music Awards. There’s also a couple of montages and promos, as well as an interactive link to Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeld’s The Animation Website.

Summary:

Beavis and Butt-head have finally made their mark on DVD with a vengeance. The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1 is true must have for any die hard fans of, shall we say, the godfathers of television stupidity. Grab some TP for your bunghole and enjoy!

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