While a lot of people were upset when The Venture Bros. was cancelled in 2020, there were also a lot of people who asked, “Who the hell are the Venture brothers?” It is for those people — and Venture Bros. completionists — that we now have The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series DVD, which presents every episode of the TV show…well, sort of.
For people wondering…
who the hell the Venture brothers are, The Venture Bros. is a satirical, surreal, silly, and smart cartoon that mixes action and comedy in much the same way as Archer, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, and other adult ‘toons. Centered around Hank and Dean Venture, the show started out as a parody of such ’80s action cartoons as Johnny Quest and Scooby-Doo, as the boys went on adventures with their dad, Dr. Rusty Venture, who himself was both a boy adventurer and the basis for a cartoon (in the show) called The Rusty Venture Show. Except that, unlike his dad, the original Dr. Venture, Rusty’s life had largely been crushed under the weight of his father’s legendary reputation and accomplishments.
Which is why, over the next seven seasons and 82 episodes, The Venture Bros. evolved in much the same way that Rick & Morty did. While still poking fun at adventurous pop culture (The Fantastic Four, G.I. Joe…), it slowly came into its own as the show explored Rusty’s relationship with his sons and his father’s legacy, the organizations that keep the world safe (O.S.I., Sphynx) and the ones trying to stop them (The Guild Of Calamitous Intent), and the weird characters, both friend and foe, who kept coming into the boys’ life.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, while it has been more than twenty years since the first episodes aired, the whole show still holds up really well (he says, having recently rewatched all of them for some reason). In some cases, better than when it aired, since there are seeds they planted in those original seasons that only later produced fruit.
As for the The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series DVD,
while the episodes on it don’t look as good as they do on the Blu-rays of Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, and Season 7, they don’t have commercials (obviously) or the kind of on-screen plugs you sometimes get when you watch the show on Adult Swim. You also don’t have the stuttering you sometimes get when you watch the show on streaming. (And have the added benefit of knowing these discs won’t disappear if Warner Bros. needs a tax write-off.)
Along with all 82 episodes, The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series DVD also has all of the extras that were included in the original seasonal sets. Granted, The Venture Bros. seasonal collections were never as packed with extras as, say, the ones for The Simpsons. Though there are some good ones, including episode commentaries, the deleted scenes, and even some extra adventures.
As much fun…
as someone new to the show will have with The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series DVD, though, it’s not for everyone. By which I don’t just mean people who hate weirdness. It’s also not for hardcore fans, save for those who have to own anything and everything with the words “Venture Bros.” on it.
For starters, it’s only on DVD, not Blu-ray, despite seasons 3 through 7 being available on Blu-ray. And I’ll refrain from saying how much more I’d love this if it was all on Blu-ray, especially the first two seasons.
It’s also, despite the name, not the complete series. While it was, as I mentioned, cancelled in 2020, the aforementioned upset fans of The Venture Bros. did manage to convince the good people at Warner Bros. to let the show’s creators and masterminds Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick finish out the series with an upcoming direct-to-video movie: The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is The Blood Of The Baboon, which will be out on digital on July 21st and — well, what do you know — Blu-ray on July 25th.
I also wish they had included the sketch they did on Robot Chicken about season 8. But then I’m weird like that.
Still, as I said,
The Venture Bros.: The Complete Series DVD isn’t for people who’ve been watching this show since the pilot aired in 2003. Or the first episode of season one aired a year later. It’s for people who are just now discovering what a wild and weird thing The Venture Bros. has been all this time, and want it all in a convenient take home package. While it may be misnamed, this boxed set is nothing to be upset about.