"When it debuted in the mid-aughts, Venture Bros. was unmistakably new, and, more impressive still, it never proved to be a passing novelty. From the beginning, it broke with (and satirized) cartoon tradition in two ways," Miles Klee says in mourning the Adult Swim animated series' cancelation after seven seasons. "Adult Swim had initially made its brand on the repurposing of material from the Hanna-Barbera archive. Space Ghost became the Dadaist talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast; Birdman and the Galaxy Trio transformed into the zany legal procedural Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law; Sealab 2020 was edited into the dysfunctional workplace sitcom Sealab 2021. The Venture Bros. also played on Hanna-Barbera nostalgia, particularly tropes of the Jonny Quest series, but the concept was far more ambitious than any amusing remix: The ensemble and settings formed an homage, yet they remained entirely original, as did the art. And whereas the other shows were aggressively anti-contextual (a channel-surfing stoner could easily drop into any irreverent episode), Venture Bros. was almost forbiddingly dense with backstory and parallel plot threads. It requires a geek-level attention. It also lampooned the very geekery that made such a premise feasible and sustainable." ALSO: Adult Swim hopes to find "another way to continue the Venture Bros. story."
TOPICS: The Venture Bros., Adult Swim