"Dia de los Dangerous!," "Careers in Science," "Mid-Life Chrysalis," "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!," "The Incredible Mr. Brisby," "Tag Sale--You're It!," "Home Insecurity," "Ghosts of the Sargasso," "Ice Station--Impossible!," "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean.," "Past Tense," "The Trial of the Monarch," "Return to Spider-Skull Island"
by Ian Pugh Lengthy postmodern discussions about the drug use in "Scooby-Doo" and the sexual habits of the Smurfs dominated the public mind long before TimeWarner acquired the Hanna-Barbera catalogue. It was only a logical move, then, that TimeWarner's Cartoon Network would devote much of its late-night Adult Swim programming block ("Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law", "Sealab 2021", and, to a lesser degree, "Robot Chicken") to taking the old H-B anti-classics and filtering them through the fine mesh screen of a contemporary ironic eye. Look here, we've got an old superhero, he's an attorney now, that's pretty wacky! Check it out, we've turned the straightforward drama of "Sealab 2020" into angry surrealism! It works to varying degrees of success, primarily depending upon the individual show's (or individual episode's) willingness to move beyond the inherent ridiculousness of its premise. What can we say, then, when "The Venture Bros." represents the kids-on-adventures serial "Jonny Quest", a series centred on a family whose surname is a literal synonym for the characters being parodied? Are we meant to gasp when brilliant über-dad Dr. Benton Quest becomes Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture (voiced by Henry Fool's James Urbaniak), an ignorant pill-popper, negligent of his teenage sons Hank (co-creator Jackson Publick) and Dean (Michael Sinterniklaas)? Or when bodyguard/second father figure Race Bannon becomes Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton), an emotionally-detached psychopath?