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Featured TV on DVD Review: Venture Bros.: Season Five

March 1st, 2014

Venture Bros.: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

This is the first time I've gotten a chance to review Venture Bros., but not the first time I've seen it. It is one of the more normal shows in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up with an actual plot. I didn't get a chance to see season four, but I'm sure I'll be able to catch up right away.

The Show

  • What Color is Your Cleansuit?
    Okay, so I was wrong. Season four ended with Operation: P.R.O.M. in which a lot happened. So much happened that the first three minutes is nothing but short scenes getting us caught up to date. The main plot of the episode involves Dr. Thaddeus S. "Rusty" Venture, the father, getting a call from J.J., his brother, about the electroshield he has been developing. ... He hasn't been developing it and he only has three months to get it finished, so he cuts corners with disastrous results. Meanwhile, Dean returns home and is in a really bad mood. (He's actually in a really bad mood for nearly the entire season.) Finally, Billy Quizboy gets a nemesis, Augustus St. Cloud.
  • Venture Libre
    Dr. Venture, Sergeant Hatred, and Hank, are called in by the military, specifically General Manhowers, to fix a defective weapon Dr. Venture sold him, Venturestein. As the Stein part of the name might give away, it's a undead monster. The Military sent him to some small South American country to put down a socialist movement, by blowing up near them. Instead, Venturestein learned about socialism and guerrilla warfare and went into the jungle attacking all of the secret mad scientist lairs and liberating whatever creations he found within. Meanwhile, Hank tries to survive in the jungle, but the only food he can find are coffee beans. Too much caffeine does bad things to Hank.
  • SPHINX Rising
    Henchman 21, a.k.a, Gary, a.k.a., Sphinx Commander, stops a Long Division truck (Long Division is an evil organization, I think). However, Brock and Shoreleave were undercover. Gary, now Viceroy is trying to restart SPHINX and among his recruits is Hank, in The Countess's old armor, which he calls Destiny, as well as some of the old members of SPHINX. Meanwhile, The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend go undercover as beaver inspectors into Venture Mansion to blow it up.
  • Spanakopita!
    The episode begins with a brief glimpse of Dr. Venture as a kid, Rusty, on vacation in Greece with his dad. We then return to the present with Dr. Venture trying to sell the idea of a vacation to Spanikos to Billy Quizboy and Pete White. Quizboy loves the idea, but White is an albino, so Fun in the Sun is not appealing to him. Still, he goes. When they get there, there's trouble. Augustus St. Cloud is there and determined to ruin Quizboy's vacation.
  • O.S.I. Love You
    Brock leads an O.S.I. team to capture Monstroso and Molotov Cocktease. The capture goes smoothly; however, while trying to interrogate the prisoners, all hell breaks loose.
  • Momma's Boys
    How am I supposed to describe what happens in this episode? It focuses on Hank and Dean and Myra Brandish, the woman they think might be their mother. She's also criminally insane. This episode is insane.
  • Bot Seeks Bot
    Before Monstroso was killed, he gave one name in the council of Thirteen, Boggles. Unfortunately, Boggles is killed, so the O.S.I. doesn't have a lead anymore, so Brock has to lead an uncover mission, a mission that Dr. Venture threatens to ruin.
  • The Devil's Grip
    The events at the end of Bot Seeks Bot are a spoiler, and unfortunately, this episode leads directly from that spoiler. I can't really discuss it.
  • A Very Venture Halloween
    This technically takes place before the season begins, so I'm not sure why it is a special feature on disc two. The episode takes place on Halloween, obviously, and focuses on two groups. Dr. Orpheus is hosting a party for his fellow magicians, while Hank, Dean, and Dermott investigate a supposedly haunted part of Venture Compound. (Also, Dr. Venture, Sargent Hatred, Billy Quizboy, and Peter White gamble on how well the trick-or-treaters will get through the automated defense.) The party and the paranormal investigation soon overlap and Dean learns something horrible.
So much happens this season and much of it is baffling, but in a good way. It has been several years since I've seen the show, but I only missed one season, as there was a huge gap between seasons four and five. The three-year gap is probably part of the reason why Season Five felt a little different. The tone is a little different than I remember it and some of the characters are definitely pushed to the side. (Brock barely appears in the season.) It wasn't till I looked up the names of the voice actors that I realized Henchman 21 was same character that I knew from before. That said, while the tone and the focus was different, it was just as funny as I remembered it. The episodes are packed with great jokes. In fact, there's so much happening in the first episode that the first time I watched it, I thought it was a double-length episode. Even the weakest episode this season has replay value.

The Extras

All episodes have an audio commentary track, as does the Halloween special. Extras on the first disc include six minutes of deleted and extended scenes, as well as a three-minute Fax my Grandson, a one-sided conversation with Afterburn. Disc two has the Halloween special, which is a stupid place to put it, because it technically happens before season five begins. There is also From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story, a behind-the-music type look at the garage band Hank is in.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare. I know it costs $6 or 31% more than the DVD, which is a reasonable premium for high definition TV on DVD releases.

The Verdict

There was a long wait between season four and season five of Venture Bros., but given how funny this season was, I really hope we don't have to wait more than a year for season six. The DVD and Blu-ray have plenty of extras and are easily worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Joanna P. Adler, James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Mia Barron, Michael Sinterniklaas