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Featured TV on DVD Review: Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4

February 12th, 2012

Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4 - DVD or Blu-ray

It wasn't that long ago that I was reviewing this Most Wanted, but now Beavis and Butthead has returned with new episodes and their first all new DVD / Blu-ray release hits the home market this week. But has the show been able to make the transition to this decade? Or does it feel terribly dated?

The Show

First thing to note, this TV show is very hard to review. There's almost no plot to go over. Most episodes are divided up into two 11-minute segments, but a lot of that is just Beavis and Butthead sitting on the couch watching and commenting on what they are seeing. So each actually episode only has about 6 minutes of story. Describing any of the "plots" in any real detail would take longer than watching the episode itself and would only serve to spoil the jokes. I guess I point out some of the targets.

For instance, they start out the new show by making fun of Twilight, a very good target. They get roped into a working at a call center. Cornholio makes his appearance and becomes the center of his own cult. Beavis and Butthead go on a field trip to a military base... amazingly, this is not the episode called Doomsday. Doomsday involves the town being evacuated due to a train spill, but Beavis and Butthead miss out because they were watching it on the news. When they think they are the only ones left alive, they go wild. ... I couldn't help but think Duckman did this better. Meanwhile, they take on many reality TV shows like Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, and 16 and Pregnant, as well as talk about the various really strange music videos.

On a side note, most of these Reality TV shows are so painful to watch, that even with Beavis and Butthead mocking them, they are hard for me to take. Also, I've never heard of most of these bands.

As for the quality of the shows, I think they are better. Granted, I miss Daria, but everyone else is back from Stewart, to Coach Buzzcut, to Hank Hill... I mean Tom Anderson. The writing seems sharper than before, which is impressive. Going after reality TV is an easy target, but a very ripe target. Also, and this is a big plus, they are complete episode. Obviously this show was made with the home market in mind, so they used music videos and TV shows they had the home market rights to, so nothing had to be cut. This preserved the flow and pacing, while the previous seasons had to be released in a very cut up format.

The Extras

Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include a nearly 20-minute ComicCon Q&A panel with Mike Judge and Johnny Knoxville acting as moderator. Its really funny. Beavis and Butthead Interruptions are short clips with Beavis and Butthead talking to the cast of Jersey Shoer. Finally, there's a PSA to turn off your cellphone during the movie. Only the Q&A session has any replay value, so the extras are a little light.

There are no additional extras on the Blu-ray, but for the most part the show looks really good. Granted, the animation was never really detailed, but it does look sharp in 1080p. ... For the most part. The scenes where they mock the music video and Reality TV shows is upconverted from standard definition and you can tell. The image is in 4:3 ratio, but that's how it was made, so I'm not sure why people would complain. Aspect ratios only matter if they change it from the original. The audio is better than expected with more activity in the surround sound speakers and bass, but it is still a front-heavy mix. The dialogue is clear, and that's the most important part.

Finally we get to the price. The DVD costs $15, which is not bad on a price-per-minute basis. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray only costs $2 more, which is an excellent deal for this type of release.

The Verdict

Beavis and Butthead is the latest cartoon to make a comeback in recent years and the years have been really good to the duo. There's very little in Volume 4 that will seem out of place for longterm fans of the show, which should be very comforting. The DVD and Blu-ray don't have a lot of extras, but they are worth the price.

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