Beavis and Butt-head are back to do America once more
After the premiere of the rebooted Beavis and Butt-head, I now have just one wish in life: I wish that all of the cool stuff I grew up with in the 90s could also get a second chance. I wish that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers could return as the cultural phenomenon it once was. I wish that Darkwing Duck and Freakazoid could get a second chance to come back and entertain us some more. I wish The Simpsons was funny and relevant again.
I wish all of that, because Beavis and Butt-head has returned in such an unexpected and kick-ass fashion that I want the whole decade to come back (except for the grunge).
Many fans of the original show starring two of the biggest idiots in television history were understandably hesitant to get too excited for their return. Since the series ended in 1997, creator Mike Judge moved onto other works in film and television, each with varying degrees of commercial success, but always showing off his special creative spark. It seemed almost alarming that Judge decided to return to the well that launched his career ages ago. It seemed as if he had run out of ideas.
But with the new episode, “Werewolves of Highland/Crying”, it’s clear that while Judge may be recycling some characters, he is certainly not lacking in ideas and targets in current pop culture, especially not in the age of Twilight and Jersey Shore.
The formula of the classic series has hardly changed, and that’s certainly a good thing. The show is basically divided up between two shorts that detail separate shenanigans of the dumbass duo while brief segments of the two providing commentary on popular shows and music videos provide extra filler.
Like many other fans, I assume, I wasn’t expecting such a wave of nostalgia hitting me when watching the new show. As friend and fellow fan of the show Brennan pointed out to me, they didn’t skip a beat after more than a decade off the air. It’s as if Beavis and Butt-head were in stasis or hibernation for many years, and when they woke up they discovered that society is still pretty stupid and filled with dill-holes.
The first short focused on the two watching the newest Twilight installment, commenting on how much it sucks, but coming to the conclusion that turning into werewolves will help them score with chicks. Now we’ve seen almost too many Twilight spoofs to really care anymore these days, but more focus is put on how these two idiots get the idea to have a homeless man bite them after mistaking him for a werewolf. Like past episodes, seeing the two put their bodies and lives at risk have always been a high point.
Like in the past, Beavis and Butt-head take aim at the cultural byproducts of MTV, but since the “M” in MTV no longer stands for “music”, many of their targets are now some of the reality shows that have become MTV’s bread and butter.
Again, we’ve all seen plenty of parodies and criticisms of Jersey Shore and True Life, but these two really know how to let loose, and it’s pretty special to see them attacking the new stars of MTV. It will be interesting to see if Judge and company try to push it a little further with these segments, but so far the network seems to be relishing Beavis and Butt-head’s insults of JWOWW and Ronnie.
Really, it can’t be understated how well Mike Judge was able to essentially pick up from where he left off and keep things rolling smoothly. It might just be one episode, but many fans, including myself, are now buzzing and excited about what the rest of the season has in store.
As one last hopeful glimmer for what the future holds for the show, my friend Mason pointed out that at the beginning of the show when the duo was watching the MGMT “Kids” music video, Beavis resorted back to his classic chant of “Fire! Fire! Fire!”. Some might recall the controversy surrounding his slogan and how Beavis was banned from saying it in later episodes. But with a new beginning, it now seems that, as Mason put it, “Beavis got his fire back”.