The Boys Are Back

Just over 12 years ago, MTV debuted what most people considered to be the stupidest show on TV. The show’s name? “Beavis and Butthead.”

It was about two teens doing what most teenage boys do. Trying to score with chicks, huffing paint thinner and working at a fast food restaurant.

In between the animated segments, the boys would watch music videos ranging from those that “ruled” to others that “sucked.” The show jumped in popularity when a boy started a fire and blamed it on the cartoon. Like all good things, the show eventually ended, with MTV showing a marathon every once in a while.

Then during this year’s Video Music Awards, Beavis and Butthead reappeared, telling jokes right before the show would go to commercial. Now, fans of the show don’t need to wait for marathons any longer.

This three DVD set includes 40 episodes (without music videos), 11 music videos and other bonus material, including commercials, promos and more.

There are many great episodes collected here, ranging from early episodes where the animation is quite rough to episodes that aired halfway through the show’s run.

Some of the many highlights include “Home Improvement,” where Beavis demonstrates his infatuation with paint thinner; “Rabies Scare,” with Butthead pouring a sports drink into Beavis’ festering wound because “sports drinks have nutrients.”

Also included is “The Final Judgement of Beavis,” in which Beavis has an enlightening conversation with St. Peter (huh huh) and discovers his eternal fate; and “Beavis and Butthead vs. the Vending Machine,” which devotes the entire episode to illustrate the frustration when a vending machine fails to fully drop the purchased product which, in this case, is a bag of sour cream and salsa pork rinds.

On the positive side, many episodes are returned to their “original” versions, including references to fire that were pulled after the accident mentioned earlier. However, the set does start to stumble here. The episode selections are great, but not in any sort of order.

It would have been better if the episodes were presented from earliest to latest. The best idea would have been to release the show by seasons, like most other TV programs do.

The other complaint is the lack of videos. The way the two characters would mock and ridicule the artists was on par with the cast of “Mystery Science Theater 3000’s” witty banter about movies. Understandably, the royalties for the numerous videos would push this set completely out of most people’s price range.

Do the math_”40 episodes with three videos each equals costly. But the music video commentaries were sometimes much better than the episode itself. Since this is only volume one of three, they might include more videos next time, but there is no guarantee.

Also included is the first part of an in-depth documentry about the show as a whole and its beginnings in particular. Overall this set is not perfect, but still worth every penny. The jokes are still funny after all of this time and there is no underlying moral or set of ideals the creator is trying to sell you (i.e. “South Park.”)

Sometimes the most important thing in life is just trying to be cool.