Well, the Venture Bros. returned to Adult Swim for a third season last night. Or at least the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend did. Apart from Brock Samson’s arm hanging out the window of his ’68 Charger, the episode is all about every nerd’s favorite arch-villain, the Monarch.
I like the squeaky-voiced arch-nemesis of Dr. Venture as much as anybody- he’s easy to relate to, as an obsessed raving lunatic with bumbling henchmen who foil his every plan. Maybe that says more about me than it does about the Monarch. And how can you not love Dr. Girlfriend, with her froggy voice (you can’t call it husky like Kathleen Turner’s) and Jackie Onassis bod? There’s a doctoral thesis about Dr. G waiting to be written, about why nerds are so drawn to a slinky cartoon gal voiced by a guy. Liberal arts majors take note.
The show was funny but disappointing in some ways- I don’t like how they’re concentrating on the Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend, Phantom Limb and the Guild of Calamitous Intent again. I thought that story arc was done in Season 2? It’s too bad Stephen Colbert is too fucking big to voice Dr. Impossible again (or even answer Jackson Publick‘s calls) but can’t we find out more about Dr. Venture’s li’l brother? I know he’ll be back this season, but the show is at it’s best when we’re seeing the neurotic and hapless antics of both Dr. Venture and the Monarch, or at least having them both make an appearance.
One of the best shows is still “Tag Sale! You’re It!” where the Monarch and Dr. G show up at Venture’s yard sale of doomsday devices to avoid bankruptcy. We’re starting to dip into dangerous fan service territory. Seeing the Moppets cock-punch the entire gang of Monarch henchmen was gratifying, and the Guild Council was pretty funny, but I’m hoping this is the last of the all-Monarch episodes. He’s a great character, but he needs his foil, Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture. Admittedly we do see a few shots of college-age Venture, and the show was still quite good. Here’s hoping that like The Sopranos, the season opener isn’t a harbinger of the whole season, and that they’re saving the best stuff for later.