DVD: The Venture Bros.: Season 4, Vol. 1
Release Date: October 26, 2010
If you’re a fan of the irreverent [adult swim] cartoon series The Venture Bros., then you’re sure to enjoy the Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 DVD set that was released late last month. Although some may gripe about the bare-bones nature of this DVD collection, which consists of a single disc, the DVD case, and a slip-on cover, The Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 is much more than meets the eye.
The fact that this collection was released in standard DVD format only is a good indication that the Season Four Blu-ray will be released at a later date (the one-hour Season Four finale doesn’t air until Nov. 21, 2010) and contain more episodes and special features. It stands to reason, however, that the Blu-ray will not include the same special features as the standard Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1, and the creators’ commentary alone makes buying this collection worthwhile. In addition to episode commentary from show creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, The Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 includes the first eight episodes of the season as well as deleted scenes, the Comic-Con promo, and the “Lost” open.
There are a few things to take into consideration with regard to the Season 4, Vol. 1 special features. The first involves the “deleted scenes,” as the DVD’s packaging and main menu call them. It’s important to note that these “deleted scenes” were removed from the final versions of these episodes long before they were brought up to production quality, and consist mainly of storyboard sketches with voiceovers of the planned dialogue. Although it’s interesting to have this glimpse into Doc and Jackson’s thought process during production, these clips aren’t the type of “deleted scenes” that many viewers have come to expect of DVD collections.
It’s also important to note that the Comic-Con promo is the same Season Four “trailer” that made its way around the Internet prior to the premiere of Season Four a little over a year ago. Including the promo on the disc is a nice way to provide fans with a high-quality (but not high-definition) version of the “trailer,” but keep in mind that you’ve probably seen it already at least once.
Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 does provide the show’s loyal fans with some new material in the form of uncensored episodes, the “Lost” open, and the previously mentioned episode commentary from Doc and Jackson. Like the Venture Bros. Season 3 DVD set, all eight of the episodes on Season 4, Vol. 1 are completely uncensored, meaning that the f-bomb will no longer be bleeped out, among other things. It might not seem like much to remove the bleeps, but take it from someone who re-watched the first three seasons of Venture Bros. uncensored on DVD in preparation for the premiere of season four: censorship does detract from the overall viewing experience when it comes to a show like The Venture Bros. Despite the fact that the “Lost” open is presented without context, it may be one of the best extras included on the disc. This is the only completed finished deleted sequence, and it features the Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend, Number Twenty-One, and the Murderous Moppets in an homage to the X-Men’s danger room as they do a mock storming of the Venture compound.
Without a doubt, the greatest special feature included on the Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 DVD is Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer’s commentary. When you select an episode (or all episodes) to watch, you’re given the option of watching the episode(s) or turning the creators’ commentary on. In addition to discussing various aspects of the show’s writing, illustration, voicing and overall production, Doc and Jackson have some hilarious conversation that includes a lengthy discussion about the aesthetic qualities of human genitalia, a detailed explanation of a “scary” porno that Jackson and Doc found laying around when they were kids, and two instances in which the video cut out during commentary recording, leading to discussions of Doc and Jackson’s crappy software and organizational skills.
Overall, the Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 1 DVD is a must-have for die-hard Venture Bros. fans. Stay tuned for more information on the release of the Venture Bros. Season 4, Vol. 2 DVD, the Blu-ray collection, and don’t forget to watch the season four finale this Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 at 11:30pm (EST) on [adult swim].
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars