Episode Titles: "Werewolves of Highland" & "Crying"
Writer: Mike Judge
Director: Mike Judge
It's difficult to remember when MTV was more about the music instead of the endless reality shows it currently shows. But back in the '90s, the network had Mike Judge's "Beavis and Butt-Head," which used two clueless idiots to satirize pop culture an offer some biting commentary for the latest music videos of the era.
Almost 15 years later, "Beavis and Butt-Head" is back on MTV with new episodes. And while the title characters haven't changed at all, the world around them certainly has.
The first episode is the highlight, as Beavis and Butt-Head sneak into a movie theater to watch "Twilight" with a bunch of teenage girls. They soon become convinced that the undead vampires and the impossibly muscular werewolves hold the secret to winning over girls. In short, the boys want to score by becoming teenage heartthrob monsters themselves. Thus, they find a wildly disheveled homeless man (whom they assume to be a werewolf) and they bribe him to bite them and pass on his powers.
The homeless man obviously isn't a supernatural being, but he gives them multiple forms of Hepatitis and other diseases which leave our titular duo barely clinging to life. Beavis and Butt-Head hilariously hit on a pair of girls who take pity on them and they end up hospitalized for emergency care. But even in deep comas, the duo manage to harass a sexy nurse as she changes their catheters.
The funniest thing about Beavis and Butt-Head's reactions to "Twilight" fandom is that they think that they instantly understand it. Their plan to become werewolves may be incredibly stupid, but it's still relatively intelligent for them.
"Crying" is the second episode of the new season, and it's a much simpler story than the first one. Here, Butt-Head sees Beavis shed a tear during an episode of "The Bachelor;" and he assumes that Beavis was moved by the program. In reality, a stray onion caused the tear to form, but that doesn't stop Butt-Head from teasing Beavis about it for the rest of their lives. The episode ends 80 years in the future, as an elderly Butt-Head repeats the joke one last time before he dies, leaving the elderly Beavis to insist once again that he didn't cry. Nor does Beavis seem particularly moved by the death of his only friend.
If anything, "Crying" felt like a single gag that was extended far too long. And it wasn't that funny to begin with. I like the idea of ending with Butt-Head's death, but the story needed a strong closing joke that it just didn't have.
One of the hallmarks of "Beavis and Butt-Head" are the interstitials; and watching the duo provide commentary for MGMT's "Kids" and Skrillex's "First of the Year (Equinox)" felt like the series had never left. But when it came time to skewer "Jersey Shore," the commentary wasn't as funny as it could have been. Those scant seconds of "Jersey Shore" were the longest scenes from that show that I have ever seen and they still made me want to puke. There's a good line when the duo mock one of the cast member's off-hand reference to her future granddaughter as "bitch." However, even "Beavis and Butt-Head" don't seem to be able to make "Jersey Shore" palatable for longer than 30 seconds.
"Beavis and Butt-Head" was the "South Park" of its day and it's not clear if the series can reinvent itself in the modern animation landscape, but I still laughed at most of the jokes in the first episode. "Werewolves of Highland" showed that Judge has become sharper with his comedic timing and I did enjoy his take on "Twilight" fangirls. The new "Beavis and Butt-Head" has some real potential… now if only they would go after "Teen Wolf" too.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.