Season One DVD Review
So I can skip the requisite intro here, right? If you're at this site you probably know all about the Venture Bros. And here we have the season one DVD. All thirteen episodes, plus the pilot, plus the Christmas special, plus various extras. The adventures of Hank and Dean and Dr. Venture and Brock all crammed onto two DVDs and wrapped in some nifty packaging. Catch phrase!
Probably the least important part of any DVD set, the packaging here is quite nice. It's one of those cardboard slip covers with a foldout middle to reveal the two DVDs. The slipcover itself is the classic Venture Bros. skull logo. Simple, but very recognizable. The back is a stylized picture of the boys and a silhouette of Dr. Venture checking out a beaker or something and Brock fighting that mummy from the pilot, I think. The cardboard is kind of flimsy, but no big deal I guess.
The insert is quite awesome though. One one side is a great looking panorama drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz of Dr. Venture and some hot babes, Brock after kicking some ass and the boys kicking ass (though they are kicking the ass of nobody in particular). Each DVD has the skull logo and behind them on the foldout is info about each episode and the extras. Not too shabby.
The episodes look... well it looks like the Venture Bros. If you've seen it on TV then you've seen it on DVD. Same goes for the sound, though you should note that the audio is only Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and not surround sound. Doesn't bother me since I only watch DVDs on my computer anyway, but if you've got a super expensive home theater setup then you might be upset about that.
I won't go into each episode since that's pretty much up for you to decide, and I've already written a crapload of capsules. The main thing I wanted to check out were the commentary tracks. Jackson and Doc do commentary for Mid-Life Chrysalis, Eeny, Meeny, Miney... Magic!, Tag Sale - You're It!, Ghosts of the Sargasso, Return to Spider-Skull Island and The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay. The commentary tracks offer a little bit of insight and a little bit of Jackson and Doc going off on random tangents both related and not related to the show.
You also get to find out which characters Doc and Jackson would have sex with (both male and female), which is something I always look for in a DVD commentary. If the show writers don't state which characters they'd have sex with then there's something missing. Doc Hammer also gets up to take a dump at the beginning of one commentary for Ghosts of the Sargasso. That, plus the ensuing conversation about crapping, might possibly make this the greatest DVD set ever.
Any bleeps and other forms of censoring in the episodes remain, for those curious. The commentary tracks also have a couple bleeps whenever Doc curses and one really long one in Return to Spider-Skull Island for what I can only assume is to prevent confidential information from being released.
Aside from the commentary there are six deleted scenes which each comprise of a small amount of ditched audio and the storyboard/animatic since they were never actually animated. Most of them are just extra lines that don't add much to the story of each episode (cut for time of course), though I did like the scene cut from Spider-Skull a lot (Jonas Jr. goes into further detail on living in Rusty's body for all those years).
There are also two other features, the 'Animating Hank and Dean' extra that was posted on Adult Swim Fix two weeks ago and the behind the scenes 'documentary' which is a couple of the voice actors (Doc, Jackson and James Urbaniak) dressed as their characters talking about their experiences on the Venture Bros. live-action movie set. It's worth it just to see Doc Hammer dressed as Dr. Girlfriend.
Overall it's of course a solid DVD set. You get over five hours of show for around $25. The commentary tracks are perhaps not amazingly informative (the entire Spider-Skull Island track doesn't say anything about the actual episode), but are quite funny and have a lot of humorous stories about Jackson and Doc and what goes on during the show. The package art is damned nice and of course the actual episodes are great to have on a DVD of course. Overall it's good stuff and the price is very affordable considering Adult Swim DVDs of fifteen minute shows often cost the same. If you're a Venture Bros. fan (and you obviously are), you won't regret the purchase.