The Venture Bros.: The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem
August 6, 2018 8:59 AM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

After a long wait, the Ventures are back! And they have a big PROBLEM - the Venture building is haunted. Also, Hank is trying to date Wide Wale's daughter.
posted by GuyZero (34 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Was the original PROBLEM light from All This and Gargantua-2 or Guess Who's Coming To State Dinner?
posted by GuyZero at 9:02 AM on August 6


The PROBLEM ref is to Careers in Science, not State Dinner, my bad.
posted by GuyZero at 9:13 AM on August 6


This was so worth the wait.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:10 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Loved the Hackers reference to Zero Cool and Acid Burn, and the benefits of a pumping techno soundtrack to make hacking really exciting.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:24 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I'm wondering if Problem is somehow connected to Jonas Jr's death. It would be a very ironic, venture bros style twist.
posted by Query at 1:13 PM on August 6


How would Dean know about the Problem light when that was his previous clone?
posted by provoliminal at 2:42 PM on August 6


Good question. Possibly Rusty told them about the space station later on, maybe clone memories got transferred in the learning beds. Presumably the boys knew who they were each time Rusty warmed up a new slug.
posted by GuyZero at 2:59 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Clones get all memories of their previous versions as long as the boys slept in their coffin/bed things. It's explained in Episode 1 of Season 2 that their memories are uploaded nightly and pushed to the clone slugs when they are decanted. That's why they never remember their "deaths", since those memories weren't in the backup yet (with the possible exception of the gas-leak death, but that probably just means Rusty used the previously known good backup).
posted by daq at 3:07 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Hank has a vague memory of the time he died jumping off the roof dressed as Batman, but that's probably more explained in Orpheus' areas of expertise.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:29 PM on August 6


I'm just in love with how one of the biggest reveals in the series could have been waaaay back in the first few episodes if Rusty was more curious and mechanically inclined and popped open the PROBLEM to figure out why it was on. And the Jonas "hallucination" he was seeing was imploring him to think more like a scientist while he was just pushing random console buttons to see if they affected the light. I think that really was Jonas and Rusty's "diet pill" just made it so Rusty wasn't receptive to however Jonas was communicating with his mind.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:40 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I didn't totally love this, but it's also got a lot of storytelling weight to lift. Also, I'm still remembering where we left the characters, which means that stuff like Hank's panic attacks about sex (which must stem from his memory being incompletely erased after losing his virginity to Nikki) was lost on me at first. This show is such a weird combination of dark'n'edgy Adult Swim satire and actually dark emotional realism. I have to love the fact, though, that while Hank is living with this psychological burden, he and Sirena are Zen about it and still happily into each other.

I forget where we left the continuity on the senior Venture team thinking that Pete and Billy are a couple -- does Billy know about that, and has he corrected them? -- but either way, it was oddly sweet that he let it slide when someone alluded to his "other half" at dinner.

One more thing I forgot: Venture Bros is about competent losers, and the appeal of the show is, in a bizarro-world way, competency porn. Pete, Billy, the Alchemist, Orpheus -- all of these people can legitimately do things. They can't use those things to get what they want, and in most case they're absurd underachievers, but they can take pride in what they do. That's what separates them from Rusty, who has a modicum of super-science skill but only values it because it feeds his self-image.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:31 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


I forget where we left the continuity on the senior Venture team thinking that Pete and Billy are a couple -- does Billy know about that, and has he corrected them? -- but either way, it was oddly sweet that he let it slide when someone alluded to his "other half" at dinner.

Billy's mom assumed it for a long time and when they reconnected he never corrected her and asked Pete not to correct her because she was happy for him.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:43 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


since those memories weren't in the backup yet (with the possible exception of the gas-leak death, but that probably just means Rusty used the previously known good backup).

Or, more likely for Rusty, just used the brain death backup and told the boys any nightmares they had were all in their heads.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:26 AM on August 7


So let me preface this with the statement that Venture Brothers is one of my most favorite series, and is often a repeat watch on demand, just for fun. But there's a little mini rant about the series and the new episode that I want to get off my chest:

I do love how random stuff (the PROBLEM light) gets pulled into new seasons in an internally consistent but also novel way. Doc and Jackson know how to do plots right, and I usually have to rewatch every season to see how everything interweaves together. We also had a ton of actual LOL moments throughout the show, and the montage of the haunted house/horror homages was pretty funny. I just wish that they could get a female writer who they trust to include in their duo. They have all these amazing characters, but it's so male-heavy. The lack of female characters is a common criticism that they hear from fans, so I know they're aware of it, but I guess it's to hard to do the plotting and writing for what they want to do. On the one hand it seems like they could just switch some of the genders of new characters and get a more equal balance, but on the other hand, so much of this show is about male failure and masculinity, and the women on the show, while often super-competent, are either sexual foils or matches for the male characters. If you contrast that with Archer, which is also about masculinity and male failure, the women get a lot more screen time, more development (Archer isn't also the best example for full parity, but the type of show is similar).

I also wasn't a huge fan of the appropriation in the Vatred/Princess Tinyfeet story, but the indigenous ghosts who wanted Dean's paper-mache mask was pretty funny.

I know, all our faves are problematic :/
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:36 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


the indigenous ghosts who wanted Dean's paper-mache mask was pretty funny.

There was a different mask in the building originally - it was stolen by Wide Wale in S6 E2 "Maybe No Go". Hatred says it's "solid gold" but it's really copper or something.

"Please let me direct your attention to the treasures of Chiramacul [sp??] Weighing 30 pounds of Aztec gold, this mask is considered priceless"

Later: Brock: "He took the bait and left" Hatred: "Now he's got a Tombega [sp?] mask that's mostly copper. Hell of a plan Brock"

So presumably they're pissed that their mask got stolen and replaced with Dean's paper mâché project.
posted by GuyZero at 2:22 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I'm just in love with how one of the biggest reveals in the series could have been waaaay back in the first few episodes

I just got done rewatching "Careers in Science" for the first time in a bunch of years and the callbacks are uncanny. I don't believe that Doc Hammer had any of this in mind when he originally wrote that episode 15+ years ago, but it dovetails beautifully. Now I'm gonna have to rent Sharky's Machine just to complete the circle of references.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:30 PM on August 7


a) I just read some tweet that finally explained the Rosie Grier comment from last season so yeah, these deep cuts go right past ya

b) "I just got done rewatching "Careers in Science" for the first time in a bunch of years and the callbacks are uncanny" - S7 E3 is titled "Arrears in Science". So. Yeah.
posted by GuyZero at 4:34 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


oh man, everyone should rewatch Careers in Science and Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner for the Gargantua-1 deep cuts.
posted by GuyZero at 8:35 PM on August 7


I'm guessing since Orpheus said that Jonas is trying to RUN AWAY!!! at the end, the, uh, entire building is going to run away à la Doctor Doom shooting the Baxter Building into space? I hope so, cause Meteor Majeure aka the home base of the Sovereign before Fake Bowie is up there and I want more deep lore revelations, damnit. Getting Jonas and the original Team Venture up in Meteor Majeure with Red Mantle and Dragoon would certainly be something.

Also I want Hank's white jacket even though I could never pull it off.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:04 PM on August 7


Hermeowne, it's been really interesting for me watching each season of the show become less politically fucked-up or shock-driven, as the world and the writers both change. Even though it has rich continuity with callbacks to much earlier events, you get the sense that the more extreme things (like the cruel jokes about trans people, or Hatred having sexually abused the boys) have quietly passed from canon. I agree with everything you're saying, I just wanted to add this sidebar. It's interesting that we can all assimilate the fact that the show's targets have changed, in the same way that we've assimilated the fact that everyone's been the same age for the last few seasons and yet the background technology keeps updating, but we're also able to keep track of offhand references from season 1. It's a complex dance of canonicitiy!
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:04 PM on August 7


I do wonder what this show would look like if it started now. This show with some actual depth to the women's characters (Myra treated as a real character would be incredible) and losing "edgy" jokes that make you cringe would be even more amazing. Molotov especially would be better for being reworked to not be a crass male sexual entitlement joke from the beginning, which would make the end of Operation PROM aka The Best Season Ending Sequence with the Most Perfect Music Choice Ever even better.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:02 AM on August 8


In regards to female characters on this show, my take on this has always been that the lack of female characters was sort of the point of the show. After all it is a riff on Jonny Quest, Doc Savage, and Tom Swift which are all notably free of female presence. So I take it to be a commentary on what happens when you don't have that female presence in your life - you end up being a barely functional character with little to no empathy. Have we ever heard about Rusty's mother? I think this is purposeful. After all, the female characters usually are protrayed as having power or agency - divorcing their partners, doing their own thing, having strength & ability that are a match for their male counterparts. They might be treated as sexual entitlement jokes but the show is being told from the perspective of these largely broken men trying to cope. They are the protaganists of the show but I don't think we are always supposed to side with them as most of the characters are deeply flawed.

My main complaint from this episode, though it was used by Sgt. Hatred so I suspect it was deliberate, is the use of the word "squaw". This is not a word that's acceptable to be used for a First Nations woman, ever.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:14 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


THEY HAD JUST BETTER NOT KILL THE MONARCH OK?
posted by biscotti at 11:27 AM on August 8


If there's one show I always feel I'm missing out something with a new season it's The Venture Bros, even after putting Adult Swim's never-ending stream time and time again. It's amazing how a show that has to have one of the longest production cycles in TV having such tight continuity.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:10 PM on August 8


It has tight continuity because it has such long development cycles - it's just two dudes making this show really.
posted by GuyZero at 1:18 PM on August 8


True, but it would still be far easier to say, "heh, screw it, let's keep going on instead of making a callback to an episode aired almost 12 years ago".
posted by lmfsilva at 1:39 PM on August 8


True, but it would still be far easier to say, "heh, screw it, let's keep going on instead of making a callback to an episode aired almost 12 years ago".

It wouldn't be Venture Brothers then. I think at this point the creators must assume anyone watching the show has got to be an obsessive fan because why else stick with a show with such a long gestation period between series.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:51 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Jackson Publick:
"That was always part of the joke, is that all of our characters are adolescent boys who grew up without mommies and wives, or even sisters, for the most part. And this is about them not knowing how to handle the world and perpetuating this stupid playing-cops-and-robbers world of theirs ... I think as I get older and as we shed more and more of the original jokes of the show and try to make it more and more relevant, or try to evolve our characters and our own writing, we bring other characters in. But it is mostly still a dopey boys’ world, and it’s going to be told from their perspective."
Via What Did Rusty Venture Ever Do to You?
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:25 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]


I only just learned from a recent Chapo episode that there was a real life quiz boy phenomenon of kid celebrities known for their knowledge of esoterica. This show has _layers_.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:47 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Should we have a thread for the utterly incredible art book?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:38 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


The next episode is already streaming on the Adult Swim site, but I'll hold off on posting until it airs.
posted by GuyZero at 3:26 PM on August 10


If they keep posting these early on the AS site, I feel like I should be upset about having paid for the season on Amazon which doesn't get them until they air, but nope, totally fine with throwing unnecessary money at this show.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:16 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


GuyZero: The next episode is already streaming on the Adult Swim site, but I'll hold off on posting until it airs.

It looks like the episodes generally "air" online on Saturday and stay up until the following Tuesday, but they're limited to US residents (otherwise, no need to register or identify your cable provider or anything like that).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on August 16


Just to say, this learning bed theory on their memories doesn't hold because there are too many things the boys don't know from the last clones we saw to the ones before. For instance, Hank doesn't remember the testicular torsion incident and says it must have happened to his clone. It's not deep or a clue or anything, it's just a mistake like when the interns having four arms is suppose to be important but the armholes are like two people standing next to each other instead of stacked like their two sets of arms.
posted by provoliminal at 4:56 PM on August 21


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