Beavis & Butt-head Vol 3
For those of you already in possession of volumes one and two, Volume 3 needs no introduction. For the rest of you cornholios, this is the third of a three volume collection of Beavis and Butt-head material hand-picked by Mike Judge, the show’s creator. This three-disc set contains forty-two cartoon segments from the show, fifteen music videos (accompanied by the boys’ running commentary, of course), and some quality special features.
Beavis & Butt-head The Mike Judge Collection, Vol. DVD Review
This third volume comes full circle with the boys’ quasi-graduation from Highland High School and their death. How they will ever truly graduate is a mystery, and the ‘No Child Left Behind’ campaign was a presidency away. Their death, faked as it may be, brings happiness to most and probably would have pleased more than a few people who feared this show was ruining their children. Yet, this subversiveness forms the core of what makes these two morons appealing and may just help them stand the test of time. When Beavis and Butt-head were in the their heyday and you couldn’t blink without seeing them on TV or have to look at some twelve-year-old with his shirt pulled over his head, the show and the entire premise could not have been more annoying. However, while they will never be on the same level as the best satirical episodes of The Simpsons, given some years of distance, Beavis and Butt-head should age well.
At their best, Beavis and Butt-head can humorously remind us of the obvious and pull the rug from under our own snobbery, as when President Clinton comes to visit their school and Beavis and Butt-head are planning on asking Bill to pull their fingers. This goes likewise for their perpetual battle with semantics when at a speech therapy session, the boys relish in the therapist’s use of a phrase with the words ‘but’ and ‘whole’, which as you know, is like hanging a curveball to a fully juiced Mark McGwire. As one of the show’s writers says in the enjoyable featurette, the funniest material always involves characterization.
At their worse, Beavis and Butt-head try to be funny in a manner all too familiar with how young teenage boys behave when they think they’re being funny. In this way, these two characters are like distant cousins of Napoleon Dynamite for all the wrong reasons. Nothing in comedy works when characters play the joke. The best humor comes from sincerity but, like Mr. Dynamite, a lot of Beavis and Butt-head feels as if the people behind the scenes are trying to make their characters be funny rather than just be. Nevertheless, contrary to what numerous right-wingers have argued, Beavis and Butt-head has been good for society.
Beavis and Butt-head helped demonstrate that there is a freedom in being stupid, and without these two in our lexicon, there wouldn’t be that lineage between this show and so many others. Complete with the necessary cast of supporting characters, Volume 3 might be the one to own if you’re choosing just one in the collection. The cartoon segments provide plenty of introduction, though that’s not really necessary with this show, and the inclusion of the first ever cartoon with the two in the original, uncut Frog Baseball is tantamount to owning gold for any Beavis and Butt-head fan. The final segment includes a bon voyage to the boys with them walking-off into the sunset and a last title card that appropriately thanks all of the intelligent people who worked so hard to help make Beavis and Butt-head look so dumb. This is a fitting end to the show and the box set, but wait, did I just say ‘hard’?
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