I review the Venture Brothers (2/?)

I review the Venture Brothers:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

By the way, I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the story. I’ll talk about specific events and characters, but if you want to know about the plot, then you should just go watch the damn thing. Which, in truth, I recommend to all of you: go and watch the damn thing.

I’m trying to make my paragraphs longer. It hurts real bad and I don’t think it’s an experiment I’ll stick with, but that’s why my paragraphing may be a bit off during this review. But who reads reviews for the paragraphs? Except me, maybe?

Let’s just go to this episode:

Watch this.

Pause at 0:51.

“I look like Rufio.”

This is a reference to the movie Hook, a forgettable Robin Williams adaptation of Peter Pan, which I just happened to see twice in the theatre with my friend Mike Weir, when we were, like, thirteen. We saw it once, and the sound shorted out so we didn’t get to see the end, and they gave us free passes, so we decided to go see it again.

I remember Rufio.

He was the leader of the pirates, in Peter Pan’s absence. Peter Pan, you see, had grown up. He’d become, of all things, gasp – a pirate. That’s right: though 1991 was the year, Peter Pan had grown up to be one of those 1980s Wall Street archetypes: the Junk Bond Pirate.

The Junk Bond Pirates were around for quite some time in the 80s, according to certain movies I’ve seen, like Pretty Woman. They would seize your company, slice up the pink fleshy assets, sell them to other companies, and gorge themselves on the profits. And now Peter Pan was one of them.

This is how they pitched that movie: Wall Street meets Fantasia.

It was just missing pink hippos. And Michael Douglas.

Michael Douglas, swimming casually.

No, Michael Douglas, swim for your lives! Hippos are more dangerous than lions! Why are you swimming in hippo territory? No, Michael Douglas!

No, Michael Douglas, swim for your life! Hippos are more dangerous than lions! Why are you swimming in hippo territory?!

I will save you, says Rufio.

I will save you, says Rufio.

But Rufio was just a minor character in that movie, some punk kid Pan had to Crow off to regain his throne. Hook skewers him at the end, and the movie affords him little pathos.

But Rufio was a badass. He fought Hook and almost got him, before he died. Who else has said, without fear, “Looky, looky, I got Hooky.”

The Venture Brothers referenced a minor character from a 1990s kid movie. That’s how unashamed they are to plumb pop culture. It happened to be a movie I saw twice in the theater. That’s how magical attuned the show is to my life.

But, most importantly, they plucked a hidden badass. Rufio was a badass, the hidden badass inside every nerd kid. They picked that guy on purpose for their little reference. They may not know they did, but they did. They picked the diamond in the rough.

If this show is about anything else, this show is about the success of the diamond in the rough, as much as its creators claim the opposite. Of course they are inveterate liars, being fiction authors.

This show is about the quiet, progressive success of the underdog. The same nerds the authors and I once were, and still at heart are.

The Venture Brothers is the final revenge of the nerds.

The war’s over. The nerds have won, Lebowski.

I review the Venture Brothers:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

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