Thursday, May 29, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Beavis and Butthead Do America (1996) **½

PG-13, 80 min.
Directors: Mike Judge, Mike DeSeve, Brian Mulroney, Yvette Kaplan
Writers: Mike Judge, Joe Stillman, Brian Mulroney
Voices: Mike Judge, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Cloris Leachman, Robert Stack, Jacqueline Barba, Eric Bogosian

I noticed that “Beavis & Butthead Do America” was streaming on Netflix and I wondered if the series held up from my days in college. I probably haven’t seen any “Beavis & Butthead” episodes since they were part of MTV’s regular programming schedule, well since I was in college as a matter of fact, but I did enjoy them quite a bit at that time in my life. I even saw the movie in the cinema.

It doesn’t quite hold the same magic as it once did, but you cannot deny Mike Judge’s commentary on the youth culture of our country in the early 90s. What’s particularly funny about it, is that the braindead apathy that “Beavis & Butthead” criticized was also at least partially inspired by the MTV content that much of the youth took in while growing up. The very network that embraced Judge’s burnout children is the one that created their inspiration.

Now, it seems a little juvenile, but then they are supposed to be juveniles. I think maybe if I were to take in a few of their 15-minute episodes, I might find a higher level of nostalgic appreciation, but an 80-minute feature length film is kind of pushing it for the time you really want to spend with the characters of Beavis and Butthead as your focal point. I can still appreciate what they’re about, but it might be better to keep it as a memory.

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