The moronic cartoon miscreants Beavis and Butt-Head are back. A lot has changed since they first appeared in 1993, when MTV was a music video channel and "The Real World" only a faint glimpse of things to come.
The moronic cartoon miscreants Beavis and Butt-Head are back. A lot has changed since they first appeared in 1993, when MTV was a music video channel and “The Real World” only a faint glimpse of things to come.
Now, minus a handful of scripted original programs, MTV is basically countless hours of reality fare featuring vapid 15-minutes-of-famers that have captivated a whole generation of youths for reasons I can’t understand. (Although I’m older now and may not have understood the hilarity of “TP for my bunghole” if I had been this age back in 1993.)
On the surface, Beavis and Butt-Head haven’t changed much over the years. The pilot has two segments: One about becoming “Twilight”-like werewolves and the other about Beavis crying.
The biggest difference between then and now is in Beavis and Butt-Head’s — or, more accurately, creator Mike Judge’s — commentary on the television they’re watching.
Originally Judge used the characters to mock and occasionally make legitimate statements about pop music by making fun of music videos. Because MTV no longer plays videos, the focus has turned to the network’s reality TV programming, which takes some hilariously harsh abuse.
Do I find the new Beavis and Butt-Head fun and mostly hilarious out of nostalgia, or because they’re a refreshing take on a classic?
I would lean toward the refreshing aspect, because Judge has a strong track record and the new “Beavis and Butt-Head” is just that — new. Yes they’re still idiots, but a cunning snarkiness has been injected into the mindless apathy from the original.
The snark is out of character for Beavis and Butt-Head, but it makes sense, too. The ’90s “whatever” attitude has morphed into I’m-too-cool commentary or “ironic” enjoyment of pop culture.
People stay glued to “Jersey Shore” because they’re laughing at — not with — Snooki and The Situation. The new Beavis and Butt-Head offer someone to laugh at them with.
Those looking to relive the teenage fun of the original’s immaturity still have plenty to enjoy. Those looking for something more can take pleasure in the fact that Beavis and Butt-Head’s revamped verbal assaults give Judge the opportunity to rip MTV while simultaneously collecting a paycheck from them. Nicely done, sir.