'Beavis and Butt-Head': What the Critics Are Saying
Many note that Mike Judge’s animated duo hasn’t changed much, but the content they comment on has moved away from music videos.
Beavis and Butt-Head are returning to MTV after more than a decade off the air. Mike Judge’s socially awkward teenage delinquents will return to their dirty couch to comment – this time – on more than just music videos.
The duo will expand their focus from just music videos to also commenting on other shows that run on MTV, which weren’t around a decade ago. For example, the premiere episode, which airs on Thursday, Oct. 27, touches on Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, two of MTV’s reality show staples.
Critics were quick to note that time has been good to the show’s leading men; they look exactly the same. However, the new content of their criticisms worked for some and not for others.
“For the most part, neither the show nor its two protagonists have changed much,” wrote Alan Sepinwall of HitFix. “The most significant change between 1997 and 2011 is that MTV has given up any pretense of being a music video channel, and as a result, most of what the guys comment on are MTV reality shows like Jersey Shore and 16 & Pregnant."
“It turns out that their brand of blunt but unexpectedly wise snark translates just as well to trashy reality shows as it did to trashy hair metal videos back in the day,” he continued.
“What's odd is how nearly they resemble some of their new targets — 'This guy looks like he might be stupider than us' — and how with the passing years they've come to sound less like snarky kids and more like grumbling old men: the Statler and Waldorf of their generation,” wrote Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times.
“Visually the show hasn’t been updated at all, which is as it should be: teenage lethargy is perennial. But by the old measurements, the premiere episode is tepid and distant,” wrote Jon Caramanica of The New York Times.
“There's still something winning and relevant about their particular blend of cluelessness and surprisingly sharp commentary,” wrote AOL TV’s Maureen Ryan.
“So the decision to skewer the network's reality lunkheads is understandable, but the danger with the new-school 'Beavis and Butt-head' is that taking aim at the same MTV targets again and again might get old,” continued Ryan.
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