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Watch Out, Snooki: Beavis and Butt-head Return To MTV With Reality Television In Their Crosshairs

Beavis and Butt-head are back. Beavis and Butt-head are back.

American culture has changed profoundly in the 14 years since iconic MTV cartoon Beavis and Butt-head left the airwaves. Today, “reality” television rules; in 1997, MTV's Real World had a virtual monopoly on the genre. Now, in 2011, B & B's brand of sarcastic irreverent humor, using dim-witted high school outcasts to illustrate the stupidity in our culture is more appropriate than ever. The show was so far ahead of its time when it came out that creator Mike Judge had to make very few changes to keep it relevant—even after a 14 year absence, last Thursday's premiere had fans feeling like our boys had never left.

Season eight picks up right where the show ended. Still (sporadically) attending high school in fictional Highland, Texas, our favorite slackers are up to their usual shenanigans: living an unsupervised life, sitting on their couch watching television and trying to make plans to get drunk and/or laid, though it seems that neither has much luck with the ladies. Beavis and Butt-head keep a running commentary on the TV shows or music videos they watch which, during the initial run, quickly became the show's biggest draw.

In this season's Halloween-themed premiere, the boys attend a showing of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, where a theater full of swooning girls inspire B & B to attempt to transform into vampires or werewolves in order to attract “chicks.” Madness inevitably ensues as the geniuses decide that a bite from a very ill-looking homeless man will give them what they want. In reality, they contract a serious virus. If the premiere, which was also full of their usual television and music-video commentary, is any indication, the return of Beavis and Butt-head will be a hit with the fans, on the level of mastermind Mike Judge's usual irreverent creativity.

With Beavis and Butt-head returning to the small screen, Judge once again has a soundboard for his couch potato slackers.

Judge, who created B & B back in the early ‘90s as a cartoon short which aired on MTV's Liquid Television, an animation showcase, has been busy in the TV and movie industries since Beavis and Butt-head was cancelled in 1997. In addition to creating the show and voicing characters for Fox's long-running animated hit King of the Hill (also set in small-town Texas), Judge wrote and directed movies like cult hits Office Space and Idiocracy. Both films received limited support commercially from their respective studios, but have developed a huge following strictly on the merits of their comedy. And if you haven't seen one or both of these films, we recommend that you rent them immediately—you're missing out.

The cult following is Judge's hallmark because, even though his projects may not be widely marketable, he creates media that appeals to a segment of the population that, like Judge himself, have a libertarian sensibility and a healthy skepticism of the status quo. He uses his comic creativity to express a love of small-town life and camaraderie (like in King of the Hill), while still criticizing the consumerism and ignorance that often goes with it. He also attacks corporate nonsense in Office Space and the shortcomings of American culture and politics in Idiocracy, both timely topics, even now.

With Beavis and Butt-head returning to the small screen, Judge once again has a soundboard for his couch potato slackers who can comment (in their grunting, sniggering way) on all of the changes that have happened in popular culture since B & B left the air in the mid-nineties. The first season will skewer everything from MTV hits Jersey Shore and 16 And Pregnant, as well as UFC, YouTube videos, and movie juggernauts like the Twilight Series. Rest assured that no one is safe. With this much material, it seems like the perfect moment for the return of Beavis and Butt-head, and we couldn't be more excited.

What do you think about the return of this iconic show, and what other shows would you like to see back on television? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 17:53

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