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Why do we watch SuperJail/VentureBrothers/etc.

azith28azith28 Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
The other day someone linked the pilot of Superjail into a thread i was reading. I had not seen it before, and my immediate reaction was that the artwork was not a style i typically appriciate. But i watched it...and i simply couldnt NOT watch it. Its like watching a train wreck. Sure, its occasionally funny but overall, and i say this not in disgust or simply describing it, Its Massively violent, disgusting, crazy and disturbing.

Given my opinion, i found myself at a loss to explain why i wanted to see more of it. I purchased the entire first season and watched it in one sitting.

I kept thinking to myself that sure...if i wanted something to watch while on an acid trip this would certainly fit the bill. But as that is not something in my want to do...I still couldnt think of a good reason to watch it. The occasional laugh that it gave me didnt seem to justify continued watching, i simply had to see what they had to show me.

The next day i was bored and pulled out the copy of venture brothers latest dvd that just came out. last half of the last season. Unlike superjail i typically laugh my ass off at venture brothers. But I also have the same sense of confusion about why it makes me smile broadly through practically the entire episode, even when it deals with topics that dont really pertain to me. (Like the Progressive rock references).

I know that the venture brothers love at least partially comes from pure nostalgia. Watching them rape my childhood cartoons in such twisted, yet completely logical/realistic way is dark humor at its finest. But theres so much more. For instance, watching a Venture Bros episode on Adult Swim compared to watching it on a DvD feels at times like a badly edited show. They obviously in several instances run a little long and they trim things for broadcast that when i see them on the DvD make me wonder why those bits were cut as they actually explain the reasons why they did some crazy shit at the end of the episode. For instance the episode called 'assisted suicide' has further conversations with the ego/superego/id that make the final solutions more understandable.

Still, there is something missing from the why of the shows. I'm curious what about them make you smile.

Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
azith28 on


  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    It's just nice to see strange animation. You can do things with the medium that can't be easily (or cheaply) done with film. Really though, if you aim to be as absurd as possible, then why not?

    You're right in pointing out nostalgia with Venture Brothers. That's generally why I watch it along with the particular brand of nerd humor.

    And Superjail is pretty awesome.

    Sheep on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You watch superjail just because it is entertaining. Crazy stuff happens, and it is cool. The creators said they wanted to make it as if the crude drawings they made in middle and highschool on notebooks came to life and did things.

    JebusUD on
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  • KabitzyKabitzy find me in Monsbaiya Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I remember the first time I caught a glimpse of SuperJail on TV:
    I caught the scene where jailbot shakes a little kid out of his skin in Time Police part 2.

    anyways after that I was laughing so hard at how bizarre the scene was that I had to watch more. I think I enjoy SuperJail because I enjoy Metalocalypse. Similarly violent shows done in a fantastical/hilarious ways. Neither take themselves very seriously and I dig that.

    Kabitzy on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    While I do enjoy The Venture Brothers now, I don't really like Superjail. Mostly because the actual animation is somewhat grotesque and the zaniness, while appealing to some people, doesn't really entertain me. I've seen the whole show, and I get the theme of zaniness, but it's not for me, clearly. And I tend to be really tolerant of this sort of thing--if it were one or the other, perhaps. But since it's both, no thank you.

    But that doesn't mean it's not a good show.

    Synthesis on
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Because of pot.

    firewaterword on
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  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    For the same reason i watch Adventure Time.

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  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I discovered Superjail! only a few days ago and absolutely love it. Which is maybe strange because I don't like many shows in the same vein- I think its extremely short length helps make it palatable. Its appeal banks on a really sick sense of humour and an appreciation for the show's profound ugliness, visual and otherwise. Overall, I would expect most well-rounded people to find nothing appealing about the show...which is fine.

    I could never, ever watch that show while hallucinating. I would probably be reduced to tears.

    Venture Bros. is quite a different beast. It also has a preoccupation with human ugliness, and shares the cynicism behind Superjail!, but it is, to put it as briefly as possible, about things. Superjail! is about being bombastic and trippy and offensive and violent, and being excessive in everything it does. Venture Bros. is about aspiration and failure, family, the decisive and unforgiving power of chance, and finding humour in pain. It reconciles a fantastical world of heroes and super-villains with the the way people really behave and the profound vulnerability found in reality.

    The action is fun, novel, and used with appropriate frequency and intensity. Its humour is varied and deliberate- it's got the aforementioned pop culture references, but it also relies on witticisms, running jokes, Freudian slips, physical comedy and schadenfreude. It includes mean-spirited humour but keeps it in perspective.

    The way characters encounter failure, usually in a humourous way, also makes it far more rewarding when characters come into their own, or even achieve an instance of success. It's a show crafted with a lot of care and thoughtfulness, and over time it's grown in complexity. The creative team understands the danger of becoming attached to characters or tropes, or dwelling too long on any one theme, and accepts the necessity of variation as the series progresses.

    So long story short, I began watching Venture Bros. because it was funny and very well-written. I still watch it because it is still funny and still well-written, but also has genuine character development, a tendency to re-think, defy and re-define its formula, and shows absolutely zero sense of complacence. It is never about continuing to do what works; it's about acknowledging that what was done worked, and then consistently and continuously building on it, experimenting and refining. This is what makes me believe that Venture Bros. is one of the absolute most well-made television series out there, and what makes it probably my favourite (the probably qualifier can be attributed to Batman: TAS, it is a very close race).

    I watch Superjail! because it is fucking ridiculous and indulgent and cathartic and cynical. I don't think the shows are comparable at all, in any respect other than that they are both animated. The difference is that Venture Bros. is taken seriously by its creative team- this alone isn't what makes it superior, but rather what makes the two shows pretty much apples and oranges.

    The orange is large, perfectly round with nuanced flavour and a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, where every bite is distinct from and better than the last; the apple is small, unripe, bruised, laced with acid, and there are human baby teeth and fragments of a razor blade inside.

    So, all of the above, plus pot.

    Torso Boy on
  • SkySky Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Because some of us are on drugs/drunk when watching. ;)

    I enjoy the comedy, storylines, characters, trippy visuals. It's amazing to see how the artist gives us a perspective on things since there is no camera to look through and the screen can become anything.

    Sky on
  • GoatmonGoatmon Companion of Kess Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    JebusUD wrote: »
    You watch superjail just because it is entertaining. Crazy stuff happens, and it is cool. The creators said they wanted to make it as if the crude drawings they made in middle and highschool on notebooks came to life and did things.

    I always saw it as a TV series done in the style of an animated 80s metal music video.

    Goatmon on
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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    I watch Venture Bros. for the exact same reason I watch anything else: because it's got interesting characters in interesting situations, because it looks and sounds good, and because it thrills me or intrigues me or makes me laugh. Really, the fundamentals never change.

    Jacobkosh on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Why does one watch SuperJail?
    It's massively violent, disgusting, crazy and disturbing.
    Bingo! We have our answer.

    Zombiemambo on
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I watch Venture Brothers because it's funny.

    I don't watch Superjail because it's functionally retarded.

    HappylilElf on
  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Update/correction: turns out Superjail! is, for me, unbearable on pot.

    Torso Boy on
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