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Beavis & Butt-Head: Season Finale

By Tony LaScala · January 4, 2012

The iconic music begins and two cartoon morons chuckle idiotically to the beat. The crudely animated title pulses and I’m having flashbacks to a simpler time, when great video game graphics were 16 bit and I wasn’t emotionally attached to a cell phone.

The December 29 season finale of Beavis & Butt-Head may be the last period. According to one of the show’s animators whom I pestered fan-boyishly at a lovely Christmas party, B & B surprisingly hasn’t been renewed for 2012 yet. This is horrible news, as the new Beavis & Butt-Head is the only show I haven’t had to DVR. I’m plopped down on my couch with a bowl of popcorn every Thursday, anticipating their next stupid adventure.

When Beavis & Butt-Head debuted in 1993, it developed an almost immediate cult following. I was eleven, and these guys were ‘naughty.’ After seeing nine seconds of B & B putting a poodle in a Laundromat washing machine, my mother had banned me from watching, and I was hooked. Every night I would secretly watch with the volume on my 13 inch T.V. at level one, my ear pressed against the tiny speaker.

For the next four and a half years B & B tried to score, beat each other up, destroyed their friend Stewart’s priceless belongings, idolized a red-neck high school dropout Todd, and created general mayhem at Highland High and their place of occasional employment: Burger World. Nearly fifteen years later, these guys haven’t changed apart from one crucial detail, they’re smart… sort of.

Don’t worry, they’re still morons whose sole goal in life is to score, and they still participate in the aforementioned antics. But now, unbeknownst to them, they do it with the wit and wisdom of a writing staff that’s aged with the show. (I said, “Do it”)

Butthead has always been the ‘smarter’ of the two, and Beavis (the follower) has always been the idiot savant prone to moments of extreme enlightenment. Whereas before B & B were completely unaware of their stupidity, now they point it out as only Beavis & Butt-Head can. 

During one new episode, the lovable losers are watching an episode of 16 and Pregnant. The teenager on the show makes a particularly stupid comment, and Butthead proclaims, “That guy looks like he may even be stupider than us.”

Throughout the new season, rather than focusing solely on music videos, the boys now watch reality television. One particularly pleasurable aspect of these scenes is the recycling of old animation. The show uses B & B footage circa ’93 and semi-matches the dialogue to the animation.

So far this season’s had a lot of gut busting gems. The season premiere had the half-episode “Werewolves of Highland” in which the boys saw the effect Twilight has on women and decide to pay a hobo (Whom they believe to be a Werewolf) to bite them. One dose of Hepatitis later, they think they’re transforming into Werewolves and hilarity ensues.

This new season has seen the boys crash a military drone, deal with a rat problem, buy a used car, become bounty hunters, and cope with falsely presumed end of the world; all with hilarious results. For the season finale, I expected the writers to raise the stakes and pull out all the stops.

You don’t have to imagine my disappointment when the season finale did not make a very strong case for renewal by MTV; I’m going to outline it for you.

The first half-episode “Whorehouse” opens on two high school losers chomping nachos and walking past a Women’s Health Clinic under siege by protesting Christians. Based on the chants of the Christians, the boys think the clinic is a whorehouse. Great setup.

From there forward the two boys trying to get into the clinic, are kept away by a security guard, and finally getting inside after the security guard attacks the Christian protestors. Once they get in the boys are disappointed (as usual) that they can’t score. They leave under the impression that the clinic is still in fact a whorehouse, but all of the ‘whores’ are men after the nurse proclaims that the male doctor is the guy who “does you.”

From a script point of view, the first half-episode’s story never really progressed and most of the humor fell flat, apart from Beavis and Butthead being tazered by an annoyed security guard.

Another chuckle-worthy moment was when the boys finally got into the clinic, rang the bell, and asked for the “whores and fornicators.”

Although the episode wasn’t anything special, it did have a subtle Pro-Choice undercurrent of a voice. The Christian protestors were pretty clearly portrayed as angry, ignorant people with way too much time on their hands.

The second half-episode installment “Going Down” began with B & B entering a hotel that they had been frequenting lately. They head straight for the elevator, eager to hear the elevator woman’s voice say “going down.” Of course, they end up screwing around too much and getting stuck in the elevator. 

“Going Down” had some funny moments, and really made the best of the two idiots being stuck in the elevator. They kill time, fight with each other, discuss the nature of existence, and almost “Resort to Caminalism” as Butthead so eloquently puts it. As expected, at the end of the episode they have a perfect opportunity to escape the elevator, but end up getting stuck…again.

I suppose I may have been anticipating too much. For the past two months if you had peered through my window on Thursday night, you would have had the pleasure of seeing a slightly overweight guy belly laughing and spilling his popcorn all over his un-swept living room floor.  Although the season finale wasn’t “bad” by any stretch of the word: it was unquotable, undeveloped, and worst of all forgettable.