left biblioblography: I Wonder What Hanna-Barbera Has To Say About This...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Wonder What Hanna-Barbera Has To Say About This...

As most of you know, I've taken a real shine to The Venture Brothers - an hysterically funny urbane take-off on the Hardy Boys and Jonny Quest.

I grew up watching Jonny Quest. It was about the only Hanna-Barbera production I liked as a kid (though in retrospect, it was thoroughly misogynistic, never a female form shown, and testosterone-nuanced).

For one instance, I absolutely disliked Scooby-Doo from the get-go. Although both shows mentioned were formulaic (with a capital F), the latter was fairly stupid, even from a child's perspective.

The plot of each Scooby-Doo episode followed a formula that would serve as a template for many of the later incarnations of the series. At the beginning of the episode, the Mystery, Inc. gang bump into some type of evil ghost or a monster, which they learn has been terrorizing the local populace. The teens offer to help solve the mystery behind the creature, but while looking for clues and suspects, the gang (and in particular Shaggy and Scooby) run into the monster, who always gives chase. However, after analyzing the clues they have found, the gang determines that this monster is simply a mere mortal in disguise. They capture the monster and bring him to the police, usually with Fred tugging at his mask and saying, "Now, let's see who you really are!" Upon learning his true identity, the fiendish plot is fully explained, and the criminal would utter the famous catchphrase, or a variation thereof: "And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"

The part that really made me switch channels, was that Shaggy and Scooby Doo were always terrified by the 'monster'. I mean, every time. It was ridiculous. Even a child can figure out after the umpteenth time that the monster was inevitably a human in disguise. Always some guy who, upon being revealed, simply gave up right there on the spot.

I found it terribly insulting to my intelligence. Even as a little kid.

So when I saw this little bit on the Venture Brothers, I just about split a gut laughing:

Of course, the names have been changed to protect the creators from lawsuits, but it's fairly obvious who's who.


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Plonka said...

Man...(wipes tears..:))... that was good...:-) "And this dog f...n talks ok?" LOL!!!...:)

I have to admit, I only use Shaggy because he was the only "groovy" avatar I could find with the right shape beard and hair colour.

That said though, I will profess a fondness for the cartoon. It was very one dimensional and always the same because it only had one premise; the triumph of reason over superstition. It never failed and for that reason alone it should be screened in some schools...;)

karen said...

Much better than Scooby Doo.
"walkin' abortions" hehe

Krystalline Apostate said...

Plonka - wow, that really never occurred to me before.

karen - my favorite part is where the blond leader hollers, "I swear before my savior, Jesus Christ, I will SHOOT that fucking dog!"

The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "The Venture Bros." is one of the most brilliant and inspired comedy shows ever written.

But the best Shaggy and Scooby bit was definitely in "Harvey Birdman," when they got busted for possession.

Krystalline Apostate said...

jenner - yeah, the Birdman bit is way up there. Of the 2, I like this 1 the best.

Plonka said...

Well it was, as you point out, quite lame and extremely repetitive. As you say, once you'd seen one, you'd pretty much seen them all.

You're right about Shaggy and Scoob though. To many Scooby snacks was the problem. The number of times as a youngster I found myself saying "It's a guy in a sheet, you fool! Just like two episodes ago!" was ridiculous. It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that the penny dropped...