The boys are back.
Yep, the rumors are true -- Beavis and Butt-Head are returning to MTV, starting tonight. After a decade and a half of fading from popular culture, Generation X's poster children re-emerge as . . . their same old selves, apparently. Mike Judge is attempting the kind of comeback that usually results in high expectations with middling results. Eh, who cares, it'll be great to have the boys back. Who doesn't love Beavis & Butt-Head?
Well, lots of folks, but more people enjoyed their stylings than would admit it.
18 years ago, I was in the perfect demographic for the B&B test. Just out of college, had a "real" job (real sucky), and there's no way I should be watching/enjoying/laughing out loud at Beavis and Butt-Head. But I did. Rob and Spoido formally introduced me to it, and my reaction mirrored that of everyone who would follow me:
- enter aloof
- mild amusement, head nod
- still reserved, smiling
- attempt to stifle audible laughter
- that fails, full laughter
- laughing 'til crying
- repeat Butt-Headisms
- watch religiously
- tell friends about it sheepishly
- usher unsuspecting friends into the Cult of Beavis
But time marched on, and we grew up. (Raise your hand if you believe that.) We watched them less and spent more time working, getting in serious relationships, and meticulously filling a VHS videotape entitled "T-120" with nothing but nude scenes hurriedly taped from Cinemax Late Night and other pay-cable offerings. (Hard Hunted gave us quantity, but Helen Hunt in The Waterdance was the wait-for-it footage.) Mike Judge, meanwhile, graduated to the inspirational Office Space and the less-so "King of the Hill," the latter of which inexplicably lasted for 14 seasons on a major network. (Thanks, Middle America fartknockers.)
With that, Beavis and Butt-Head drifted from relevance and our conscious (excepting Rob's throwback "cool" or "rules" grunts, or my Butt-Head "huh-huh," which we still occasionally utilize -- to little recognition and less appreciation, except from each other).
Now, though, Mike Judge -- who, by the way, has done dick in the last 12 years, in perfect B&B/Peter Gibbons slacker form -- brings them back in new episodes. Unfortunately for me, he kicks me in the jimmy and does not go with the idea that I have been pitching to the big network execs -- at least the ones who hang out in my local pub. I have been pleading for a "Where Are They Now? . . . Beavis & Butt-Head," both because I think the concept is ripe for good comedy but also because I kind of miss the lads and want to see what they're up to these days.
Instead, we're getting B&B Redux. They are frozen in time, for better or for worse, and although some of the content has been updated (they watch "Jersey Shore," for example), it's pretty much the same gig. I fear that we may be in for the cartoon equivalent of Joe Gibbs 2.0. You know what, there are some similarities there . . .
Settle down, Beavis. The show defied the odds and its early detractors -- and there were plenty of them -- two decades ago, and it was great. Hell, given what else is on these days, it's worth a flier.
Come . . . to Butt-Head.