90s, TV Shows

Beavis and Butthead Do It Again

MTV is recharging Beavis & Butthead, the cult classic animated TV series that ran from 1993-97.  I remember watching the show sometime in the night hours that followed other shows like Singled Out and Buzzkill. But I’m not going to delve into any analysis of the metal loving partners in crime. Television controversy in the early ’90s: whether or not Beavis’ fictional seizures were deemed inappropriate and insensitive of a serious condition. Forget everything you know about modern TV, this was a big deal, and it came after that infamous shot heard around the world (Brenda Walsh giving herself to Dylan McKay at the spring dance circa 1991 via Beverly Hills, 90210.) How dare television programming depict what’s really going on. (That’s me defending Bren, not Beavis.)

In order to place you back, the water cooler humor of B and BH was vending machine at the time.  Let me explain. Boys in ripped jeans and rock shirts making butt jokes and ogling posters of ‘babes.’ Think Encino Man humor. Something caveman-like.  That was the way of the land. The resurgence of the smiley face, tie dyed wearing high school and college crowds created a mirror-image of the head-in-the-clouds culture of the ’60s. Remember when Alicia Silverstone makes a crack at high school boys ‘these days’ in Clueless (1995)? “All the Young Dudes” is playing behind a scene in which a group of lanky stoner boys with backwards caps, baggy jeans, holed-up band t shirts and dirty hair, cruise campus. The materialism of the ’80s was replaced with anti-consumerism of the early ’90s. Recyle, redefine, revolutionize.

The aspect of Beavis & Butthead that pleases to my nostalgic senses are their music video segments (!!!) The pair sat on their couch and flipped through the channels on the tube, commentators to the music videos they found. Oh, hey! Imagine that. Their little two-cent snippets were sometimes perverted, sometimes dumbfounded, but always included immense chuckling and massive headbanging. They covered all ranges of music: rock, metal, rap, alternative, pop, ’80s, obscure Euro pop, soul, smooth jazz, contemporary. Here’s one of my personal faves:

Oh, and for the record.

Listen up, MTV: If you really want to reclaim your ‘throne’, you should heed the advice and/or history of other television shows that create spin-offs, including yours truly. Where others failed, I assure you, the concept of including Daria at some point, in some way, would be the most crowd pleasing decision you’ve ever made. You’d be denying something fundamental if you didn’t agree that we all want to go back to simpler times. What the world needs now: is Jane and Daria, telling it like it is, or isn’t. I mean, give all of these teen moms something to live vicariously through.



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