If you’re into robots dating robots (and who isn’t?), let me tell you: you’re going to love last night’s episode.
1. Ramping Up the Guest Cast
I don’t know if other Venture fans have the same ear I do, but after five seasons it is pretty easy to tell who is voicing what, when and where. It’s always just the same principle cast doing voices for characters good and bad, like Doc Hammer and Chris McCulloch. So when someone joins the cast and starts doing more voices, it is worth noting.
Particular because, omg, I just love Paget Brewster and she’s on the show now as multiple characters! And she did the Sadie Doyle voice as a member of the Guild, to boot! Be still, my heart. Plus this episode had Bill Hader and John Hodgman, both of which are always welcome additions to the cast. I normally don’t like when shows like this pull in guests for bit roles — I liked it in season one when you had Stephen Colbert come on as Dr. Impossible for a full episode, so Hodgman, Brewster and Hader playing “bit parts” leaves me a bit wanting. Yet, the characters they play are so perfect for all of them — Hader’s faux bravosity that was always parts of his performances on SNL, Hodgman’s sort of meekish delivery and Brewsters more outgoing likeness and wide variety of accents sells the additions.
It is certainly better than Aziz Ansari’s guest role, and I liked that considerbaly.
2. Boggles, You Fiend!
So, is it just me, or is this season making an effort to really pull back the curtain a bit? Not only is Sovereign apparently not David Bowie, but now we’re beginning to find out who the members of the council are. It’s not like we’d never seen one before, of course, but it is interesting how the show is choosing to unveil them.
That said, it is of course absolutely on point that the show wouldn’t have each character secretly revealed but rather have them all go out to a night club together to party. That’s just pure Venture Bros.
Also: “He always said he’d have the last laugh.” “He was always wrong!” Too good. (Too soon.)
3. More OSI = Good
My favorite episodes are the one dealing with the family. My second favorite, though, are the ones dealing with OSI.
Last season, when Brock left, OSI and Sphinx and all that spent a lot of time being very covert. Lots of cloak and dagger and misdirection, albeit in the Venture style. This season, like with the villains, OSI is getting more transparency; the GI Joe joke is lost a bit and it is turning into SHIELD, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And we’re really seeing how operations are put into play as well, which is neat — the former infallible secret organization turns out to be very fallible, as it were, and we’re getting a front row seat in just how inept they can be for two episodes now this season.
I’m not sure where they’re going with this other than all out war between heroic organization and villainous organization (which seems strange, given the civility present in how they are run as well as the general nod the show has given that they need one another), but it’s interesting to speculate.
The pinnacle of the episode, outside of all the background stuff, was the actual robo-dating parts. Because, like, wow: what a gag that they pulled off flawlessly. The Robocop riff was hysterical and Doc Hammer, despite doing the same voice he does everywhere, really nailed it. Adding in little bits about what robots can and can’t eat as well as how they get around a bit more than others was just class.
Plus: Vendata is an amazing name.
5. That Stinger
For the longest time I’ve been wondering, what happened to Baron Ünderbheit and the Phantom Limb. Well, guess who decided to show up? And with Henry Killinger to boot! (I care little about Dr. Impossible.)
My hope beyond hope is that this means somethings. Obviously it could just be a playful tease, reminding fans that they’re out there, and the heavy villain focus of the episode is conducive to reminding people that they all exist. But… if they were to come back? I would be so happy.