I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve rewatched “The Venture Bros.” at this point, but something that has always impressed me with every rewatch is how the humor evolved with the times. When the show debuted in the early 2000s, it was a reflection of the offensive, edgelord humor of the era that contemporary voices love to pretend wasn’t the required status quo. Despite the show’s 20-year run, there are only seven seasons, meaning there was a lot of waiting between new seasons. This also gave the show plenty of time to mature, with many of the most poorly-aged bits acknowledged and repaired as the world changed along with the show. In the same way critics and audiences alike have hailed a series like “South Park” for retconning their most harmful gags, “The Venture Bros.” has been quietly doing the same canonically through its storytelling.
It’s not only a testament to the brilliance of Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, but a comforting reminder to the Gen Xers and Millennials who grew up along with the series. We too are not confined by our season 1 and 2 missteps, and if given the space to grow, can progress into something wonderful. “The Venture Bros.” had originally been renewed for an eighth season, but after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, Adult Swim canceled the series, leaving fans devastated.
Fortunately, a savior appeared in the form of “The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart,” a direct-to-VOD film serving as the farewell to the series and its many dangling plot threads. Pairing down a full season of animation to less than an hour and a half still feels like a complete slap in the face to all of those who have kept “The Venture Bros.” running for two decades, but fortunately, the film provides a satisfying conclusion that cements the series’ legacy as an all-time great.