Aeon Flux, Beavis And Butthead and Liquid Television


Aeon Flux (1995-1996)
Beavis And Butthead (1993-1997)
Liquid Television (1991-1993)
Type: Spin Offs

   Liquid Television was an MTV show which was composed entirely of experimental short subjects. While an actual living person might pop up once in a great while or maybe a puppet short or two, the majority of the shorts were animated. For the most of these shorts their whole time in the spotlight was their appearance on Liquid Television. But a few broke out to be a wee bit more.

   One of the shorts featured two rude, crude and constantly chuckling ("Huhuhuhuhuh") teenage idiots named Beavis And Butthead. They were dumbskulls. but engaging addictive dumbskulls. MTV gave them their own show and they gave MTV one of their biggest hits.

   Beavis And Butthead somehow. inexplicably. managed to be idiotic and yet very intelligent at the same time. The smart move the show's creator Mike Judge made that most people making a show like this would have missed was to have Beavis and Butthead be idiots but to have the writing be very smart. Instead of just idiots they were idiots who did the dangdest things. Playing with the blood pressure machine at the local pharmacy might be simple to anyone else but these freaks could turn it into an epic fight of moronic proportions. A fight? With a blood pressure machine? Well yeah. That thing grabs your arm and squeezes hard. If you had less than half a brain you might panic, freak out. attack it to free yourself. Ahhh, ya hadda be there.

   But this was Music Television. In an attempt (I guess) to stick with the corporate identity, in the early days Beavis And Butthead alternated between cartoon segments and music videos which Beavis and Butthead would talk over top of, commenting on them, mocking them, getting way off topic and utterly ignoring them. Actually because of them a number of artists found songs that had already flopped getting a second life due to the boys' attention. White Zombie in particular went from a "Who's that?" to "White Zombie RULES!!!" In later days when enough cartoons were produced MTV started to remove the music video bits and just show the cartoons. Damn shame actually. The videos were sometimes the funniest bits. When I discovered I accidentally still had some of episodes with music videos in them on tape I was actually happily surprised.

   The other spin off Liquid Television had never hit the pop culture radar like Beavis and Butthead but it did have a decent run for an MTV cartoon series. Aeon Flux was. I'm not even sure where to start.

   The first Aeon Flux cartoon that aired on Liquid Television was not actually a short. At least not in comparison to the other toons on the show. It was long enough that it was broken into segments and aired on Liquid Television as a sort of serial with a new piece of the cartoon airing every week. Then at the end of the series they aired the full cartoon from start to finish as one piece.

   But what was Aeon Flux? Well it was a silent action piece. Aeon Flux was a leggy super spy sort of babe. I don't remember the full plot at this point but the full plot was maybe less important than the style. The style was basically Aeon Flux running through the bad guys' base blowing away villain after villain after villain with a distinctly unique look and style. To give you an idea of how different this show was, if I recall correctly, at the end of the story our heroine ended up dead (I think) and in a heaven that consisted of lounging about as some weird thing. licked her feet. I dunno.

   Aeon Flux got enough attention that she was brought back from the dead for more adventure in her own show. But some changes were made. The original toon had been silent but to do a weekly show with no dialogue would be maddening. So goodbye Tom And Jerry silent action with attitude. Aeon Flux moved into talkies.

   And here I admit my further lack of knowledge. Why? Because I loved the original toon and got into a bit of a purist vibe. To me the silence of the original story was part of what made it cool. If they were going to talk I was out and so consequently cannot say much about Aeon Flux the series. I do know that it did well enough to merit two series of episodes. And two seasons is above average for an MTV show.

Other Beavis And Butthead Crossover Links
Beavis And Butthead and Daria
Beavis And Butthead and The Head

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