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Beavis and Butt-Head (2011)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 2011 incarnation of Mike Judge's iconic TV show is virtually identical to its predecessor in content, especially with regard to the crudity, language, and sexual references that marked the original. The guys talk a lot about sex and chuckle over euphemisms like "schlong" and "choking the chicken," all the while making plans for "scoring" with the girls they lust after (although they never do). Their vernacular includes "ass," "damn," and "bitch," and "f--k" is muted in clips of MTV shows like Jersey Shore, which replace music videos as the brunt of the teens' mockery in this modern version. In short, this series offers nothing of value to teens, though that likely won't stop them from wanting to watch.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Beavis and Butt-head (both voiced by Mike Judge) return to the small screen in a revived version of the controversial '90s cartoon of the same name. The social deviants haven't aged (or matured, for that matter) a day and are up to their old antics -- ditching school, chasing girls, and vegging on the couch and downing fistfuls of junk food while offering their unique commentary on the obscene amount of TV they watch. The most notable change in this updated series is the replacement of their previous media target, '90s music videos, with current MTV shows like Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, as well as popular movies and viral videos, which offers them a whole new entertainment genre on which to cast judgment.
Is it any good?
BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD's rebirth is less a statement of the show's social value and more a result of TV's nostalgic regression to '90s classics (and some less-than classics). Age hasn't done these two numbskulls any good, and Beavis and Butt-head continue to personify what parents should hope their teens won't become. Their abhorrent behavior oscillates between criminal and clinically insane, and their obsession with wooing girls to have sex with them takes up a good portion of their time, leaving little for more productive endeavors.
Of course, no one would argue that Judge intended for these two to be positive characters, since their negative traits are what make them appealing to their teen audience. Their willingness to speak their minds, their unique commentary on the media of the times, and even their uninhibited idiocy, have a certain appeal for viewers, but only if they're prepared to put the guys' actions in their rightful place. Bottom line? There's not much to applaud about this show, but controversy goes a long way in attracting viewers. If your older teens can recognize the negative behavior as the fantasy it's meant to be, they're probably OK to tune in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about role models. Do you expect to find positive role models in the shows you watch? Which ones exist? What aspects of their behavior impress you? Do you think their characteristics are transferrable to the real world?
Teens: Why do you think this show has been remade? Does it offer any positive content for viewers? Is its comedy style similar to any other show you watch? Do you find it funny?
Are you familiar with the MTV shows that are highlighted in Beavis and Butt-head? If not, are you more inclined to watch them after seeing the clips here? How does intermingling shows like this serve as advertising? Do you think that factored into the plans for this series?