Hey Fartknocker, Welcome to the New Millennium

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 3 2011 11:02 AM

Hey Fartknocker, Welcome to the New Millennium

After months of chatter,MTV confirmedyesterday that Beavis and Butt-Head ,those 1990s arbiters of suckage, will return to television this summer, wellrested and presumably prepped to deconstruct a whole new generation of musicvideos.

But do the original MTVmorons make sense in 2011? The series' air of listless, juvenile nihilism seemsalmost quaint in today's era of millennial strivers. Meanwhile, the New York Post reportedlast July that the channel will be using the new B and B episodes as a "backdoor" (heh-heh-heh) to start showingmusic videos again a concept that seems as antiquated and nostalgic as the showitself.


You could make a casethat these two semi-literate losers are the spiritual godfathers of Internetculture, the way they loaf around consuming scraps of entertainment, passingpoorly formed but passionately held judgment on all that passes through theirfield of vision. Whether they can realistically compete in an entertainmentarena filled with their own chortling spawn, however, remains to be seen. Youcan watch classicepisodes of the show on MTV.com and decide for yourself.

Time 's TV critic JamesPoniewozik a big fan of the show in its first incarnatio n isdubious about the show's prospects. "I'll just say it: Beavis and Butt-Headcould be too much of a show for old people, like me."

Inthat spirit, he's promoting a Twitter meme: #BeavisandButtHeadat35 ,in which users nominate actors they'd like to see play grown-up versions of thetwo idiot teens. Ryan Goslingand James Franco have been suggested; so have SeannWilliam Scott and Jay Baruchel . But it seems like today's youngish maleactors are all too cuddly and charming to accurately capture Beavis andButt-Head's unlikeable, anarchic meatheadedness. How about Eastbound & Down 's Danny McBride and John Hawkes ? If youhave better suggestions, tweet them or leave them in the comments.

Elsewhere in Slate : Dana Stevens pondered the "Beckett-like purity" of Beavis and Butt-Head before posing the eternal question: "Is our culture stupid because we watch TV, or do we watch TV because we're stupid?"


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