Once more, teenagers will have the opportunity to watch teenagers watching MTV. According to the New York Post, America’s favorite slackers Beavis and Butthead are returning to the small screen.
Like before, Mike Judge will create the new cartoon series and lend his (altered) voice to the two main characters. It looks like the new cartoon series will retain the essence of the original series, with simple hand-drawn animation. The animation of Beavis and Butthead was kept to a minimum in the original TV series. At all times, Beavis was pictured sideways and Butthead was pictured in front view. Using this “bare essentials” approach, it looked as if Judge didn’t really care whether his cartoons would become popular or not. (Mike Judge also directed “Office space”, a slightly offbeat movie which bombed at the box office but then became a huge cult phenomenon among IT professionals)
Artistic creations such as cartoon characters are often a reflection of the era during which they were created. Just like Mickey Mouse was given birth during the great depression, Beavis and Butthead were born in the aftermath of the 1990-1991 recession.
In 2010, the planned return of Beavis and Butthead is happening at a time when Mr. Economy is dragging his feet and looking like he’s not about to stand up straight anytime soon.
Our recession has led many unemployed people to give up looking for a job. As a consequence, slacking off is becoming “hip” again. People are enjoying simple effortless activities. They don’t feel the need or the pressure to be too productive. These behavior traits form the modus operandi of Beavis and Butthead. Many of us will relate to these two experts in time-waste management.
The days of living above our means are over. It’s no longer cool to work like crazy in order to be able to afford the latest 4×4 SUV owned by an arrogant neighbor…who purchased it with his credit card and a 10K credit limit. Beavis and Butthead, like most teenagers, are broke and hold a low-pay job at a fast-food joint.
The gap in political ideologies seems to be getting wider each day. Two of the show’s recurring characters are caricatures of left and right ideological extremes. Teacher Van Driessen is an overly gentle hippie who actually cares for Beavis and Butthead, while coach Bradley Buzzcut is a macho vietnam veteran who enjoys kicking the boys’ asses. The presence of these two characters is even more relevant now than back in the nineties.
For all these reasons, making “Beavises” and “Buttheads” of ourselves is becoming cool again. As a bonus, with so many cheesy music videos playing on TV these days, Beavis and Butthead won’t run out of source material to make fun of anytime soon. I can’t wait to hear their sarcastic cracks on the next Lady Gaga video.