Beavis and Butt-Head premieres with two episodes on Paramount+ on Thursday, Aug. 4, and then will air one new episode weekly.
It truly is the summer of Beavis and Butt-Head. After returning to the small screen from a hiatus that lasted over a decade, the pair starred in this summer’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, a Paramount+ exclusive that found the teenage slackers doing what they do best: trying to score and being their arrestingly stupid selves. Now, they’re back with more misadventures: a slew of fresh episodes rebooted for modern audiences that should appeal to fans old and new.
For anyone concerned that time had done something crazy to Beavis and Butt-Head, like help them to finally mature or learn how to be productive members of society, don’t worry; they’re still just as comically moronic as you remember. Their made-for-streaming movie certainly proved that already. In fact, that was the last time we saw them, and during that outing, they traveled to space and through time. Now, they’re tackling other unfamiliar frontiers, like an escape room… and a cardboard box. Somehow, both are equally challenging fare for the duo.
Because of that (and many other reasons), the new episodes of the classic MTV series are the next best thing to the original run. This is the same puerile humor these barely sentient buffoons became famous for during MTV’s heyday, and it’s back in full force here, permeating every single area of the two new episodes made available to reviewers.
Across the first two episodes of their rebooted series, split up into four separate segments, Beavis and Butt-Head serve up some of the most dim-witted derring do of their TV careers. Beavis is still very preoccupied with fire. Butt-Head loves to physically assault Beavis for laughs. And the two can’t get enough of the “chicks” they can’t help but think are infatuated with them. I’m well-acquainted with how stupid these guys can be, but their latest exploits take the cake in an astounding way.
Over the course of the four stories that make up the first and second episodes of the new wave of Beavis and Butt-Head series, we see the pair wandering into a bathroom and mistaking it for an escape room. Someone’s done their business in a toilet – and they take that as a clue. In another vignette, Beavis comes face to face with one of his greatest heroes, fire… but the blaze he meets only seems interested in having him do some pretty lame things, such as writing essays and (ew!) practicing self-care.
Some of the biggest laughs throughout each story come from the pair’s hilariously awful understanding of simplistic ideas, like how one catches bees and collects honey to sell, as their teacher’s “lady friend” does at a farmer’s market. Their idea of beecatching? Using a cardboard box, not unlike the very same one they find themselves trapped in after Beavis has a random drill confiscated that he can’t stop playing with in class. It’s all so awkward yet side-splittingly funny that, even when they come through with the most absurd misunderstandings possible, there’s plenty to giggle at, even if some of the comedic moments go on a bit too long, like Beavis’ fire episode.
One of the funniest aspects of the original Beavis and Butt-Head episodes is undoubtedly the commentary the pair would offer while viewing music videos. I’m pleased to say that’s here in full force as well. When the first video was of country singer Cale Dodds’ “I Like Where This is Going,” I thought the show was undoubtedly going to play it safe with relatively uninspired music videos and lesser-known artists. That’s why I was so shocked to see the massively popular BTS track “Dynamite” lampooned by the boys. Even more surprising is the fact that Beavis is a closet ARMY! I laughed out loud at his insistence that he only likes BTS because of how much “they suck”: “You know who sucks the worst?” he asks an annoyed Butt-Head. “It’s J-Hope. He doesn’t even have a positive attitude, like Suga!”
Music videos aren’t the only clips to get the Beavis and Butt-Head treatment. Interspersed with the occasional music video are TikToks and YouTube videos, including a teen’s extreme reaction to getting into Harvard and an apparent ex-convict’s instructions for making tattoo ink the prison way. It’s meta in a weird way, watching the boys come full circle from when I was a young girl, too young to appreciate their genius during the glory days of MTV. Now, their “reaction videos” come in the form of full-fledged episodes, just like when I was younger. It’s bizarre, but I love it.
Animation studio Titmouse continues to handle animation duties for these episodes as it did for Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, and the result is a crisp, yet nostalgic look. The boys, and all of the people they meet over the course of these two episodes, look great. And as for their voices? Mike Judge is in his element, and it sounds like he just kept sharpening his idiot impressions over the years. Absolutely excellent.