When “All This and Gargantua-2” aired on Adult Swim this past January, fans of The Venture Bros. were left with a startling revelation — one so big that Dr. Venture (James Urbaniak) collapsed onto the ground at the funeral for his twin brother. What was it that floored the significantly less successful sibling? The insurmountable wealth of Venture Industries, that’s what. Not to mention the conglomerate’s new headquarters in New York City and a posh apartment. For the first time in a long time, the otherwise lackluster career of Dr. Venture was looking up. No need to let all that money and space go to waste, right? Hence the family’s decision to move to New York in “Hostile Makeover,” the season six premiere of Venture Bros.
Audiences haven’t seen a full season since 2013, so while the 2015 “Gargantua-2” special was a nice return, the time away works in the show’s favor. It’s just nice to be back in the Ventures’ world, even though that world has changed. The new environment affords writers Christopher McCulloch — otherwise known as Jackson Publick — and Doc Hammer more room to play in. Plus, the gang hasn’t encountered this level of success for quite some time (i.e. ever), so the new season’s shift in location is sure to be challenging for Dr. Venture, his cloned sons Dean (Michael Sinterniklaas) and Hank (McCulloch), and bodyguard/babysitter Sargeant Hatred (also McCulloch). Besides, who doesn’t want to see this all go to everyone’s heads? No one, that’s who.
There’s something to be said about just how good a change of scenery, a new character arc, or the appearance of a McGuffin can be for a series like Venture Bros. Of course, whether or not such a device works depends on what precedes it. When Archer‘s fifth season went the Miami Vice-and-Scarface route with its cocaine-fueled Archer Vice storyline, fans already had four seasons’ worth of material to fall back on. The FX show had an established bedrock of characters and narratives, so despite the fifth season’s “event series”-like aura, Archer Vice was a huge success. The Venture Bros.‘s New York season has just as much potential, if not more. Plot maneuvers like this involve a sizable degree of risk, especially when it comes to writers and networks putting too much emphasis on them at the expense of what made the show appealing in the first place. If “Hostile Makeover” is any indication, however, everyone at home jonesing for more Venture Bros. have nothing to worry about.