LOS ANGELES, June 22 (UPI) — Beavis and Butt-Head were ’90s teenagers who epitomized an MTV generation reared on music videos and sexual innuendo. “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe,” premiering Thursday on Paramount+, proves the characters still are relevant in 2022 and can have a bit more depth.
Huh huh, Beavis and Butt-Head would not approve of being credited with depth, but creator Mike Judge probably would. “Do the Universe” opens with Beavis and Butt-Head (Judge) explaining where they’ve been all this time.
In 1998, a judge sentenced them to space camp in the hopes that an encouraging opportunity would influence them better than punishment. At the Johnson Space Station, whose name does not go unnoticed by the boys, their obsession with a docking module makes them savants with NASA equipment.
Endeavor astronaut Serena Ryan (Andrea Savage) suggests they be trained for the mission. Beavis and Butt-Head going through “The Right Stuff” training is funny, and of course they prove Serena to be mistaken about their talents. They end up destroying the shuttle and going through a black hole that takes them to 2022.
This explains how Beavis and Butt-Head still are teenagers in the present, and also allows them to react to the modern world. The chaos they cause with a stolen smartphone and Siri suggests all the fun they can have in the new episodic series coming this year, too.
If Beavis and Butt-Head ever made you laugh, “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Their dynamic and language prove timeless, and as scathing in 2022 as it was in the ’90s.
Judge and co-writer Lew Morton make commentary on the modern world when it comes to student debt and white privilege. They nail mansplaining right in the manbun, too.
Beavis and Butt-Head remain as immature and destructive as ever. Their ability to turn the most innocuous comment into sexual innuendo becomes an endearing version of “Who’s on First” in which the most basic expressions turn them on.
Beavis shows a deeper side in “Do the Universe.” It turns out that Beavis getting emotional is even funnier than Cornholio, who also makes an appearance in the movie.
Kicking Beavis in the “nads” also is still funny. Directors John Rice and Albert Calleros and the animators came up with funny new pained facial expressions for Beavis.
Viewers will notice some fan favorite characters in their court sentencing, though they don’t speak. Beavis and Butt-Head’s trip to the future also answers some series-long questions, but raises even more.
Beavis and Butt-head are funnier than ever in “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe.” It’s great to have the boys back to poke fun at the world that takes itself too seriously.
Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001 and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Read more of his work in Entertainment.