Can 'Beavis & Butt-Head' Thrive in 2011?

They'll get their chance on June 5

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In a throwback to the '90s, MTV has announced it's rebooting the animated series Beavis and Butt-head on June 5. Created by Office Space director Mike Judge, the original series aired from 1993 to 1997, and featured a bedraggled pair of heavy-metal music lowlifes. The show continues to enjoy a cult following and critics are reflecting on it fondly. But a lot's changed since 1997--is the ethos of 2011 suitable for a B&B redux?

  • '90s Nostalgia Is in Full Bloom  "The best thing about this is that it gives renewed hope to Tom Green fans," quips Glenn Eichler, the original story editor of Beavis and Butt-head. He spoke with The Atlantic Wire via instant message.*
  • It's a Bad Idea, writes James Poniewozik at Time. "The series was such a signal comedy of its time and generation that it feels like it would be out of place. There's something definitively Generation X about B&B's sarcastic, dismissive attitude--that dystopic, Mike-Judgean picture of a culture in decline that simultaneously derided the content of MTV and the soft, underchallenged audience watching it."
  • I Agree, writes Drew Grant at Crushable: "We have some reservations. After all, that 'making fun of the tv' thing seems so 90s (Mystery Science Theatre, anyone?). Plus, could anything ever top the brilliant yet inane analyses of these two dumbasses during the show’s first run?"
  • How Old Will They Be? wonders Adrian Chen at Gawker: "Hopefully it won't be about Beavis and Butt-Head's sad lives as unemployed, alcoholic 30-somethings." Answering his questions, Time's Glen Levy writes: "Rest assured, our heroes won't have aged since 1997, which means they're still in high school. In a strange sense, this heralds a return of sorts of music promos to the network, which long ago lost the M in MTV."
  • At Least Justin Bieber Is Excited  In a tweet, His Biebness rejoiced, "BEAVIS and BUTTHEAD are coming back!!!" It's a little odd that Bieber is this enthusiastic, notes The Daily What, since Bieber was only three years old when the last episode aired. "I imagine his enthusiasm for the show might dwindle somewhat following the hour-long special dedicated solely to skewering his music videos."
  • In Honor of B&B, Here Are Their Ten Best Videos, writes Drew Grant at Crushable. Here are two of Grant's selections:

*Full disclosure: Eichler's many accomplishments include (in no particular order) executive producing the MTV series Daria, writing for Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, and fathering the Wire's own staff writer Alexander Eichler.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.