After years of piecemeal DVDs housing a few episodes per disc, Beavis & Butt-Head
finally received a creator-approved treatment on disc with this 3-DVD set from Paramount. Surprisingly, Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1 turns out to be a mixed blessing. Video and audio quality are fine for what the show is: Beavis & Butt-Head
was made quickly and "on the cheap," so it was never designed to look pristine. Everything included here looks fine and sounds decent (in fact, the old stereo mixes sound surprisingly crisp). The only problem with the episodes is that a good portion of them have been re-edited by show creator Mike Judge, losing lines, gags, and in some cases, entire minutes of footage. Thus, these re-edited episodes essentially rewrite history and do not present an honest representation of what viewers saw during the show's original MTV run. This after-the-fact editing is unfortunate because the un-doctored episodes show that the program holds up pretty well. Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1 fares better in the area of extras. The third disc is devoted entirely to bonus features: first up is a series of 11 music videos that feature Beavis and Butt-Head riffing over them. The disc also offers a series of appearances the duo made on MTV, including appearances at the VMA awards and a Thanksgiving special with Kurt Loder
. However, the best of the extras is "The Taint of Greatness, Part 1," a comprehensive featurette that covers the show's beginnings and includes new interviews with Judge and the many others who worked on the show. It's funny, fast-paced and full of nice surprises like footage of the show's original test screenings and readings of angry letters from irate viewers. Ultimately, Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection, Vol. 1 is a decent value and offers some fun extras but the re-editing of several episodes is likely to rub its target audience the wrong way. As a result, they might want to check this set out before they commit to buying it.