Halloween on TV: Beavis and Butt-head and Malcolm in the Middle (31 Nightmares #29)

31 Nightmares, TV

In which we discuss “Beavis and Butt-head: Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest (Butt-O-Ween)” and “Malcolm in the Middle: Halloween Approximately” and “Halloween.”

“Malcolm” and “Beavis and Butt-head” are two of my favorite shows. One revolves around a dsyfunctional family, while the other is about two dysfunctional friends, and both shows were celebrated for their clever writing and wonderfully unique character dynamics. ¬†We’ve seen what these people do in regular, everyday life, but now we get to see them on Halloween.

“Beavis and Butthead: Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest”

“Lord of the Harvest takes a little bit to get going, but that’s exactly the point. I don’t think Butt-head realizes it’s Halloween till he and Beavis get beat up for stealing kids’ candy, since they’re constantly pissed off, and seem to be surprised, from kids ringing the doorbell frequently. Once they realize they need costumes to get candy, Butt-head goes as nachos, by pouring hot cheese on his head, and Beavis goes as a nad, by just putting his underwear over his head. The scene of them putting on their costumes is literally one of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

I would’ve appreciated a different story, for Beavis, than just him becoming “The Great Cornholio.” This is a Halloween episode, after all. Let’s see something more unique. All that being said though, they use it to great effect. I see why they wanted to used it, as The Great Cornholio works even better in a more scary, Halloween enviroement.

This episode represents an aspect of Beavis and Butt-head that I love, and that’s how they don’t really care about continuity on this show. We’ve seen other episodes where Beavis and Butt-head’s whole house is destroyed, but it’s fine the very next episode. “Lord of the Harvest” just takes it that extra step. Beavis is literally killed at the end of the episode, by two chainsaw wielding zombies, with one of them being Butt-head.

“Malcolm in the Middle: “Halloween Approximately,” “Halloween”

Ironically, “Halloween Approximately” takes place a week after Halloween. Francis was suppose to come home from military school the weekend of Halloween, but he couldn’t due to getting busted for putting a novelty bumper sticker on Commodore Spangler’s fake leg. Now that he’s home, he’s celebrating Halloween, with Dewey, Reese, and Malcolm, by wreaking havoc on the neighborhood. Like most episodes, there are multiple plots going on in this one. Hal and Lois’ isn’t Halloween related, as they’re dealing with a driver constantly speeding in their neighborhood. Hal, fed up with this, decides to take matters into his own hands.

“Halloween Approximately” is great. Despite taking place a week later, as Francis goes into, the Halloween atmosphere is still there. Francis, Malcolm, Dewey, and Reese decide to bring chaos to the area just cause they can, which is a perfect way to sum up all their characters too. The two plots are balanced well together. Neither feels like it doesn’t get enough screen time too. I also just love how this episode shows the type of influence Francis has on his brothers. They’re going to shoot more typical and standard things out of there catapult. Francis goes the extra mile though, with them now loading up a ton more unique items. The difference of how Francis sometimes sees situation is part of the reason he’s the only one that got sent to military school.

“Halloween” is kinda a disappoint. The episode starts out really strong. Malcolm and Reese discover their house was the site of multiple accounts of murder. The two find this out when their house shows up on a ghost tour they’re on. Lois knew, but she didn’t tell Hal, so he wouldn’t get scared. After finding this out, Hal is now terrified of his house.

That main plot works the best here, as the whole episode is mostly wrapped around that. The reactions by Hal are great, and even better when you think back to Bryan Cranston on “Breaking Bad.” The whole murder house plot line is just fun for a sitcom, especially “Malcolm in the Middle” to explore. This type of plot is so fitting, and the set up is priceless.

The other two plots sorta fall flat. Reese and Dewey, while taking Jamie Trick-R-Treating, are followed by an old man they accidentally threw eggs at, while Lois has to deal with a shoplifter at Luck-aid, where she works. Lois’ plot is definitely my least favorite, but her’s gets better when the plot intersects with Reese, Dewey, and Jamie’s story.

So those are the “Beavis and Butt-head” and “Malcolm in the Middle” Halloween specials. What do you guys think of these, and which show is overall your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. Join me for the final 31 Nightmares tomorrow.



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