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October 10, 2011 8:34 AM   Subscribe

MTV has posted a crapload of twenty-year-old Liquid Television shorts on their site. Watch all the Aeon Flux shorts, Joe Normal, The Running Man or Jac Mac and Rad Boy among others. Don't worry, though, your favorites will still not be available on the site.
posted by infinitewindow (50 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, yes, the Maxx. Oh boy, I'm going to sit down and watch some MTV-style irreverent ass-kicking by this big purple thing with middle fingers and WHAT IS THIS THING IN MY THROAT AND WHAT'S WITH ALL THE SALT-WATER COMING OUT OF ME.

...and then in college I read the full run of the comic and for fuck's sake, Sam Kieth. For fuck's sake. Turns out MTV had toned down the sad for the cartoon.
posted by griphus at 8:43 AM on October 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


US IP addresses only.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:43 AM on October 10, 2011


I recorded these fanatically. I showed them to my friends. I thought, "these will never be seen again. Ever." Guess I was wrong. 'Course I ended up losing the old vhs tapes.
posted by hot_monster at 8:43 AM on October 10, 2011


Awwwwwwesome! I loved those Aeon Flux shorts so much. It was so mysterious and compelling. I watched them over and over trying to figure out just what was happening. I even cut all the Aeon Fluxes together on one tape for my obsessive nerd convenience. They were able to do so much without any intelligible words at all. Really excellent.

Thomas and Nardo, on the other hand. Then again, that really paved the way for Aqua Teen Hunger Force and etcetera.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:48 AM on October 10, 2011


only 2 episodes of Brad Dharma? for shame MTV.
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:49 AM on October 10, 2011


Dr. Sketchy's NYC did an Aeon Flux tribute session yesterday, lemme see if I can find photos.....
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2011


Oh MAN. I did not need to know about this--I have so much work I need to get done today. Winter Steele, Dogboy, Speedbump the Roadkill Possum---so much awesomeness I'd forgotten! My sister and I used to sneak downstairs to the only TV with cable, pray for our parents to fall asleep early so that we could watch Liquid Television and 120 minutes.
posted by smirkette at 8:56 AM on October 10, 2011


I have today off! Excellent!
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on October 10, 2011


Man, I never thought I'd get to see those Winter Steele shorts again! Thanks so much for the link!
posted by tiger yang at 9:04 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hrm, is it just me or do all the Aeon Flux links point to the exact same file?
posted by aramaic at 9:09 AM on October 10, 2011


"We're getting some spiking in the brainwave scan!"
Yes, yes we are. These are awesome, thanks for the post! I never had cable when these were originally airing, so this is gonna be mostly new to me.
posted by obscurator at 9:15 AM on October 10, 2011


Nice pointer, thanks. And the best thing MTV ever aired (aside from Sifl & Ollie) comes from around this same time, too - the short-lived 13-episode experimental collage/sampling/documentary/manifesto show from 1990 called Buzz.

It's kind of like what folks say about the Velvet Underground. Very few people saw them, but everyone who did formed a band. It may be hard to imagine now how great it was to find shit like this on MTV in 1990, but everyone I know who saw it still remembers it today.
posted by mediareport at 9:19 AM on October 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Best thing on that show, for my money:

Richard Sala's _Invisible Hands_.
posted by edheil at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2011


The Maxx is pretty amazing. If you've never seen it I suggest you give it a shot.
posted by Edogy at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was prepared to be completely indifferent about this, because I was sure they still wouldn't have made The Maxx available, but I'm thrilled to see that I was completely wrong.

I know how I'm killing the rest of today.
posted by quin at 9:36 AM on October 10, 2011


It's really weird to see so many fans of The Maxx. There are very few comics I checked out before they became a thing, and The Maxx was one of them. Having read the comic, I never really liked the cartoon.

Adventures of the Head and Aeon Flux were my two faves.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:44 AM on October 10, 2011


Crazy Daisy Ed! Omg! The Maxx has actually been available for a while on the site, and I watched through it a few months ago. But Crazy Daisy Ed has stayed with me from years of watching the one Liquid Television VHS they put out.
posted by strixus at 9:46 AM on October 10, 2011


In 6th grade I played bass in a band. Our name: Winter Steele.

We were so bad ass. Even if we were just a bunch of chubby kids in sweat pants who played Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:48 AM on October 10, 2011


The Maxx is pretty amazing. If you've never seen it I suggest you give it a shot.

Yep, and the comic too, but be prepared, while it looks like a generic superhero comic from the outside, and launched along with Spawn (shudder), it's quite unique and awesome, and if you don't cry, you have no empathy.
posted by usagizero at 10:00 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


IIRC Stevie Washington wasn't a part of Liquid Television. It was something that just aired randomly during breaks as a bump and it was really in short installations. All the bits have been since edited together to be a longer and complete storyline. I think I first saw it during the late 80's or early 90's before Liquid Television even started.
posted by GavinR at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2011


Making the connection between the style of Aeon Flux and Egon Schiele and then reading an interview with Peter Chung where he confirmed it was maybe the critical highlight of my teenage years... made me feel like a fucking genius. In retrospect it seem so unbelievably obvious.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:15 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Maxx was one of my absolute favorites. Everyone noticed Aeon Flux, but I thought The Maxx was the best characters in the history of cartoons. (I was young, gimme a break)
posted by DigDoug at 10:31 AM on October 10, 2011


Invisible Hands was the best thing going.

Also, yes. Buzz was fantastic - probably the most forward-thinking show MTV ever aired.
posted by mykescipark at 10:40 AM on October 10, 2011


The Aeon Flux short with the offshore platform is missing from the Liquid TV site, but still on the main MTV site.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:00 AM on October 10, 2011


My favorite Stick Figure Theater is still this one. "Stretch wide the nostril!"
posted by jiawen at 11:12 AM on October 10, 2011


IIRC Stevie Washington wasn't a part of Liquid Television.

That's correct. The Specialists, which was by the same guy, was.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:13 AM on October 10, 2011


You can also buy the complete Aeon Flux for not too much money.
posted by jiawen at 11:23 AM on October 10, 2011


I watched Liquid Television religiously. Thanks for this!
posted by vibrotronica at 11:52 AM on October 10, 2011


Winter Steele. I had totally forgotten that. Wow.
posted by kuanes at 12:03 PM on October 10, 2011


Yeah, where's The Head? Am I missing it ... ? I remember Aeon Flux and The Maxx, but that's about it ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another favorite not on MTV's site:

Brickface and Stucco in Sizzlean's Machine

Meggamorphosis appears to no longer exist on the Internet because it contains Depeche Mode's instrumental "Pimpf."
posted by infinitewindow at 1:04 PM on October 10, 2011


And a short starring MeFi's late lamented Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:22 PM on October 10, 2011


Great stuff. I love the Aeon Flux shorts, but the animated series that showed up in the late 90s was pretty meh. Too much dialogue, too much exposition, too much explaining things. The shorts work because so much is just a riddle and you have to employ your imagination to fill in the gaps.

I never bothered to watch the movie.
posted by zardoz at 2:28 PM on October 10, 2011


I didn't see my absolute favorite Liquid Television clip. Juliet Stroud's 1986 production of Snookles
posted by mikelieman at 2:28 PM on October 10, 2011


When is MTV going to wise up and realize they would make a small cult-driven fortune if they just released the episodes on DVD exactly as they aired in first run on their channel all those years ago?

That's what people are craving. That odd jukebox effect of strange animation and stuff, coming at you as you sit utterly helpless in thrall at what you're seeing.

*sigh* Stupid people. Just do it already.
posted by hippybear at 2:43 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aeon Flux was one of those things that was so perfect from the start, it had no way to go but downhill. In the first season, it was one serialized story, with Aeon dying in the end. For the second season, each segment was a self-contained 'mission' ending with her killed off every time. (Kenny?) The standalone series filled in the backstory of Aeon's world with dialogue and extra characters, then kept her alive from week-to-week as the 'epic saga' rolled on and was so "meh", the movie was an obvious "must NOT see".

But so much of my favorite moments on TV in the last 30 years came from USA's Night Flight, MTV's Liquid Television and other anthologies of mostly-animation (remember TechTV's Eye Drops? Lotsa goodies there too.)... why doesn't anybody just do that anymore? Oh, yeah. YouTube. At least Cartoon Brew showcases some cool shorts from time to time.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:55 PM on October 10, 2011


Too bad about the video compression. But don't miss The Street Sweeper, one of my all-time favorite one-offs on LTV
posted by churl at 4:08 PM on October 10, 2011


The Maxx is one of the most interesting stories I've ever read. The cartoon was fantastic (particularly the voice actor for Maxx) and visually (though mostly just taken directly from the comic) completely different from everything else I'd seen up to then.

Find the comic. Read the second half, which is years later. It's brutal, in terms of harsh reality, the characters coming to terms with themselves. It has the absolute most depressing 'happy' ending I've ever seen. Definitely something worth seaching out.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:13 PM on October 10, 2011


At first I was like :D because LTV was a big part of my teenage life. It dicated my Saturday nights.

Then I was like >:( Because US ONLY BULLSHIT
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 7:32 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the ├ćon Flux series was pretty rad, there were some amazing things done in those episodes. A couple images that just wont. get. out. of. my. head. (not entirely in a good way or a bad way) came from that show.

Then again, I never had cable in the eighties, and thus got to see AF as one big lump of DVD, with all the little tiny fragments edited together into one show, and then see the series.
posted by egypturnash at 7:51 PM on October 10, 2011


This is fantastic!

Earlier this year I bought a VCR-to-DVD dubbing machine so I could offload the remains of a couple of MTV tapes I made in the mid-eighties. I had ONE episode of Winter Steele, a couple of Aeon Flux' and some Randee of the Redwoods and some Alex Winter.

This is awesome - thank you!
posted by mmrtnt at 9:04 PM on October 10, 2011


I just liked all the CGI liquid animations between shows and shorts. I'd like an hour of just that.
posted by vicx at 9:31 PM on October 10, 2011


Peter Chung did artwork for both Aeon Flux and Rugrats. Giving us the most disturbing image for anyone who has seen both
posted by munchingzombie at 10:24 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


At first I was like :D because LTV was a big part of my teenage life. It dicated my Saturday nights.

Then I was like >:( Because US ONLY BULLSHIT
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 7:32 PM on October 10 [+] [!]


I too was looking forward to re-watching some of these.

/shakes fist at MTV
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 10:42 PM on October 10, 2011


I f'in told you Winter was coming.

"Are you comfortable?" "It doesn't get any better than this!"
"Are you comfortable?" "It doesn't get any better than this!"
"Are you comfortable?" "It doesn't get any better than this!"
"Are you any better than this?" "It doesn't get comfortable!"
"Are you any better than this?" "It doesn't get comfortable!"

I was never high watching this show. I didn't need to be. It did all the heavy lifting for me.
posted by Eideteker at 1:13 AM on October 11, 2011


They sure did a crazy job of organizing the Aeon Flux episodes. Can anyone tell me if they included the short where the helicopter pulls the plug on the floating station, or if I just can't find it?
posted by team lowkey at 1:57 AM on October 11, 2011


Oh, never mind. Short 5 - Tide. I somehow missed it the first time through. I still blame their crazy organization.
posted by team lowkey at 2:22 AM on October 11, 2011


I loved both the Aeon Flux shorts and full-length cartoons. The shorts because they were fucking awesome, and the cartoons because of Aeon's and Trevor's voices. God, those voice actors made me melt.

Dammit, the 90s were yesterday. How can there be nostalgia already? YESTERDAY, I TELL YOU.
posted by cereselle at 10:07 AM on October 11, 2011


Peter Chung did artwork for both Aeon Flux and Rugrats. Giving us the most disturbing image for anyone who has seen both

HOORAY, I'M FAMOUS!

Here's the entire post, by the way.
posted by griphus at 10:24 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Got it!

Dr. Sketchy does Aeon Flux
posted by The Whelk at 12:26 AM on October 23, 2011


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