Liquid Television returns
September 9, 2013 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Remember that feeling of dislocation and anticipation while you watched with no clue as to what was going to come next, but knew it was going to be either strange or awesome or horrible or some combination of all three? Well, MTV has been quietly reviving it's Liquid Television brand over the past few years, essentially as an online destination for new "awesome" animation. Tonight, 9/9/13, five all-new episodes of Liquid Television will finally be released - on Hulu, iTunes, MTV Geek, Amazon, Xbox and Playstation. The network is still hoping to schedule a broadcast time slot for the revived series sometime in the remaining months in 2013, and there may be an announcement about that soon.

Hulu link to the new season, iTunes Store link to the new season... Haven't been able to find it yet on Amazon or MTV Geek, and have no gaming console so can't look there.... (apologies to non-US people who may not be able to watch)
posted by hippybear (61 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:47 PM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


1) their mobile site is awful
2) if this means the maxx gets rereleased in a non shitty format YAY
posted by juv3nal at 7:00 PM on September 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have that "want to be so excited but prepared to be let down" feeling that one gets about anything that rewrote one's adolescent DNA and has now returned from the dead some decades later. 13-year-old me would be glued to that TV tonight.
posted by mykescipark at 7:01 PM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


When is Night Flights coming back?
posted by JHarris at 7:07 PM on September 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


Man, this takes me back. When I was a young teen, the Saturday night lineup on SBS was: cult movie, Eat Carpet, Liquid Television. More often than not the cult movie was a bit raunchy, a bit saucy, and usually a couple of the bits on Eat Carpet were saucy too, and then Aeon Fluxx as a kind of nightcap. So that was good.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:08 PM on September 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


I've said it for years, but Aeon Flux (along with The Prisoner, which is sort of linked in my mind as being a live action version of the same) really is one of the most artistic, intelligent and well written things to have been on television. My dearest hope for a new Liquid Television milieu is that it'll be the birthplace for similarly high-calibre creative projects that get to stretch their legs and prove a much needed expansion on what Western animation is allowed to be.

Either way: yay!
posted by byanyothername at 7:09 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Saturday night lineup on SBS was: cult movie, Eat Carpet, Liquid Television.

Then whomever was guest hosting Rage...
posted by Thoth at 7:12 PM on September 9, 2013


That did seem to capture something of the original spirit, even to the extent that it almost didn't look like Flash.

(On preview, ditto what byanothername said re: Aeon Flux, particularly the early non-speaking shorts. Just one of those rare perfect things.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:13 PM on September 9, 2013


Then whomever was guest hosting Rage...

I rarely wanked to them.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:15 PM on September 9, 2013


So, the sorry saps that actually pay for a subscription to MTV via a cable bill get a "hoping to schedule a broadcast time slot", but hey, at least you can buy it individually. Double dippers.
posted by readyfreddy at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2013


I had a gerbil named "Monsieur Boeuf de Tete". I'm going to submit that to every pet naming thread until the end of time because it is truly the best name for anything.
posted by Alison at 7:17 PM on September 9, 2013


I really hated Aeon Flux, which makes me in the minority, I suppose, but I kept waiting for it to be over every time.

On the other hand, I would love to see The Idiot Box again, which had Alex Winters and some awesome sketches like "God's Mighty Anvil" and "Damn These Eyes."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is insane that MTV is "hoping" to schedule a time to broadcast them on the network. Just pull five hours of whatever shitty programming they have going on at any given time! It's not hard! I'm one hundred percent positive Liquid Television is better than what is currently on MTV at every second of every day.
posted by something something at 7:41 PM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really hated Aeon Flux, which makes me in the minority, I suppose, but I kept waiting for it to be over every time.
Do you mean the Liquid Television shorts or the full series? Because that was a show that greatly benefited from the addition of words and plotting.
posted by byanyothername at 7:46 PM on September 9, 2013


Dear Mum...
posted by unknowncommand at 7:47 PM on September 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I loved everything on Liquid Television except Aeon Flux. It creeped me out and was incomprehensible. And strangely enough, I vaguely remember anything about the show EXCEPT for Aeon Flux.

...oh yeah, now it's all coming back to me.
posted by not_on_display at 7:48 PM on September 9, 2013


Relevant Portlandia sketch.
posted by mykescipark at 7:48 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


looks around stealthily to see if anyone notices then disappears into the bedroom to change underwear

Grinning Evil Death, babies!
posted by Samizdata at 7:50 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The internet was the natural home of Liquid Television, MTV Oddities, etc—it just didn't exist at the time in a form that could support them. These shows were never meant to appeal to mainstream audiences, which is precisely why they were shitcanned as MTV steadily metastasized into the money-sucking corporate entity we all know and loathe.

I know it's asking too much, but I'd love to see the Maxx finished out in full, as per Kieth's series. And like the original run, it would cost next to nothing to produce.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:51 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another MTV experiment I adored, BUZZ.
posted by dbiedny at 7:54 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you mean the Liquid Television shorts or the full series? Because that was a show that greatly benefited from the addition of words and plotting.

I don't know, some of the un-narrated, nonsensical episodes were pretty brilliant too.

But I guess I appreciated them more after I'd already seen enough (and read AF: The Herodotus File), so maybe.

Anyway.
posted by Foosnark at 8:09 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


the un-narrated, nonsensical episodes

Nonsensical? I beg to differ. The wordless AF episodes all made perfect sense. That they all began in the middle of a story for which you had no background provided didn't matter. AF was an assassin or an agent sent to accomplish something, and despite all her amazing skills, she always died. Whether this was a set of iterations or a series of clones or whatnot didn't matter. It was always brilliant, breathtaking to watch, and full of odd humor.

They may have been enigmatic, but they were NEVER nonsensical.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


What hippybear said. That was one of the things that made them great, they did have an internal logic to them. Self-consciously weird random cartoons were and are a dime a dozen; I always think of them as providing 'edgy' cover for simply not having any ideas or knowing how to write. Aeon Flux was anything but that. For structure, this one is a particular favorite of mine.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Liquid Television is what first brought us Voice B Gone, and while it had so much other great stuff happening, I will be forever in its debt for this one thing.
posted by hippybear at 8:29 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


There were kind of three different Aeon Flux on Liquid Television.

The first season, a one-minute-to-90-second piece of a wordless, serialized story that caught us all gasping when (SPOILER) she dies at the end of the last segment.

The second season, 2-3-minute self-contained adventures, some textual info but again no dialogue, in which (SPOILER) every time Aeon gets squashed/shot/torn to pieces. (Inspiration for South Park's Kenny?)

Aeon Flux the Series, with real characters and dialogue that I watched half of the first episode of, realized she was NOT going to die every week, and tuned out.

Then there was that other 'action/adventure' serial, the cut-out animated The Specialists! (Kittka, MasterMind and Samson... inspiring another animated Samson?)

I did enjoy the Mike Judge cartoon shorts, except for the Frog Baseball one that introduced THOSE jerks.

Also some of the Marv Newland/International Rocketship toons that were part of one of my happiest limited-edition-DVD acquisitions directly from ol' Marv via a cartoon blog. Two Words: Black Hula.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:43 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of these days I seriously need to dig out the VHS tapes I have which contain the entire first season. And spool them to DVD. That would be awesome.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 PM on September 9, 2013


And, for those wondering... these new episodes are definitely exactly what you've been looking for over all these years. Watch them, and get the goosebumps of Liquid TV joy.
posted by hippybear at 9:01 PM on September 9, 2013


Ho. Lee. F***.

(also Black Hula for the win, Crazy Daisy Ed for place and Earth to Doris for show)
posted by djrock3k at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2013


Great! Now bring back Sifl & Olly.
posted by aaronetc at 9:09 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Re: hippybear's original post: "apologies to non-US people who may not be able to watch"

Here's a start on how to watch the content anywhere. The very idea of region-specific Internet content is outrageous.
posted by koavf at 9:12 PM on September 9, 2013


Re: aaronetc: Sifl & Olly is back.
posted by koavf at 9:13 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


CROW DICKERSON
posted by infinitewindow at 9:24 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'M JOE NORMAL
posted by FatherDagon at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2013


Can't we just have the complete original series on DVD? If I want new weirdo shorts I can just turn to the internet. But the original series is a magical thing that still haunts my angry sunflower filled dreams.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:36 PM on September 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Can't we just have the complete original series on DVD? If I want new weirdo shorts I can just turn to the internet. But the original series is a magical thing that still haunts my angry sunflower filled dreams.

This this this so much this. I'd buy the fuck out of that, and then buy it again and again to give away as gifts.
posted by hippybear at 9:37 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I remember most about this show is that in the music for the closing credits there was a sample from a ringing telephone. We had this exact phone in our rec room. Ergo, every time the show ended I would be searching for the phone and cursing when I realized I'd been duped yet again.
posted by rouftop at 9:41 PM on September 9, 2013


oneswellfoop: Aeon Flux the Series, with real characters and dialogue that I watched half of the first episode of, realized she was NOT going to die every week, and tuned out.

I think it's a shame you didn't give it a shot on its merits - even if the protagonist dying is the most important part for you, she arguably does die a few times (I'd consider the end of Ether Drift Theory to be a death) and definitely dies at least once.

I really enjoyed the series' visuals (very reminiscent of the Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele), plots and setting - some of the best animated work I've ever seen. There's an excellent DVD of the show available for those who miss it.
posted by curious.jp at 9:46 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Welp. All existing Hulu episodes watched.

I was a little scared by the ads. They kept hitting me with one for Abilify+antidepressants. A little too close for home.
posted by Samizdata at 9:50 PM on September 9, 2013


Winter Steele still makes semi-regular appearances in my dreams/nightmares.
posted by pandalicious at 9:52 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the bit of the new show I've watched is highly lacking in odd puppet material. Shame, that.
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


hippybear: "Yeah, the bit of the new show I've watched is highly lacking in odd puppet material. Shame, that."

Agreed indeed.
posted by Samizdata at 9:54 PM on September 9, 2013


juv3nal:
2) if this means the maxx gets rereleased in a non shitty format YAY
The entire series of The Maxx was released on DVD via Amazon recently and I bought it a few months ago. Looked great and was the original broadcast format in its entirety—no digests or abridgement like MTV's old VHS release.
posted by whittaker at 10:07 PM on September 9, 2013


This this this so much this. I'd buy the fuck out of that, and then buy it again and again to give away as gifts.

I have never been so disappointed with a media release as when the Liquid Television DVD(s) came out and they had been completely cannibalized of almost all the coolest stuff.
posted by mykescipark at 10:16 PM on September 9, 2013


I was a little scared by the ads. They kept hitting me with one for Abilify+antidepressants. A little too close for home.

OT, but if I've no choice but to watch Hulu, I prefer the 60 black seconds they show you if you're using an adblocker than the 30 second commercial they show you if you aren't. You just catch up on other stuff and when the audio returns you pull that window up again.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:28 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the very best.
posted by mykescipark at 10:28 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Urgh. I said that without having tried to watch a full TV show on Hulu in years. Looks like they keep bumping up the timeout as the show progresses.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:47 PM on September 9, 2013


I have never been so disappointed with a media release as when the Liquid Television DVD(s) came out and they had been completely cannibalized of almost all the coolest stuff.

Similarly, that unless you pirate a lot of the old beavis and butthead... they chopped out all the music videos, or at least a lot of them.

What the fuck is the point of that? It's a total timewarp watching the videos, and their commentary over them is hilarious. Could they really not swing the licensing?
posted by emptythought at 10:53 PM on September 9, 2013


Hm not seeing it on Amazon yet, or "Playstation". Also, it seems this is just about the only article on this. =/ Wonder if they'll do more.
posted by whorl at 11:24 PM on September 9, 2013


The entire series of The Maxx was released on DVD via Amazon recently and I bought it a few months ago. Looked great and was the original broadcast format in its entirety—no digests or abridgement like MTV's old VHS release.

OMG. Too bad amazon.ca doesn't seem to have it and I'm getting stung for shipping. Still bought though.
posted by juv3nal at 11:26 PM on September 9, 2013


What the fuck is the point of that? It's a total timewarp watching the videos, and their commentary over them is hilarious. Could they really not swing the licensing?

I always appreciated Beavis and Butthead as the unsanitized critical voice of MTV's programming department. So many artists knocked down from so many pedestals...
posted by mykescipark at 11:30 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I appreciated B&B a lot more during the recent revival. In the time since the original broadcast, television became dumber than them, and their riffing on Jersey Shore, in particular, was brilliant. It's a shame that the revival seems to have sputtered out, or at least I've not heard anything about another season.
posted by JHarris at 11:59 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Abilify ads are only distinguishable from the rest of the program by the fact that they're better-animated.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:37 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great. This time on MTV was when was it was still good and i was starting to branch out into music that wasn't top 40.

I will always remember the first time I heard/saw Sober by Tool on 120 Minutes w Matt Pinfield.

Liquid Television is inextricably tied up in that memory. I think it came on either right before or right after that show.

Also, I was probably high so no wonder I can't remember clearly.

Good times. Probably one of the first times I was really into something (both Liquid Televison and new music) that I felt was mine and didnt care if anyone else understood or even knew.
posted by sio42 at 4:17 AM on September 10, 2013


The bits from Mark Leyner's "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist" that were adapted for liquid television are what brought me on-board with TEAM LEYNER! Thanks Liquid Television!
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:17 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


juv3nal: if this means the maxx gets rereleased in a non shitty format YAY

whittaker: The entire series of The Maxx was released on DVD via Amazon recently and I bought it a few months ago. Looked great and was the original broadcast format in its entirety—no digests or abridgement like MTV's old VHS release.

Back in 2009, the series was re-released on MTV2 Legit, and it looks like they're still all there, along with a bunch of other 1990s nostalgia programming. According to the Wikipedia page for MTV2, MTV2 Legit only ran for the summer of 2009, the same time that the show was re-released on DVD.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM on September 10, 2013


One of these days I seriously need to dig out the VHS tapes I have which contain the entire first season. And spool them to DVD. That would be awesome.

If you dig around the 'net, there are people who have done the first part of that, digitizing a TON of old MTV material. I haven't checked their work recently to see what has been digitized, and how much of it is still online.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on September 10, 2013


I loved the Adventures of Dog Boy so much.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:38 AM on September 10, 2013


The network is still hoping to schedule a broadcast time slot

They should just play fewer music videos to make room.
posted by me3dia at 8:31 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG
posted by Theta States at 10:35 AM on September 10, 2013


hippybear, I could just hug you for this. Liquid TV is the best thing in the world, and the fact that it's back is perhaps too much good.

We may not have much time left.

But it's OK, because we'll be watching new Liquid TV.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:46 PM on September 10, 2013


The entire series of The Maxx was released on DVD via Amazon recently and I bought it a few months ago. Looked great and was the original broadcast format in its entirety—no digests or abridgement like MTV's old VHS release.

Are the songs intact too? You wouldn't think there would have been much of a rights issue over "I wanna marry a lighthouse keeper" but I remember getting the VHS release and going "WTF, they changed the music?"
posted by radwolf76 at 1:33 AM on September 15, 2013


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