Sarah Anne Lloyd, 2011.
As the supposed "MTV Generation" probably makes up the vast majority of the blogosphere, I will admit it's slightly unfair to have neglected our glorious progenitor in TV Dinner up until this point, limiting coverage of their newer programming to a somehow-not-yet-cancelled Teen Wolf spinoff. This week, the column seeks restitution with an emptyheaded, ceaseless snicker towards the reanimated Beavis and Butthead, to be interrupted solely by slices of delicious New York style pizza from Capitol Hill favorite Big Mario's.The Cuisine: When it comes to New York Style pizza on Capitol Hill, Big Mario's is the proverbial Pike St. yin to Hot Mama's Pine St. yang. Hot Mama's has a open, airy interior perfect for a slice to go, while Mario's owns the dark and dingy dive look with pleather seats that beg to be drunkenly camped in. Offering gargantuan slices that are unwieldy in the most tantalizing way, Big Mario's positively glows in its excess.
Contrary to many pretenders who abuse the New York pedigree, Big Mario's follows through with its claims in a big way with a bottom crust that's practically razor thin and an undoubtedly hip, adaptive swagger, managing to come up with a Heavy D tribute pizza only days after the hip hop icon's untimely death.
I ordered The Mai Tai, a Hawaiian-style pizza that actually earns its own name by holding the canned pineapple wedges for thin, fresh-cut slices of the fruit and liberally hand-cut ham. The menu calls it "the best Hawaiian pizza you'll have," and personally I have no evidence to the contrary. The sweet and savory comfort of the classic Hawaiian is taken to new heights by that impressively thin crust with a robust crunch.
The Entertainment: In an age of reboots, remakes and rehashes, it's surprisingly rare for a once-cancelled property to actually just... keep going. The return of Beavis and Butthead to MTV has so far been a startling success in that regard, more or less picking up the exact same voice it left behind in 1997.
Sure, the duo now make fun of reality shows and other braindead MTV fare in addition to music videos, and sometimes the multimedia putdowns seem just a little too witty and mature for the teenagers who got famous for Frog Baseball, but besides that, it's really the same as it ever was. Beavis' manic caffeine junkie alter-ego Cornholio made an appearance within three episodes, acts of gratuitously idiotic self-harm are commonplace, and the idea of any kind of consistent, tacked-on love interest for either character is still just as absurd.
That's not to say the two have lost their edge. The show is finally allowed to say "fire" again, shaking the storied censorship after somehow inspiring a random five-year-old Ohio child to burn down a mobile home in 1993. Since then, Beavis and Butthead have hardly grown into better role models, with tonight's episode featuring the two losers on an extremely ill-advised field trip to a military base. Of course, it's only a matter of time before the two wind up behind the controls of remote-controlled weapon drones in the Middle East, serving up heaps of the wanton, tasteless destruction that show creator Mike Judge seems practically giddy to return to.
The Pairing: Both properties have an easily digested style that disguise a level of quality composition absent from many television shows or restaurants that strive for the pretense of a higher class. They rely on almost embarrassingly simple ingredients for mass appeal while being held together with a backbone of competent technique and an undeniable charisma. As a general rule, you probably shouldn't trust anyone who would laugh at you for enjoying either.