The boys are back over at MTV, along with some new friends. Only “Beavis and Butt-Head” — which now somewhat pretentiously carries creator Mike Judge’s name upfront — is still a rowdy, guilty hoot, while companion “Good Vibes” is another adherent to the Seth MacFarlane school of animated comedy — namely, fire off jokes in rat-a-tat fashion and hope a few connect. “Vibes” does yield a couple of amusing bits, but Judge’s mumbling, “heh heh”-ing goofballs once again steal the show.
Frankly, it would be worth having “Beavis and Butt-Head” back strictly for its hilarious riffs on MTV programming, as the two teenage doofuses — happily unchanged from their run in the 1990s — sit on a couch commenting on fare like “16 & Pregnant” and “Jersey Shore.” Watching the latter, they’re amused by a list the gang puts together trying to trace all their intramural hookups.
“If they like did this chart long enough, they could find out where herpes began,” Butt-Head drones.
Both of the mini-stories within each half-hour are also pretty funny on their own — one involving teenage girls’ relatively recent infatuation with vampires (and B&B’s determination to get bit), the other a silly squabble over whether Beavis cried at something he saw on TV.
Mostly, Judge has an unerring ear for pop culture and outright stupidity — one that mostly eludes “Good Vibes.”
The series centers on overweight 15-year-old Mondo (voiced by “The Book of Mormon’s” Josh Gad), who moves to a Southern California beach town with his trampy mom (Debi Mazar). Mom actually yields the best recurring gag, as she seeks a new job and keeps referring to her employment options being preferable to earning a living “on my knees” or “on my back” — which, shockingly, doesn’t mean what one might think.
Other than that, though, it’s all about Mondo’s efforts to fit in, having quickly been adopted by the goofy surfer Woody (Adam Brody), who becomes his tour guide to this Pacific Coast purgatory.
Series creator David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”) and fellow writers Tom Brady and Christian Lander keep the teen-oriented jokes flying fast and furiously, but there’s nothing here to distinguish “Vibes” from any number of similar comedies derived from the familiar indignities of puberty and high school.
MTV is long past its own growing pains, but it’s telling “Beavis and Butt-Head” — an artifact from its own adolescence — once again might be the best thing on the network. As for “Good Vibes,” think of it as another one of those ho-hum waves you can safely let roll by.