Beavis & Butt-Head was known for its interstitial segments in which the characters critiqued music videos and offered hilarious MST3K-style commentary. While Paramount+’s revival, now titled Beavis and Butt-Head by Mike Judge, has moved away from music and social media trends, the series can always put a bad music video in its place. Ask Cale Dodds.
In Season 1, Episode 2, “The Special One”, Beavis and Butt-Head filmed Dodds’ music video for his 2019 single “I Like Where This Is Going”. The duo earned scathing reviews for a video that was intended to be serious, pointing out how it actually reinforced a terrible trope seen in many romantic comedies. In the process, they proved that Beavis and Butt-Head by Mike Judge can still dismantle the music videos as well as the original series.
The “I like where it’s going” video used the Cyrano de Bergerac trope, where a more beautiful, confident person tries to help a clumsy, insecure person get the object of their desire. This concept has been used in many movies and TV shows, starting in 1945 To like Letters to modern offers in 10 things i hate about you, Everything that’s necessary, The sad truth and more recently, Netflix half of it. Whether it’s via letters, technology, or the mentor working in person, they go to great lengths to make the “weak” or the “ugly duckling” more appealing in what is essentially a form of catfishing.
The music video had Dodds helping out another man after seeing his potential date reject him due to the guy’s height. Dodds took him under his wing, teaching him about texting, bar etiquette, dancing and wardrobe. It ended with the teenager grabbing a woman after she fell in a nightclub while Cale was performing. It was stereotypical, corny video — and Beavis and Butt-Head said so. They also pointed out that people in mentor roles are usually dishonest jerks who aren’t in a position to make someone better, joking that Dodds might actually go after the guy rather than try to help him.
Plots like the one seen in the Cale Dodds video stifle the person’s identity and honesty when they should be looking for someone who loves them for them. Beavis and Butt-Head laughed at how Cale was only offering surface solutions, not something that would be healthy for his new friend and not smother his identity. “Does this video mean if you change your shirt you will score with girls?” Butt-Head joked, to which Beavis replied, “That’s ridiculous! Because I have the coolest shirt you could ever have and I still Do not mark.”
Beavis and Butt-Head rightly pointed out how creepy, unrealistic and dishonest the video was – which is even more poignant in an age of social media, where it’s mostly style over substance. Their “I like where it’s going” comment provided some interesting food for thought, proving that their youthful antics aside, these two immature teenagers have more depth than meets the eye. At least they still know how to cut a music video down to size.
Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head air Thursdays on Paramount+.