Friday, March 18, 2016

I present the Guac Samson, a Swedish meatball sandwich with guacamole, in honor of The Venture Bros. as it anticlimactically concludes its sixth season

There are three phases of Bruce Willis. There's the Willis who occasionally gives a shit, like the farcical Willis during the early part of Moonlighting's run (before he and Cybill Shepherd got so salty with each other that their off-screen arguments resulted in a lot less scenes between David and Maddie) or the Willis who helped bring some changes to the '80s onslaught of invincible and musclebound action heroes and added both a Moonlighting-esque comic energy and a vulnerable edge to '80s action heroes in the original Die Hard.

You might be a bigger fan of the era when Willis was frequently paired with a little kid who would function as his dramatic or comic sidekick. The biggest hit from that era was The Sixth Sense. Finally, there's the grumpy old man phase of Willis, where he's not as chatty as he used to be on Moonlighting or in the earlier Die Hard movies and he looks like he'd rather be counting his Planet Hollywood money or noodling on his harmonica than engaging with the material ("I'd never work with Bruce Willis again. I did that Blake Edwards film with him, Sunset. Willis is high school. He's not that serious about his work," said the late James Garner to Movieline back in 1994, while grumbling about having to co-star with an early version of this disinterested Willis).

Brock Samson, the tough OSI agent and longtime fan of Led Zeppelin (as well as The Rockford Files, according to a 2004 IGN "interview" with him), is like a weird cross between the Willis who comes to the aid of some troubled kid and a typically laconic Willis character from the grumpy old man era. But this unlikely nanny to Dean and Hank Venture on The Venture Bros.--a nanny with the body of wrestler Psycho Sid Vicious, whom creator Jackson Publick reportedly modeled him after--is slightly younger and, thanks to the sublime voice work of Patrick Warburton, a little more enthusiastic about the art of slaying bad guys, whether it's when he deprives a Guild of Calamitous Intent goon of his internal organs for threatening Dean and Hank or when he creatively kills a bunch of henchmen with his favorite instrument of death, his '69 Charger (Brock has an unexplained disdain for guns).

After spending a couple of seasons away from guarding the Venture family, the Swedish murder machine returned to the household refreshed and reinvigorated, and he's the same old Brock, although the show's new backdrop of New York has been kind of kicking his ass lately, and he's discovered a newfound taste for being dominated during sex. It's been a largely satisfying season of the Adult Swim cult favorite that's made us never look at boy adventurers, the space age or old TV shows from the '70s or '80s the same way again, but now the eight-episode season's coming to a close this weekend with an episode that reportedly "will be very disappointing as a finale," according to Publick in interviews, and it will leave things to be resolved in either the following season or a super-sized special in the style of 2015's "All This and Gargantua-2."

To get ready for the arrival of this disappointing season finale, I put together a new sandwich based on the character of Brock. Because he's Swedish, it's a meatball sandwich, but frankly, Swedish meatballs paired with lingonberry sauce and gravy just like at IKEA's Swedish cafe would be a little boring for a sandwich based on Brock, so I've added some spice to it and topped the meatballs with guacamole instead (Trader Joe's Chunky Guac would be dope). The result is what I'm calling the Guac Samson.

The sandwich consists of:
* six meatballs from a bag of IKEA's Köttbullar, a.k.a. frozen Swedish meatballs (available at the frozen foods section of any IKEA); cook them at 450°F for about 15 minutes first
* as much fucking guacamole as you like
* any kind of hoagie bread (but lightly toasted--after about seven minutes at 450°F, alongside the meatballs--because the guac causes untoasted bread to become as mushy as Hank after Molotov Cocktease broke his heart in "Assassinanny 911")

My favorite thing to snack on while marathoning a TV show for an hour or two is either Raisinets or any kind of peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. But for either a marathon of The Venture Bros. or a viewing of its sixth-season finale, the Guac Samson would be more appropriate as a viewing snack.

Like its mulleted namesake, it will probably kill you before the end of the show.

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