In the 2018 Marvel movie Venom, there is a scene where Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy) is watching a nature documentary about lions on TV. Venom, the alien symbiote that has bonded with Eddie and lives inside him, suddenly makes Eddie’s long tongue emerge from his mouth and lick the TV screen. This bizarre moment left many viewers scratching their heads and wondering: why did Venom lick the TV?
– Venom was curious about the lions on the TV and wanted to “taste” them. As an alien, Venom doesn’t understand Earth technology like TVs.
– It demonstrates Venom’s strange powers and unearthly behavior. Having a long tongue suddenly emerge from Eddie’s mouth shows Venom overriding Eddie’s body.
– It establishes Venom’s childlike personality. The symbiote is experiencing everything on Earth for the first time, so it has a naive, innocent curiosity.
– It’s an early hint at Venom’s obsession with eating humans. Venom seems to want to consume things he sees on the TV.
Venom’s Origins and Abilities
To really understand why Venom licked the TV, it helps to know some key facts about Venom’s background:
– Venom is an alien symbiote from the planet Klyntar. Symbiotes form bonds with other life forms.
– Venom bonded with Spider-Man first before bonding with Eddie Brock.
– As a symbiote, Venom grants Eddie superhuman strength, speed, and agility.
– Venom can shapeshift and transform its body however it wants. It often manifests by covering Eddie’s body like a creepy black suit.
– Venom has a long, prehensile tongue that can extend great distances and grasp objects. Its tongue is a key weapon.
So when Venom took control of Eddie’s body and made his tongue emerge, it was simply using one of its alien abilities. Venom’s tongue is a core part of its biology and powers.
Venom Was Curious About the Lions
The key reason Venom licked the TV is that it was fascinated and curious about the lions on the nature documentary.
As an alien symbiote, Venom had never seen a TV before bonding with Eddie. The device was completely foreign to it. So when Venom suddenly saw African lions on the TV screen, it didn’t understand what a TV was or how it worked.
To Venom, it seemed like real lions had somehow been trapped inside this strange glowing box in Eddie’s apartment. Venom likely wondered: how did they get in there? Can I get at them? Are they prey I can consume?
Driven by naive curiosity, Venom used its long tongue to try and “taste” the TV lions, not realizing the lions were just images on a screen. Its lick was essentially an attempt to sample potential prey.
This demonstrates Venom’s inherent drive as a symbiote to feed on living creatures and consume biomass. It will try to eat anything that moves, even if it’s just a nature documentary!
Venom’s Childlike Personality
Related to its curiosity, Venom’s tongue lick also underscores its childlike personality.
As an alien new to planet Earth, Venom has almost no understanding of human society, culture, or technology. Everything it encounters is unfamiliar.
So Venom exhibits a very innocent, primal, almost infantile persona. It reacts playfully and impulsively, sampling everything around it.
The TV lick is akin to a curious baby putting a new object in its mouth to grasp it. Venom is exploring, learning, and testing its environment.
Later in the film, Venom displays more childlike traits such as:
– Impatience and temper tantrums when hungry
– Fixation on candy and chocolate
– Fascination with bright, colorful objects
– Attachment to Eddie as a parental figure
So the TV lick underscores Venom’s juvenile, naive nature as he acclimates to Earth.
Demonstrating Venom’s Powers
From a cinematic perspective, Venom licking the TV is an important moment because it visually introduces Venom’s key abilities for the audience.
Up until this point in the movie, the alien symbiote had only manifested as a creepy voice in Eddie’s head. When Venom’s long tongue suddenly emerges from Eddie’s mouth and snakes across the room, it’s the audience’s first vivid demonstration of:
– Venom’s ability to physically control Eddie’s body
– The bizarre, inhuman powers Venom possesses
– Venom overriding Eddie’s free will and autonomy
It’s a taste of the body horror that will soon occur when Venom fully envelops Eddie.
The tongue lick is also the first hint that Venom desires to consume living creatures, foreshadowing its dangerous appetite.
So this memorable scene quickly establishes key facets of Venom for viewers:
– Venom is an alien entity that can manipulate Eddie’s body.
– Venom has superhuman physical abilities.
– Venom behaves in strange, animalistic ways.
– Venom craves consuming living things.
Without dialogue, this one disturbing moment succinctly conveys all these crucial ideas through pure visual storytelling.
Establishing Dominance Over Eddie
In addition, the lick signifies Venom’s dominance over Eddie.
Eddie is unable to control his own tongue as it elongates across the room. He is disturbed and frightened by Venom “hijacking” his body.
This foreshadows the adversarial, Jekyll-and-Hyde relationship between Eddie and Venom.
Eddie will struggle to control the symbiote, who has his own desires and agenda. Venom doesn’t care what Eddie wants and will use his body however it sees fit.
So the tongue lick is the first demonstration for Eddie and the audience that Venom can and will take over Eddie’s physical form at will.
Obsession With Eating Humans
Finally, the TV lick scene hints at Venom’s obsession with consuming human beings.
While the tongue is licking the TV, Venom says to Eddie:
“Mmm…that looks delicious.”
Since it’s a nature documentary about lions, conventional logic suggests Venom is referring to the lions looking delicious.
However, with hindsight, we know Venom is obsessed with eating humans. So this line more likely foreshadows Venom’s desire to eat people.
Later in the movie, Venom tells Eddie:
“I’m going to eat everybody!”
Venom desires human flesh and organs as biomass to consume. The TV lick essentially “wets Venom’s appetite” for this future human feasting.
So while amusing on the surface, the scene subtly plants seeds indicating Venom’s sinister goals and drives. The lick is an early indicator of:
– Venom’s appetite for living creatures, especially humans
– Its obsession with consuming flesh and organs
– Its lack of morality or concern for human life
These ideas grow throughout the movie, making the TV lick a clever bit of foreshadowing.
– Venom licked the TV while watching a lion documentary out of naive curiosity for the unfamiliar device and the lions on screen.
– The lick demonstrated Venom’s alien powers and control over Eddie’s body for the first time.
– It showed Venom’s childlike personality as it learned about the world.
– It established Venom’s ability to override Eddie’s free will.
– It hinted at Venom’s disturbing appetite for living creatures and human flesh in particular.
So this small, strange moment accomplished a lot of vital storytelling work efficiently. It provided crucial exposition on Venom in a simple, memorable, and unsettling way that primes viewers for the interspecies body horror and supervillain mayhem to come later in the film.