So I had been meaning to watch this video ever since seeing the first inklings of its popularity and cultural penetration amid the populace of Twitter. Virtually every comedian, writer, artist, and creator who I followed mentioned and linked Too Many Cooks within minutes of it airing. Naturally, it snowballed into mass viewing, and I knew I had to watch whatever this was. And I did, and I definitely had a reaction though perhaps not the intended one. Of course, I noticed a few things from this whole experience that I wish to dissect and discuss more thoroughly. But first, for your viewing pleasure:
Yeah, that happened. Not sure if there was some sort of meta-commentary going on or just pure, unbridled insanity, but it was an entertaining production. Considering you probably just watched the whole thing (if you didn’t, just watch it above. It’s only a few minutes long), I won’t warn of SPOILERS this time around and move on right to the actual analysis.
First thing I noticed after watching this video was that it was good, but I could not understand the mass virality of the piece. I mean I am the exact target audience of this kind of shit. I grew up watching television shows of the 80’s/90’s and occasionally catching reruns of the 70’s classics. I love weird, parody humor. Anything that puts bad sci-fi, puppets, or psychos in its production will undoubtedly get my view, if not my money. So, I should have immediately lost my shit and become some sort of devout convert after seeing this, right? Yet, I saw it and just thought it was okay but nothing extraordinary.
Obviously, this is just my opinion and I could be utterly wrong and this video is actually fucking hilarious, but I think my reaction has more to do with watching it after it had its limelight moment. Basically, kind of like seeing a movie or television show after everyone has seen it and talked it up. Thus, the lesson is hype and exigency are a double edged sword. Hype only really works with speed. Because once something has been hyped past a certain point, it can never live up to the expectations. Hence, why certain pieces of media, regardless of what your stoner friends “in the know” say, cannot stand the test of time and will only be great for a specific point in time. Now, again I could be wrong and Too Many Cooks could actually be a timeless classic, but let’s be honest and appreciate that certain (i.e. most) movies, songs, shows, etc. will have an expiration date.
I did not react as others did to this video probably in large part because of my late viewing, but even so I still found the video to be entertaining and interesting. The truth is that this was still good due to the effort put into the video. It was not a simple one shot or production that usually accompanies a viral video. In fact, writing, casting, filming, production, and post production took several months, nearly a year actually. Every shot, every scene, every joke and punchline were carefully crafted after hundreds of hours of work. As much as seemingly random and unwarranted artists and projects seem to pop up and be made, there still appears to be a case for quality. This brings us to the next lesson: quality, time, and effort create longevity and quality while “virality” is a flash in the pan. If I am ever lucky enough to make a living off my creative efforts, I will always prefer a steady career filled with growth, obstacles, and projects I am proud to put my name on over any amount of popularity or finance. It sounds like a cliche, but sometimes a classic is the only way to go.
Thus endeth today’s lesson.