I have to be honest, when I first saw references in the press about the viral hit, Too Many Cooks, I avoided investigating any further. I kept seeing articles about the short and the headlines made me think that it was tied to some sort of reality television show or something of the sort. As I said, I didn’t really look any further into the matter, based primarily on an incorrect assumption about its ties to reality television.
And then Mike and I recorded our longest episode to date this past Saturday, clocking in at over two hours long, and this episode will eventually be split into two episodes. During that recording session, Mike insisted that I watch the video, and I did.
I’ve seen some responses to the 11 minute-long video parody of 80s and 90s sitcom opening credit sequences, and some reactions were virulent and incendiary, openly claiming that Too Many Cooks is signaling the downfall of society, and others praise its clever use of television tropes. I’m going to go one further than the latter and say that the use of meta humor and references is probably the funniest and most disturbing video that I’ve seen all year – and I watch Herb Slendermann videos and listen to Creepypasta readings on YouTube.
I mentioned in our post-viewing discussion on the pod (in the coming second episode) that this video is something that should have been included in the current, or possibly a future V/H/S series entry, primarily as a bumper or buffer between the primary anthology entries, because this type of sly humor and meta horror combination is exactly what the found footage series needs to recover from its last entry, Viral. And ironically, Too Many Cooks really plays with the contagious elements of catchy theme songs and later tying that idea to the concept of the Viral Video, which this video has become. I went so far as to declare that the producers of the V/H/S series should contact the talent at Adult Swim to contribute content to the next movie, should there be another movie.
This is just a quick note about this video, Too Many Cooks, mainly because I’m inspired to seek out more similar content. The closest that I can find, content wise, are the Creepypastas about “banned” or “missing” episodes of television shows. Some shows written about in the Creepypastas are Sponge Bob, King of the Hill, Rugrats, and Fresh Prince, just to name a few. Some of the Creepypastas try to capture that creepy, “we shouldn’t be watching this” vibe that Too Many Cooks perfectly captured, specifically using a deranged killer who hunts characters inside and outside of the show’s main credits. Some of the Creepypastas only hint at such absurd and disturbing elements, whereas Too Many Cooks goes full bore with them. Even cooking and eating people on screen.
I can’t recommend this 11 minute gem of a tribute to television tropes and absurdist comedy and horror parody enough. If you have a chance, check it out.