Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lazy Sunday Enabler Spotlight: Time For Pre-dinner Snack!

Hello fellow awesome folks!  I hope that you're feeling as awesomely as I am!

This will likely come as no surprise to anyone, but I love me some YouTube.  Truly.  One might even say that it's...


No I'm not.

Anyway, over the last eight or nine years or so, I've spent what could possibly be an unhealthy amount of time on the site that made web videos truly mainstream, bringing the medium out from the teenage boy-niche into the lives of everyone who had access to the series of tubes.  Of course, most of those used this portal of creativity and communication to watch short videos of kittens doing mundane (though, admittedly adorable) things.

However, kitten and cat videos have never been the YouTube genre for me.  That being said, there have been a great many different videos and especially channels that I've found to be supremely entertaining.  And I've decided that I would like to use this blog to highlight a few of them.  Maybe, you might find something that you didn't know about before!  So, without further adieu...

Today's channel: Regular Ordinary Swedish Mealtime

The concept of the cooking show has been almost as old as the concept of the television itself.  The first truly famous entry into the genre being "The French Chef" starring Julia Child, which debuted in 1963.  Over the past 50-or-so years, we have seen numerous different incarnations of the cooking show, including an entire network devoted to them, with very few alterations made to Child's original formula.

This changed, though, as online content started to vary beyond flash animation; one of the benefits to the internet, YouTube included, is that it allows for some true freedom of expression, which leads to innovation into how to present older genres in new ways.  The cooking show is, of course, not excepted, and has had a few separate incarnations on YouTube specifically; my absolute favorite of which is "Regular Ordinary Swedish Mealtime" (ROSMT for short).

ROSMT is based on a very simple premise: making relatively normal food using epic, badass methods and coupling that with lots of over-the-top screaming and exaggeration.  This is due, almost entirely, to the fact that the original episodes were done as a parody of Epic Meal Time (who, of course, are just as exaggerated), and the creators of ROSMT got such a good reaction to those videos that they just decided to continue on...much to my delight!

ROSMT is my favorite cooking show on YouTube for two reasons: one; the creators get how exaggeration humor is supposed to work, and two; they are fantastic with comedic timing.  To the latter's point, the majority of any given episode of ROSMT is done with furious pace: they introduce the dish that Niklas (the main character/cook) is preparing, go through the ingredients, describe the preparation process, have some scene with pre-dinner mayonnaise (it's good for you!), a scene with the terrifyingly evil Mr. Fox, eat the meal and sign off in about three to five minutes per episode.  That is a lot of material to cover in just a couple of minutes, and the ROSMT crew do this by have a very quick pace to their episodes.  That being said, while most of the episode is very snappy in order to keep the laughs going, there's invariably one scene in every episode that has a much slower pace to it.  This scene serves to not only allow the viewer to catch a breath, but it also changes the natural rhythm of the episode, which keeps the viewer on his/her toes, which allows for better comedy (after all, a big portion of comedy is being surprised).  The pace of the show is perfect for what the show entails in both concept and especially execution.

As to the channel understanding the nature of exaggeration comedy, this is best made clear, I think, by comparing it to what the show was initially a response to: Epic Meal Time (EMT).  While I would never, in any way, classify EMT as a bad series, I would say that ROSMT is definitely the superior show.  Both perform exaggerated versions of cooking shows, but ROSMT understands that what makes exaggeration humor work is that the task being completed in such a ridiculous way needs to be absurdly mundane by comparison.  In EMT, the cooks are all acting like ridiculous frat boys, and in doing so, they make incredibly huge, possibly death-inducing dishes with burgers inside lasagna inside a BBQ pig (the last episode, in fact).  However, this fits exactly within their characters, as these are exactly the kind of dishes that dumbass dickhead frat boys would cook in real life (maybe not quite to the extreme that they go to, but very similar in spirit).  What they do fits in with what their characters would do naturally, so that contrast that draws the laughter out in this case isn't quite as strong.  Whereas, in ROSMT's case, everything that they make is a normal meal, so the head chef screaming incoherently while destroying his property and ingredients in the manner of a viking is far more unexpected and ridiculous, which leads to more and bigger laughs.  There's an episode where he cuts pork with a friggin' longsword.  That's amazing no matter who you are.

So there you have it: one of my favorite YouTube channels in the world: ROSMT.  Here's a sample episode (just in time for Christmas):

If you liked what you saw, please continue to watch more; creative entertainers should be rewarded!

Take care, and remember: always have a pre-dinner mayonnaise; it's good for you.


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