The Big Picture: Cooking Show - A Look at Too Many Cooks

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I had never even heard of this before, when he first linked the video at the start i was tempted to just ignore and go on with the video to get straight to the explanation rather than bother to gain the necessary context. Glad i didn't spoil it for myself, that was amazing.
Seems strangely polarizing, some people seem to hate it, i personally loved it.

At this point I'd say Venture Bros. main downfall is that it's become SO layered within itself that it's basically impossible to watch if you haven't been following it from the beginning.

I watched the first season and really liked it. Then I got into other things and only kinda watched episodes of the second season here and there, more or less let it fall off my radar. Came back to it more recently and 90% of what I saw made NO sense at all, and the other 10% only mostly made sense after I made some leaps to connect dots that were kinda far apart, and even then it left me going "but how did we get here?"

It's kinda rough to introduce someone to a new show with the caveat, "You have to watch it all, from the beginning."

This is compared to something like, say, Archer, which has its own internal developments but for the most part you can disregard that to just enjoy the Now of whatever episode you're weatching. VBros has some of that, but...it really needs the plot anchor to stand up.

I love Tim and Eric so much but wasn't expecting so many people to get why Too Man Cooks was funny, cause it's basically what Tim and Eric's anti-humour is all about.

Moral Orel is amazing, more people should watch it.

I can say that I saw it before it was a "thing", because I did routinely watch the Infomercials and Off the Air in late nights. Really it didn't feel like anything special when I watched it, it was funny as hell and I did like it, but I felt the same way about previous Infomercials. They all seem to follow a similar formula, start off imitating an infomercial/late-night trope (and they often do it pitch-perfectly), add in some laugh-worthy subversion/transformation (like when Too Many Cooks started to switch genres suddenly and perfectly), and then end it in absolute chaos. My favorite is probably For-Profit Online University, but there's also Fartcopter, Sharp Things, Broomshakalaka... all of them coming with the "Don't Ask Questions, Just Watch It, All the Way Through" label. That's not to say there aren't any duds, but even they are pretty good. When put up next to those, Cooks is still one of the best attempts, but not anything particularly groundbreaking, to me at least.

Out of the all the original [as] programming, Venture Bros. is probably my all-time least favorite. I get the joke, but it doesn't seem to fit into any real genre of comedy, or at worst it tries to do them all but none of them particularly well. I can't say I've seen every episode, but none of the stuff I have seen actually seems that funny. It just seems to be... the characters (all mockingly homoerotic in some form, and it doesn't seem complimentary) being in situations which might be considered humorous. I guess there's just some things you're not going to "get", and the Venture Bros are that for me.

Falseprophet:
(Warning, incoming TVTropes link)

Adult Swim: Our mission statement is Cerebus Syndrome.

Well that is the rest of my day gone :P

OT: Hadn't seen Too Many Cooks until I saw this episode, I have now watched it 3 times. I love this type of surrealist humour and I wish there were more TV shows that use it. It would be great if more Adult Swim was shown here as I only have so much money to buy box sets with.

i'd love to see a big picture on Venture Brothers.

I'd rather see a Big Picture on Season 3 of Moral Orel. By Season 3 that show becomes genuinely evil and heartbreaking.

Jman1236:
:Watches too many cooks on youtube app on xbox one...gaps for air from laugher: This needs to be a real show!

Also Bob, nobody understands Xavier. I doubt adult swim understands him.

I've seen a pretty good analysis of Xavier on youtube.

Why did I have to watch that video, Bob? That tune now will be part of my nightmares for the rest of my life...

Jennacide:
I'd tend to say Aqua Teen Hunger Force personifies Adult Swim's bizarre sensibilities better than Venture Bros. The comedy in ATHF is absurd and yet usually understandable (but not always). And yet there is a series of meta gags running around the show, like it's newer insistance that it is NOT ATHF anymore, but Aqua Unit Patrol Squad One, or Aqua TV Show Show, or my favorite "Aqua Something You Know, Whatever..." ATHF also speaks volumes about comedy when the show is about a 'family' of talking food products living next to a stereotypically white trash neighbor, and that is the least crazy part of any single episode. With story arcs like Shake being turned into a chocolate milkshake by being bitten by a radioactive black man; or a walking sentient dick that makes everything out of dicks and has appeared multiple times as different characters, such as BALLOON HITLER (Der Inflatable Fuhrer).

I'd say a good chunk of what you're feeling is nostalgia goggles. I shotgunned the whole series this past summer, and somewhere around 85% of it was a steaming bag of dog excrement. Then again, your claim was that it personified Adult Swim's typical programming, and that still fits with my claim... Parts of it were absolutely brilliant, but you had to wade through a whole lot of crap after the first couple of seasons to get to another good joke. Or watch Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century, of the Week. That probably could have become an institution and I'd have no problems with it, and I don't even care much for sports. It is a show whose viewing is dramatically improved by only watching the clips that have been uploaded on youtube.
Conversely, Venture Bros must be watched all the way through, and gets better with repeat viewings. So much stuff that happens in later episodes was mentioned offhandedly in an earlier episode. It's building a brick wall of mythos, and they just keep adding more layers. It would not surprise me to find out that the reason they're taking so long with production is that they have to keep making sure that they never contradict themselves. It's character development like Bob mentioned in his American Dad episode, except Venture Bros is one overarching narrative.
Also, as someone who's watched a lot of "Everybody Loves Raymond", I found the first season of Eagleheart to be amazing. Have not been able to watch the rest.
However, I disagree with live programming on Adult Swim in principle. Adult Swim is the late night Cartoon Network programming block, a channel that USED to be cartoons 24/7. They've been gradually moving away from what defines their network, and the logo is now the initials; it feels like MTV all over again...

'Anti-Humor' is right. The entirety of this 'Tim & Eric' style genre that is coming out of Williams Street is just... cringe-worthy to a degree I have yet to encounter in a greater quantity anywhere else in entertainment. I just don't get it.

I do love Metalocalypse and Venture Bros, but at least from my perspective they couldn't be more removed from the style that all but forces me to change the channel.

ccggenius12:
I shotgunned the whole series [ATHF] this past summer, and somewhere around 85% of it was a steaming bag of dog excrement.

When it first premiered, ATHF was [adult swim]'s most polarizing show, until Tom Goes to The Mayor showed up. Both eventually found their audiences.

However, I disagree with live programming on Adult Swim in principle. Adult Swim is the late night Cartoon Network programming block, a channel that USED to be cartoons 24/7. They've been gradually moving away from what defines their network, and the logo is now the initials; it feels like MTV all over again...

It may interest/amuse you to know that the executive responsible for expanding Cartoon Network's/[adult swim]'s live-action lineup is now gone. Said brainiac thought that the way to larger viewership was through a wider variety of cheap-to-produce live-action shows. Then Adventure Time and Regular Show appeared and drew massive ratings, thereby completely invalidating said brainiac's thesis. He was encouraged to leave.

I watched 2 minutes of Too Many Cooks before I went back to The Big Picture. Now, I know it does have some kind of twist/story to it. I may watch it with the volume off. I think the joke would have worked better if the theme song was an instrumental. At least, it wouldn't have annoyed me enough to turn it off.

Honestly, after watching a clip of Too Many Cooks, I was expecting Bob to make this video about how Anita S. was right about the negative effects of tropes. I'm glad he didn't. However, he did confirm my suspicion about Adult Swim original programming. Their audience are people who are too stoned to switch the channel and watch whatever is on TV. Only thing I watch consistently on Adult Swim is Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and Children Hospital. The rest I've watched a couple minutes of it and then switched the channel.

KissingSunlight:
I watched 2 minutes of Too Many Cooks before I went back to The Big Picture. Now, I know it does have some kind of twist/story to it. I may watch it with the volume off. I think the joke would have worked better if the theme song was an instrumental. At least, it wouldn't have annoyed me enough to turn it off.

The lyrics morph as well, so you'd be missing quite a bit by watching it on mute.

However, he did confirm my suspicion about Adult Swim original programming. Their audience are people who are too stoned to switch the channel and watch whatever is on TV. Only thing I watch consistently on Adult Swim is Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and Children Hospital.

Funny thing is, I was once put in the position of explaining the premise of Robot Chicken to people who have never seen it (and who additionally do not have a firm grounding in late-80s/early-90s American children's TV), and all I do was puff out my cheeks and go, "It's probably much funnier when you're not sober."

LordTerminal:
Thank you Bob for actually mentioning the whole point of 12 oz. Mouse, which is what I was thinking about when you pointed out the whole formula for these Adult Swim shows. Seriously, I get tired of telling the 12. oz Mouse haters that that was the point of that show: It was basically a self-deprecating jab at how cheap Williams Street's animated productions were combined with a David Lynch film.

In fact, maybe you could do an episode on 12. Oz Mouse sometime.
Especially the genius that is Shark. "Just a small taste....of my mighty blackness."

I don't know about the other haters out there, but knowing what it's supposed to be doesn't make it any more watchable. I find 12 oz. Mouse to be abominable. From the onset it was obviously their attempt to see just how far the anti-comedy, non-show formula could go, but self-deprecating or not, it's still just awful. They found success making some of these shows work (Aqua Teen jumps to mind) but many of them (12 oz Mouse, Xavier) are just inane. Tom Goes to the Mayor very much sits the fence with me. Sometimes it has brilliant bits that are take-downs of the worse parts of our culture while at others it's just boring as hell.

Anyway, insert standard disclaimers here: just my opinion, not telling anyone to not like the things I don't like, ect. On that same token though, just because I'm one of those haters does not mean I don't understand the point.

Bob, I just got out the Adult Swim addiction and now you drag me right back in...

10/10

Meh, it didn't get disturbing enough for it to be worth the full 11 minutes.
I might give Moral Orel a watch though, that sounds cool.

I've seen a few people recommend Too Many Cooks now. I don't get the joke at all. It's now funny it's just stupid and boring. Even the guy who is suppose to be creeping murderer is like "Blah" to me.

I never really watched most 80s/90s sitcoms growing up and thought they were stupid then so making a joke about them being stupid seems stupid. And I've seen much freakier stuff over the years then that wanna be psycho killer.

Johnisback:
Meh, it didn't get disturbing enough for it to be worth the full 11 minutes.
I might give Moral Orel a watch though, that sounds cool.

Do it!

Morel Orel can be summed up with the song they are listening to in the first scene of the first episode:

"Don't think with your brain, think with your heart, because whoever has heard of the bleeding brain of Jesus?"

Well, that was amazing.

would this be counted as a 1 episode series?
A pilot for a potential series?
Or just a wacky 11 minute ride?

I'm not sure comparing something to early David Lynch is a complement as many of his early shorts are considered quite bad even by fans of surrealism and Lynch's later works. Though it does seem accurate since most the people that claim to like them seems to do so not out of genuine enjoyment of the shorts but to show how "deep" they are.

This quick rundown leads me to feel that [Adult Swim] is simultaneously the most over- and under-appreciated programming segment in history. Also, I can't quite figure out where on the weirdness scale is the fact that PBS Idea Channel also focused on Too Many Cooks this week.

ccggenius12:

Jennacide:
I'd tend to say Aqua Teen Hunger Force personifies Adult Swim's bizarre sensibilities better than Venture Bros. The comedy in ATHF is absurd and yet usually understandable (but not always). And yet there is a series of meta gags running around the show, like it's newer insistance that it is NOT ATHF anymore, but Aqua Unit Patrol Squad One, or Aqua TV Show Show, or my favorite "Aqua Something You Know, Whatever..." ATHF also speaks volumes about comedy when the show is about a 'family' of talking food products living next to a stereotypically white trash neighbor, and that is the least crazy part of any single episode. With story arcs like Shake being turned into a chocolate milkshake by being bitten by a radioactive black man; or a walking sentient dick that makes everything out of dicks and has appeared multiple times as different characters, such as BALLOON HITLER (Der Inflatable Fuhrer).

I'd say a good chunk of what you're feeling is nostalgia goggles. I shotgunned the whole series this past summer, and somewhere around 85% of it was a steaming bag of dog excrement. Then again, your claim was that it personified Adult Swim's typical programming, and that still fits with my claim... Parts of it were absolutely brilliant, but you had to wade through a whole lot of crap after the first couple of seasons to get to another good joke. Or watch Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century, of the Week. That probably could have become an institution and I'd have no problems with it, and I don't even care much for sports. It is a show whose viewing is dramatically improved by only watching the clips that have been uploaded on youtube.
Conversely, Venture Bros must be watched all the way through, and gets better with repeat viewings. So much stuff that happens in later episodes was mentioned offhandedly in an earlier episode. It's building a brick wall of mythos, and they just keep adding more layers. It would not surprise me to find out that the reason they're taking so long with production is that they have to keep making sure that they never contradict themselves. It's character development like Bob mentioned in his American Dad episode, except Venture Bros is one overarching narrative.
Also, as someone who's watched a lot of "Everybody Loves Raymond", I found the first season of Eagleheart to be amazing. Have not been able to watch the rest.
However, I disagree with live programming on Adult Swim in principle. Adult Swim is the late night Cartoon Network programming block, a channel that USED to be cartoons 24/7. They've been gradually moving away from what defines their network, and the logo is now the initials; it feels like MTV all over again...

You'd be wrong, since I own all the DVDs and still watch all the episodes barring like 3, either for not being up to snuff (Rabbot 1) or just going too far (microwaving cats in Redickulous). Your explaination is a good justification on why Venture Bros is a better show, and it is, but it's not as telling of how Adult Swim does their shows. Venture Bros instead flies in the face of most of what goes on Adult Swim, as the comedy is more complex and relies on the intelligence of the viewer to get the joke a lot of the time.

We don't have to agree on ATHF, but I do love the show still, not nostalgicly. And would easily put in on the same pantheon of comedy as Futurama, Venture Bros, and Arrested Development. Each have their own way of making the viewer laugh, and that is what I want.

Loved Morel Orel, I had no issues with the ending. I thought it was a fitting way to end the show. Glad the maker went on and did Mary Shelley's Frankenhole.

Most Anime I have seen I also think uses this formula. 1st season short one shot stories and sometimes adding to the season's story arc. Then the 2nd+ seasons bam the episodes are about the seasons store arc and a lot more crazy and weird stuff happens.

For me there are two types of Adult Swim shows: the ones with an internal consistency and some coherent comic sensibility (e.g. Venture Brothers, Metalocolypse) and those that are mind-f*&#s, anarchic concatenations of concepts with no point, animated equivalents of Eraserhead. I cannot *stand* the latter. I find them pointless and painful to watch. (Are they different sets of writers?)

I find it interesting that Monty Python (and before that, Ernie Kovacs) did excellent stuff with comedic nonsense (or at least I find it funny). However, I find most of the Williams Street stuff painful to watch.

Kerric:
For me there are two types of Adult Swim shows: the ones with an internal consistency and some coherent comic sensibility (e.g. Venture Brothers, Metalocolypse) and those that are mind-f*&#s, anarchic concatenations of concepts with no point, animated equivalents of Eraserhead. I cannot *stand* the latter. I find them pointless and painful to watch. (Are they different sets of writers?)

I find it interesting that Monty Python (and before that, Ernie Kovacs) did excellent stuff with comedic nonsense (or at least I find it funny). However, I find most of the Williams Street stuff painful to watch.

I mostly agree about Williams Street. I haven't really watched [Adult Swim] since Space Ghost:Coast to Coast went off. I tried to like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but, if you are faced with a show, in which, like Seinfeld or Beavis and Butthead, you hate every single character in the show and wish they would all die grisly horrible painful mutilating deaths, it leaves little for the show to be endearing enough to warrant continued viewing.

Points for the mention of Ernie Kovacs. There's a video clip on Cheezburger right now, about a guy appearing to attempt the old tablecloth pull trick, the end of which reminds me joyfully of the way Kovacs twisted old tropes into newer dimensions.

Jennacide:

You'd be wrong, since I own all the DVDs and still watch all the episodes barring like 3, either for not being up to snuff (Rabbot 1) or just going too far (microwaving cats in Redickulous). Your explaination is a good justification on why Venture Bros is a better show, and it is, but it's not as telling of how Adult Swim does their shows. Venture Bros instead flies in the face of most of what goes on Adult Swim, as the comedy is more complex and relies on the intelligence of the viewer to get the joke a lot of the time.

We don't have to agree on ATHF, but I do love the show still, not nostalgicly. And would easily put in on the same pantheon of comedy as Futurama, Venture Bros, and Arrested Development. Each have their own way of making the viewer laugh, and that is what I want.

85% may have been exaggerating a bit. Maybe I was just fatigued from watching 130 episodes in a one week time frame. Can I revise my recommendation from "just watch the highlight reel" to, "don't overdose on this show"?

Wow...alot of people really seem to hate Too Many Cooks. In fact, I might be in the minority on this thread by liking it. I did find it more interesting and bizare than funny, though. That said some of the absurdity made me laugh pretty hard.

Anyway, I saw a theory in the comments that the murderer is in fact the guys immune system fighting the Introvitus (or whatever the disease was called). The scene changes are actually the virus adapting to the immune response.

A friend of mine told me that i've to watch this. It would be absolutely hillarious.

My end reaction was: Meh.
It was really anti-fun and to predictable. Kinda like working off checkboxes of "unexpected" stuff they can put into the sketch.

Not really my taste as it seems.

I started watching that video and then I stopped and my life was improved by several increments.

Seriously. I made to about 1:50 before I skipped ahead to see where this was going, got even more bored and just fucking stopped.

MarsAtlas:
I wouldn't mind more discussion about Adult Swim, Venture Bros in particular.

Also, read the title initially as "Too Many Cocks", and I initially went "Dammit Bob, you said that this video would be a fun one!"

Oh god, "too many cocks will spoil the broth"

Thats an image I didnt need

The Adult Swim infomercials, much like the rest of their programming, is hit or miss for me. Too Many Cooks was a hit, I dug the kind of clever way it managed to seemingly spoof ALL of television after awhile and my inner horror geek had a chuckle at the horror bits, in fact the chase scene with the woman whose name wouldn't go away with the theme song still playing around her too had me on the floor.

I can't read as much as you seem to into stuff like 12 Oz. Mouse though... (Though the praise you gave The Venture Bros. is well earned.) honestly most of the Matt Maiellaro created cartoons really just feel like stuff created to make stoned frat boys and 11 year olds who think Adult Swim is "edgy" will laugh at. Save for the Dr. Weird segments from early ATHF, I was never really a fan of his style. Then again maybe I'm a hypocrite because I know a lot of people can't stand Superjail! and while I wouldn't call it anything particularly special, I happen to LOVE Superjail aside from the somewhat transphobic elephant in the room. There was one pilot from Adult Swim a few years back though I really wish took off... Drinky Crow I think it was called? I need to watch that short again, it was fun.

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