The Amazing Adventures Of The Sofa Spudniks

Published: Wednesday October 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 8, 2014 MYT 4:52:37 PM

Webisodes – the next best thing to TV?

Better than an engineering gig: Rhett and Link from the YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning quit their regular jobs to become 'Internetainers'.

Better than an engineering gig: Rhett and Link from the YouTube channel Good Mythical Morning quit their regular jobs to become 'Internetainers'.

Our columnists find a whole new wide world of ‘Internetainment’ on the Web.

S. Indramalar

Could you actually tire of TV? In this day and age, when everything seems superquick, you might want to down your entertainment in bite-sized pieces, to go. So we set out to look for alternatives to TV, and here’s what we came up with.

I’ve recently gotten hooked on Wisecrack, a YouTube channel, an American “educational web series” which analyses literary works. Book reviews? Don’t switch off yet because I can guarantee that you’ve never witnessed a book review this way before – whoever would have described Hamlet (yes, William Shakespeare’s very own) as acting “cray cray” and the poison as “Elizabethan hatorade”. It’s wild I tell you. The three-minute (or so) episodes analyse and summarise books like The Great Gatsby, Lord Of The Flies, To Kill A Mockingbird and Pride And Prejudice via host Sparky Sweets PhD.

As his name suggests, his delivery is ghetto style. Sparky, or Dr Sweets, is only a persona, of course, played by American comedian Greg Edwards. The webisodes (search YouTube for Thug Notes) are hilarious, but Sweets actually does a good job of summing up the books. Take his analysis of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, as an example. Sweets says: “All the baddest cats in the hood know that the opening sentence of this book is one of the most important in all literature. This is exactly the kinda irony that Austen be swinging all across this b***h...”

Yeah, there is some profanity ... but it’s the gangsta version of the infamous Cliff Notes that almost all Literature students (me included) resorted to, come exam time! How I wish Dr Sweets existed when I was an undergraduate!

YouTube webisodes are a great alternative to TV – they’re highly entertaining and short, if you don’t feel you are up to spending an hour in front of the TV or if you just don’t have the time, but want to unwind the TV way. And, the best thing is that you can watch these on the go.

Catch Dr Sweets on Wisecrack, which analyses literary works.
Catch Dr Sweets on Wisecrack, which analyses literary works.

For movie reviews, I love Black Nerd Comedy hosted by Andre, the Black Nerd or Andrew Meadows. Andre tells you the good, the bad and the nerdy about almost every movie and he’s genuinely funny, even if he does go off tangent sometimes. His commentary is interspersed with footage of the movies he reviews which is, of course, a bonus.

I used to like watching cooking shows, but of late, I haven’t found one to actually get hooked on. But then I came across the Epic Meal Time channel on YouTube and it stopped me in my tracks for a few days.

This show is crazy – think extreme meals and then multiply it by 10.

Created by Harley Morenstein (who allegedly is a former school teacher, but you’d never guess by watching him) and his group of friends, who basically come up with the most outrageous meals that are not only sky-high in caloric content, but full of meat and sugar and junk.

This isn’t a “how-to” kind of cooking show, but rather “how in heaven’s name can anyone eat all that” kind of show. Jaw-dropping.

After every episode, I feel like making myself a super-healthy salad or sandwich because I feel so unhealthy just watching the amount of junk they put in their creations. I’ll end with an example that’ll make you rush to the health food store – place about 10 cups of creamy mac and cheese in a bucket, press it down. Place a super-sized burger (two patties and lots of bacon between buns) on the compressed mac and cheese and then top the burger with more mac and cheese. Freeze it till it becomes solid. Remove it and bread it and then deep fry it. Ready for your Caesar Salad now? Don’t forget to go easy on the dressing! 

Ann Marie Chandy

Ever heard of Matt Santoro? This young man from Ontario, Canada, has a YouTube channel  which features video lists. And since I love lists, I actually find Santoro’s channel quite entertaining.

He does his research, too (from what I gather), so it makes for quite interesting viewing. Ten most brilliant criminals, most mysterious secret societies, inventors killed by their own inventions ... there is some pretty cool material, actually. You can follow him on Twitter (@MatthewSantoro).

Good Mythtical Morning is another, well, interesting channel to subscribe to. From Getting Revenge On Your Roommate to Surprising Uses For Your Pee, the topics served up by the two hosts from GMM are funny.

And while they may not be as polished as TV talk show hosts, these two have a certain raw charm that may just grow on viewers.

The guys from North Carolina – Rhett and Link (@rhettandlink) – call themselves Internetainers (that’s “Internet” and “entertainer” and is quite a tongue-twister in itself) and have quite a large following. According to Wikipedia, they quit their jobs as engineers to make videos. 

WatchMojo has some really great feature-type videos to watch. WatchMojo produces online video content featuring people, places and trends.

It’s updated daily as well so there’s lots to watch, and usually highlights the type of pop culture that we all know and love. For example, Top 10 Decade Defining TV Shows of the 1970s will make you remember all those shows you loved so much – Three’s Company, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All In The Family (okay, okay, my age is showing).

They also have featured playlists, for example the Top 10 Quentin Tarantino Scenes. It’s a great way to get a quick crash course should you have to bluff your way through a conversation. And whether it is music, movies, video games or television, WatchMojo has it all.

And look – if you’re really desperate, there’s always BuzzFeed, where it seems anything is possible. 

Tags / Keywords: Sofa Spudniks, Television, Alternatives

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