Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.
Welcome to a different sort of Sundry Sunday! This week, I’d figure I’d explain to you how weirdly seriously I find this section to do!
You might think just finding a random funny or weird game-related video on Youtube is the easiest cyberthing in the compuworld. It’s only been one of the most popular form of videos on Youtube since it started up. Newgrounds has been around for how long again?
Well, you see, that’s kind of the problem. Newgrounds is part of what I’m going to euphemistically call gamer culture, and that tends to be what I’m going to understatedly call extra. Surely I don’t need to go into the many excesses of gamerdom, at this late date.
So I have to choose carefully. And it’s not just gamer culture I have to carefully circumnavigate, but some other examples of the excesses of fandom.
I figured I’d illustrate by showing a couple of videos that I would not otherwise present in this forum, and note why I wouldn’t. Let us away!
The Ultimate “Super Mario Bros Wonder” Recap Cartoon
The word “Ultimate” is in the title. It doesn’t reflect my feelings.
This one’s borderline. The opening gag of Bowser turning into a salaryman is a good one. But then a flower starts cussing Mario out, and Luigi slaps the ass of Elephant Daisy. And British hunters poach Elephant Mario, and Mario gets cussed at some more and gets squished to paste inside an inchworm pipe. And there’s a Lion King parody that is just a reference without a point. And then Peach grabs a Wonder Flower, making an enemy bulk up like on steroids, and reacts with anticipation as it then approaches her. You know. “Adult” humor.
“Adult” humor is a difficult thing to apply well. Just having kids’ characters react in such untoward ways is not a positive or negative on its own, but that is my point, just that isn’t enough for me to recommend a video. It feels like I’m recommending a Family Guy sketch, a style of animated comedy of which I’ll litotically say I’m not a fan.
Furthermore, the whole video is just a series of vignettes like that. A single funny joke in a video has to carry the weight of the whole rest of it. I’m not going to say this video is sloppy because obvious effort went into animating it, and there’s even some good ideas in there. But there’s always going to be reasons not to link to something, all it takes is one, and I knew it wasn’t going to be right for Sundry Sunday (outside this context) the moment Luigi slapped Daisy’s butt. Sometimes I despair of finding something good to put in on Sunday, but I’d rather not present a culture find that week at all than one that crosses a grossness line. That’s just me, but then, I’m me, and I’m writing this.
Early on in Mario and Luigi’s Plumbing Career…
This video has the opposite problem. And it’s not really a problem, I’d say, it’s fine, it’s not intended as a value judgement against it, except that, by rejecting it for here (again, outside of this context), I am unavoidably judging it by a value, the value of being right for Sundry Sunday. What I mean to say is, it isn’t bad. I just can’t quite bring myself to say it’s good.
What causes me to reject this one is two things: it’s not funny, and on top of that, it’s kind of glurgy.
In summary: in the universe of the recent Super Mario Bros. movie, Mario and Luigi’s old boss, Foreman Spike, comes into a room to find them messing up on a job, and at first berates them for poor work, but then eases up and has a bonding moment with his two employees, fixing the leak himself while telling him a story of his own early career. And that’s really it. It’s supposed to be heartwarming, but it comes off as ingratiating.
It might work better if there was more at stake. If we had a bit more prior insight into Spike’s character (he’s not a big part of the movie). I’m not as concerned with the fact that the video is just a voiceover of a dramatic presentation of a fancomic, I’ve presented things like that here before.
I don’t dislike it, but I think the bar for inclusion here is a little higher.