When I was exposed to Youtube culture for the first time in 2014, I was not impressed with Smosh.
I found the humour too juvenile for my taste. It was baffling how its fans Anthony and Ian compared to Dan and Phil, who make entirely different content. To make it more baffling, some even said Anthony and Ian were the funnier version of Dan and Phil, even though latter made much wittier jokes.
Considering I only liked two of their older videos, I am surprised that I clicked on more of them.
Now, fast forward to 2022.
It has been six or seven years since my last Smosh videos. I don’t remember how I stumbled back to the franchise. But somehow, I clicked on their recent Smosh Pit and Smosh Game videos and I was surprised that I was laughing at the jokes!
The cast and even some crew members are able to create witty, bizarre and even dark off-the-cuff jokes. No scripts needed! I don’t remember encountering this kind of humour on Smosh videos years ago. I even never realised how dark and bizarre Ian Hecox’s humour can be.
But, I am not a big fan of the Try Not To laugh videos. While they do have some gems, the cast members often end up trying too hard to be funny; many of the jokes fall flat, feel like inside jokes or end up being too abstract.
I also tried watching their recent scripted sketches… and I was not disappointed.
The scripted humour is still over-reliant on exaggerations. But, I love how it has significantly matured. Nowadays, many of the sketches revolve around the frustrations of lives as adults and media consumers; they even spoof the daily life at Smosh office.
In fact, I notice that Smosh and Saturday Night Lives share something in common: their style of scripted humour works best when their sketches include blatant commentaries. It successfully highlights the human stupidity they critique.
But, despite the improvements, I think the sketches are not the best things about the main Smosh channel. I prefer the Funeral, Gives Relationship Advices and Interview Exes series.
Like the sketches, they involve scripted narratives. But, unlike the sketches, the jokes are made not only by a handful of selected writers, but by the cast members as well. Hence why those videos have the most dynamic and lively content in the main channel.
Of course, there is also this annoying nostalgia of the former fans.
I do have my own nostalgia. The original Scooby Doo TV show, the first two English-dubbed Pokemon films, S Club 7, 1990’s comedic supernatural-themed Indonesian TV shows, those are some of the things I feel nostalgic about. Seeing and hearing them always give me fuzzy feelings.
But, at the same time, I also acknowledge their undeniable mediocrity. No reasonable minds consider the things I mentioned above as masterpieces.
And those former Smosh fans fail to comprehend that. Not only they are unable to be critical of anything feelgood, they also refuse to grow up together with their idols.
They think their lack of growth is a badge of honour.
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