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Television

‘Too Many Cooks’ takes social media by storm

By now, anyone who’s spent time on social media today has probably heard about “Too Many Cooks,” the 11-minute short film that Adult Swim chose to air at 4 a.m. every morning for a week at the end of October, tucked into the middle of its block of programming usually given over to infomercials.

For those who haven’t yet taken the time to watch this essential bit of pop-culture ephemera, “Too Many Cooks” is the brainchild of “Squidbillies” and “Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell” writer Chris “Casper” Kelly. 

It begins as a parody of the opening credits of a sitcom from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, something from the “Full House” and “Growing Pains” era of TV. But then it turns into a commentary on how those shows sometimes transformed in unusual ways the longer they remained on the air.

For instance, “Happy Days” started as a fairly grounded bit of nostalgia about growing up in the 1950s, but by the show’s fifth season, it was including visits from outer space aliens (courtesy of Robin Williams). 

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Granted, no show in the history of TV has undergone as many changes as “Too Many Cooks,” but to reveal all the short’s more disturbing twists would be to rob viewers of some real shocks.

And it’s currently racking up fans online, including some major Hollywood filmmakers.

“Looper” director Rian Johnson wrote, “No joke, this should be in the Oscar running for best short.”

And “Donnie Darko” director Richard Kelly wrote, “I made it 2/3rds of the way through TOO MANY COOKS and started to have a panic attack. Will resume watching sometime tomorrow.”

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With buildup like that, it would be hard to understand how the short film could live up to the hype. But it does. Trust us.

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickkevinday


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