Opinion

Actors Re-Create YouTube Comment Wars

With notable exceptions, I tend to think of most internet comment sections as a kind of hell. In that scheme, YouTube comments would comprise their own circle. But, really, why get angry or upset about YouTube comments when you could simply laugh? Enter … well, YouTube itself, and its new comedy network, Dead Parrot (which I can only assume is named after the legendary Monty Python sketch).

Dead Parrot has teamed up with producer Adrian Bliss to create YouTube Comment Reconstructions. The reconstructions are just that — re-creations of particularly inflamed and idiotic YouTube comment exchanges — except they’re acted out by two well-dressed, middle-aged British men (or men with stellar British accents) who sit in shadowy domestic interiors populated with high-backed armchairs and baroque chandeliers. The skits are done in black and white, with classical music or the ominous sounds of a rainstorm accentuating the verbal spars.

Actors Grahame Edwards and Eryl Lloyd Parry (with occasional appearances by Anthony Sergeant) play up their accents to the point of absurdity, and their old-fashioned, Masterpiece Theater-inflected pronunciations ring out with particular gusto on the word “fuck,” which, as you might expect, gets used a lot — for instance, in explaining that “I fucking love kittens” or in calling the other person “fucktarded.” There are more gems: the careful enunciation of the word “Belieber,” one of the men holding up a glass of brandy and dropping a “win!,” or (my favorite) a third man appearing in the doorway as a spam commenter, earnestly touting the thousands of dollars he earned by “working ten hours a week online! I couldn’t believe it once I tried it!”

If the idea for the series seems a little obvious in retrospect, that doesn’t make it any less hilarious — a welcome reprieve for anyone who spends (as I do) far too much time online.

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