If you haven’t seen 2014’s Too Many Cooks from Adult Swim and creator Casper Kelly, please go and make your life mean something. It’s a nice slice of absurd that will remind of you Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared or Don Hertzfeldt, plus it has an actress from The Walking Dead in it and a cat puppet.
The reason we’re bringing it up now is that it finally has a spiritual successor from Kelly and Nick Gibbons that aired as part of Adult Swim’s 4 am brain melt full of black comedy. The short, Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough, replaces classic television with the world of video games and folks who stream their playthrough on YouTube or Twitch. Much like Cooks, it starts silly and absurd before turning into one of those Russian Matryoshka dolls that takes us deep into this gaming world. According to Variety, the idea was actually pitched a year and a half ago and greenlit almost immediately:
“Nick Gibbons and I were at an Indian buffet,” Kelly says. “I was sorta sweating the next thing to do and the fear of a sophomore slump. We just started about talking about stuff we like, including video games and walkthroughs. Mike Lazzo had just become a gamer and had been playing ‘Fallout’ heavily. He was heavily watching walkthroughs. He hadn’t gamed in a long time. He had done something [in the game] that shut down a whole portion of the campaign to him. He was unbelievably depressed. He hadn’t done multiple game saves, so his only option would have been to start over…”
Kelly and Gibbons did their research. The pair watched more than 30 different YouTube creators and streamers to get the cadence and pacing right. The pair especially wanted to get the juxtaposition between the serious gamer that kicks off the video with the one that takes over after a while.
“That was influenced by one my daughter watched when she was six and barely played games,” Kelly explains. “There were people just having fun, playing a game badly, and just being humorous about it.”