If you’re anything like me, you get an occasional mild urge to dive into some literary or historical classics that’ll surely end with your instantaneous enlightenment for having read them.
But man, some of those classics are such a slog to get through. They use all of those fancy English words that aren’t common anymore. They write long tangents about things which have hardly any relevance to the plot. And the cultural context in which they were written is so far removed that many of the subtle messages are lost on any reader unwilling to do a deep investigative dive on the Internet.
OK, so maybe that doesn’t sound too appealing, especially when you may not have the time to invest into the classics. Luckily for you, Overly Sarcastic Productions has gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you in all the channel’s animated glory. Though nothing will compare to the benefits of reading the full-length version, Overly Sarcastic Productions’ videos offer a vastly quicker and more humorous experience.
Overly Sarcastic Productions focuses on a wide variety of subtopics that are generally classified under literature or history. Literature segments are primarily voiced by a woman who calls herself “Red,” and topics include summaries of ancient and modern classics, mythology and legends and a series titled “Trope Talk,” in which Red describes various literary tropes that commonly pervade textual and visual fiction.
Meanwhile, a man who calls himself “Blue” handles all of the subtopics that fall under the “history” category. “History Summarized” gives quick overviews of a large variety of topics, such as singular buildings, entire countries and even major world events (and talks on Christianity, Judaism and Islam also fall under this banner). “History-Makers” gives a similar summary, but it is focused on individual people, such as Homer and Confucius.
Red and Blue together provide detailed and interesting videos that help to provide a knowledgeable overview of a wide variety of people, events and literature. They’ll often include animated sequences to help convey the action of the stories they tell, and these provide a lot of modern humor to tales that may feel a bit dry to us—and helping to generate interest in these topics is something we’ll certainly condone.
Because the videos aren’t meant to bog the viewer down, they’ll typically be somewhere between 10-25 minutes depending on the topic. However, even this length can leave a few topics—particularly polarizing ones like religion—feeling as if some things had to be cut for the runtime (which may provide an incomplete idea to viewers and cause them to make false assumptions).
In addition, both Red and Blue aren’t afraid to talk about the unsavory parts of history and literature. Thus, viewers will see historical paintings that contain full nudity and hear references to sexual and violent content (though these elements are always integral parts to the stories the two are summarizing). There are additionally a couple of videos which directly reference homosexual topics, such as a Trope Talk titled “Queer-Coded Villains” and a video on myths regarding LGBT gods of various cultures.
Finally, Red and Blue use a bit of crude language, including “b–tard,” “p-ssed,” “h—,” “d–k” and “a–.” We also hear the occasional censored f-word and misuses of God’s name, including “g-dd–n.”
Overly Sarcastic Productions provides many great summaries of countless literary works and historical people and events, making topics that may initially sound dull into enjoyable and educational experiences. However, Overly Sarcastic Productions self-labels as TV-14, and its content often warrants it. Parents will want to approach this channel with caution.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”