I love reading what you have to say about anything in general (dan and phil, politics, your work day [even in passing]) and idk I just wanted to say hi + ask what you have to say about their new gaming video? I loved it, they were so (insert a multitude of different positive adjectives) and Phil is such a broad thinker it's amazing. I think (im pretty sure) you loved it as well and I just wanna read your thoughts, hahaha thanks!
can you hear that? it’s the sound of me screaming because i have to rewrite the entirety of this ramble after tumblr DELETED IT THE FIRST TIME ifjaoiwejraoiejroaeir. but YES oh my god. i did love this video. a lot. there’s so, so much to talk about. grab a fkn snack mate, bc this is super long.
1. there’s been a lot of discourse about dan and phil’s interaction in this video. i received a handful of messages regarding dan’s apparently aggressive treatment of phil and one regarding the way people were apparently abusing phil in the comments under the video and calling him “stupid and untalented.” um. okay so i’ll work backwards. i have watched the video three times now. all three times i scrolled really deep into the comments. NONE of those times did i see a single comment that was insulting or demeaning to phil. where are people seeing this? i feel like this is a classic case of one or two people saying something happened and then everyone repeating it without actually checking the source. if anything, the yt comments are full of people saying firstly that phil is “too creative” for this game and has a fascinating mind, and, secondly, that he’s a full-grown man who doesn’t need the protection of his fans from dan of all people, the so-called aggressive bully in this scenario, who just so happens to also be his best friend and life partner. i definitely agree with that latter point.
something else that’s been lost in this discussion and that seems extremely relevant is that a lot of this video’s central dynamic, with dan being shocked and appalled at phil’s seemingly abysmal drawing skills and phil doing the absolute most in every drawing, felt really, really put on or exaggerated for dramatic/comedic effect. i think the very first instance of it, when phil draws his fucked up umbrella, and dan just sort of jokes about it looking like a palm tree for a while and then at the end just says like a few words about how extreme phil’s interpretation was—i think this was a super authentic interaction. but i also think they quickly gathered with the drawings that followed that it would be really funny to ham it up for the sake of comedy and that’s why phil’s drawings seemed to get intentionally more and more “creative,” so to speak, while dan’s responses got correspondingly more and more extreme and high-pitched and shriek-y until basically everyone’s eardrums were bleeding. i get why the video was grating to some people bc like,,, this shit can get tiring to watch when it seems so extra. but personally i found it very funny… especially bc of my next point.
this narrative around phil being some sort of unappreciated creative genius who was constantly being berated in this video by his callous friend and just sadly tolerated all of this abuse is not only annoying bc it infantilizes phil but also because it’s just … wrong? and overlooks two of my fav things about the video which were how supportive and ENCOURAGING dan was, even while he was trying to exaggerate his “holy shit phil how are you so bad” thing, and simultaneously, how assertive and opinionated and sassy (i hate that word but literally don’t know a better one to describe him in this vid) phil was the whole time. to the first point, i don’t think there was a single one of phil’s turns in which dan wasn’t passionately
yelling saying something like ‘come on phil. you can do this’ and also giving him recommendations on how best he should draw the object to get the point. even when he was in the middle of screaming about how bad phil was, he seemed to occasionally rein it in with a compliment to balance it out. for instance, during phil’s lobster drawing, he did the whole ‘what the fuck even is that’ for a while and then immediately had to dilute it by saying something like, “okay but by the end i could totally tell they were claws.” or when phil very reasonably points out that he’s using his wrong hand which is why he’s struggling, dan immediately agrees and repeats it as if for emphasis: “they’re not using their wrong hand to be fair.” and he even calls himself out about this, with the usual “WHY AM I HELPING YOU???” i honestly read dan as wanting to go to his default mode of supporting phil and celebrating his lateral/creative thinking (reminiscent of when he did this in the impossible quiz) the whole time, but then also needing to keep the comedy going by acting so confounded by phil’s inability to draw simple objects. as mentioned however, phil does not respond in the typical amazingphil™ way to all of the taunting. whereas in 2014-15 era dapg bants, he tended to just remain docile while dan would make his ‘what the fuck are you on about’ comments regarding phil’s weird sexual innuendoes or whatever else, in this video phil was anything but docile. he was in fact quite consistent in giving his own opinionated statements/retorts. just an abbreviated list:
- the bit where he names the robot bianca and dan immediately objects and phil basically goes, yes. i named it. deal with it. hoe.
- when they’re looking at other people’s umbrella drawings and he goes “oh shut up. look at you with your perfect umbrellas” in the sneeriest voice known to humankind
- when dan is making fun of him pretty intensely and phil actually adamantly defends himself and says, “put me under pressure, and i can’t do things.” doesn’t seem like someone who’s just submissively accepting dan’s mockery. he’s explaining why it was hard for him.
- “look at arty jim down here” damn. arty jim got fuckin rekt
- “how is ‘lobster’ easy ???? ? i mean what the hell,” again in the sneeriest voice i’ve heard
- his absolute disgust that dan got elbow so easily, and the way he proceeds to shove dan and threatens to “elbow [him] in the face.” like damn. he fightin back
- when he’s like ‘i don’t even do anything with this hand’ and flops his left hand around i s2g he is trying to sneak in a cheeky sexual innuendo and slyly allude to wanking in the way that he does best and DAN DOESNT HEAR HIM THE FIRST TIME bc he’s talking and phil just stares at him while he flops his hand around and repeats “i don’t even use this hand it’s a dead weight” and dan absolutely doesn’t take the bait. oh my god. phil intentionally trying to annoy dan with innuendoes, and checking to see if he gets it,,,, that is the shit i live for
- ‘all or nothing on the zebra’ cheeky laugh. damn.
- the way he’s like ‘just shut up then’ to dan as he begins drawing the zebra. because he’s not taking dan’s shit
- etc etc etc
and i firmly believe phil was HOLDING BACK in this!!!! !! ! and was still at least partially constrained by/aware of the camera and his usual role as the quieter, gentler foil to dan’s hysteria and melodramatics. so like. just imagine how much more assertive he is when the camera isn’t on. i don’t think any of y’all need to be worried in any way about phil’s ability to handle everything dan dishes out bc i think he’s happily returning it in full measure.
2. on a similar but somewhat unrelated note, phil spent a lot of time in this video sitting patiently while dan went on some truly remarkable monologues and i thought it was noteworthy, mostly in that phil just couldn’t stop looking at dan in apparent adoration even while he was being a dramatic child. i felt like the staring was much less guarded than phil tends to be—he’s usually so aware of the camera and consciously tries to maintain eye contact with the audience as much as possible, but there were just a few moments in this where i was surprised by how long he let himself just watch dan.
during dan’s first ‘artsy vs. creative’ monologue:
during dan’s random ass screaming about a raccoon idek:
during dan’s second ‘artsy vs. creative’ monologue:
phil was p captivated. and these def are moments where he’s looking at dan for longer than usual, not just one-off instances of the most fleeting glances that i screenshotted for effect. i promise.
3. there were some like,,, incredible exchanges during this vid that i specifically want to analyze.
first, the ‘dabble with a robot’ bit at the beginning when dan tries to get phil to admit that he’s making an innuendo and phil won’t do it. i loved this so much. i don’t even have anything much to say other than dan is trying to kill the innocent!phil trope so hard and it’s so funny to me. also. phil was def talking about robot sex. and right after he says dabble the first time, there’s this really obvious jump cut and the immediate frame following it is THIS:
and i just NEED TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF DIRTY ROBOT SEX COMMENT THEY CUT OUT. ugh.
second: ‘i think bianca has a crush on you and she’s mistreating me.’ let’s unpack this. because at first i was just like oh so some inanimate object with a vaguely female voice is showing a potential preference or softness for dan, and phil immediately thinks that she’s crushing on him. and that’s interesting in itself because it’s a surprising leap to make, tbh, and i would never expect phil to say it. but then the second bit, ‘and she’s mistreating me,’ stated as a completely natural follow-up thought. i initially didn’t even pay any mind to this bc like ok whatever he’s whining about not getting his point. but like. think about it for a second. in what context would someone who has a crush on dan mistreat phil other than jealousy or irritation due to the fact that phil is the reason dan is romantically unavailable? like honestly??? ? a platonic interpretation of that comment doesn’t even exist. ‘x has a crush on you and they’re mistreating me’ is literally only a thing someone would say to their significant other. tbh.
third, and my personal fav: the convo after phil ‘cheats’ or pushes dan’s arm while he’s drawing the spoon. just every bit of it. the way that dan leans in on his second repeat of ‘how would you do it then.’ the way that phil completely drops his on-camera voice when he says, ‘no we’re not doing best of three, we’re doing three rounds. it’s 4-2 right now.’ it’s the most natural voice ever, as though he immediately assumes this convo won’t be left in the video. and i imagine a lot of their behind the scenes negotiation as they film for dapg, regarding how things will be scored/structured, happens like this. as in, without some sort of CUT CUT PAUSE interjection to break the filming, but rather just a noticeable shift in tone to demonstrate to each other that they’re saying something that should be cut out in editing. to me, this is just completely reaffirmed by the amount of eye contact that immediately follows phil talking about the score. here’s an amazing gifset of it, which i need all of yall to click and look at, to really get what i’m saying here. and here’s my own screenshot bc y not:
it feels like phil definitely is trying to just have a conversation with dan to figure how they should proceed but dan is still performing a bit, and hamming up his exasperation for the camera when he says, ‘best of three, that would mean i win.’ phil then catches on, drops some of his softness and his natural voice, and immediately looks back to the camera. just. such a good, revealing little exchange. and as soon as the little natural moment is broken, phil immediately defaults back into the sassiness that he’s been demonstrating the whole video by saying, ‘i’m not! i’m just having so much fun,” in like. the world’s most sarcastic voice. then dan chiming in with the requisite fond “this guy” followed by “he’s so sneaky, can you imagine playing monopoly with him?” and that’s interesting too bc it’s dan ~breaking the fourth wall~ more explicitly and talking directly to us, and specifically to this section of his audience that has been voraciously demanding they play board games. he knows he’s being cute and domestic or whatever but at the same time it seems like he’s been genuinely a bit insecure about so overtly denying the audience something they’ve been asking for for so long, which is why he keeps bringing it up and trying to justify it in various ways–by explaining that it would be boring (as he said in his live show) or that it’d end badly (as he said on twitter and now in this video).
wow. just such a good and unexpectedly thought-provoking video. i loved it and genuinely laughed a lot even though the bants were so dramatic and overdone. they were having so much fun the whole time, in my opinion, and that, coupled with their continued lower boundaries regarding on-camera mannerisms, eye contact, touching, etc. seem to be the running themes of post-baking universe dapg. excited to see how these things develop over the course of the year! and also just so excited to see that they are actually carrying forward and sticking to their perceived re-commitment to the gaming channel that happened with gamingmas. they’re really making an effort to film in advance and post way more regularly than we’ve been used to, despite “life things” that are happening. they’re working hard to show us that they care deeply about this channel still and it’s just so uplifting to see that, and to be reminded with each video that they also have so much fun together, always :’)