Get adventurous with One Direction’s cartoon series on YouTube

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We’re on week five of self-isolation, and chances are, your streaming watchlists are getting slimmer as the days pass. You’ve searched for hours through Netflix, Hulu and other streaming platforms but can’t find anything that can make you feel something. We’ve already recommended the One Direction “Where We Are” YouTube concert performance, but there’s another One Direction-filled YouTube series to help those quarantined days go by faster. 

“The Adventurous Adventures of One Direction,” or AAoOD for short, made waves within the One Direction fandom when the first part was released on YouTube in 2012. Whether you’re a former superfan or not, this series is worth watching for the sheer quality and absurdity of the cartoons. It’s both impressive and concerning that someone spent this much time animating the band, since the whole series spans just over two hours in length, but creator Mark Parsons’ passion shines through with every inside joke and newly introduced character. Parsons didn’t only write and animate the series, he also voices every character’s dreamy accent to a T. 

In part one, Parsons makes points with his cartoon versions of Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan. Not only does Parsons capture the looks of the boys during their 2012 era, he also oddly gets their personalities right on the nose. Part one really emphasizes the “carrot” phase that One Direction fans went through before glowing up to the bad b—-es we are today! With really bad puns from Harry, Louis saying “We can’t go in two directions” and Zayn’s iconic hair, part one sets up the nostalgia you’ll feel when watching the rest of the series.

Part two finds the boys faced with their biggest threat yet, the dreaded Megafan — all of our worst nightmares, honestly. Watch Megafan struggle with the microphone on their video chat and tell us you didn’t get flashbacks to your Zoom lecture from hell. Alternatively, try not to yawn every time Niall goes on a date with that one girl who can’t stop yawning (Drinking game? We said nothing). The spoon song, a quirky number where Liam reminds us that he is afraid of spoons (and probably never stopped regretting sharing it), is a banger, no cap.

If you’re looking for a moral in part two, search no further than the blatant nods toward fans just letting the boys be who they are.

Part three came out in 2015 as a 12-part series called “The 12 Days of AAoOD3,” a special treat for One Direction fans — and the rest of the world, to be honest — who were heartbroken over the announcement of the band breaking up. Parsons even brings Zayn back, even though he quit the band the March before part three’s release, which was bittersweet. Part three follows the boys through their journey to save Christmas and, along the way, they run into a few familiar faces like Lady Gaga, the “Polar Express” conductor and more. Due to this series being released at the end of the One Direction era, when most fans were reaching their late teens or even early 20s, the jokes were more mature and raunchy. Honestly, AAoOD really took a turn during part three and we truly could not tell you what exactly happens. It’s a whirlwind that you need to experience yourself.

Let’s just face the truth: Since One Direction broke up in 2015, life has not been “amazayn,” “brilliam,” “extraordinharry,” “fabulouis” or “phenomeniall” in the slightest. But just like the One Direction concert tour, we hope this three-part series can lift your spirits and help you travel back to a time when One Direction was still the world’s biggest boy band.

“Streaming Diaries” articles are recommendations from Daily Cal staff members on underrated content available on streaming platforms.

Skylar De Paul is the deputy arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @skylardepaul.

Joyce Cam is the special issues editor. Contact her at [email protected].