So do you associate 'spice' with martial content? It's interesting, because that's quite different from what I think of as 'martial' or as 'effective'. When I think 'effective' some of the things (certainly not all) that I think of are if nage is leaving openings, if nage keeps him or herself continually in an advantageous position, if uke is off balance, etc. And sometimes it's actually easier to see if someone's doing those things if they demonstrate a bit slower so they can't hide flaws... So some of the demos that have an 'artificial' looking style seem to me to actually have a lot of solid substance underneath.
I have seen videos marketed as 'more martial' or 'street version' where all it seemed to mean was that techniques were done quickly and joint locks were taken past the point of pain. But uke was actually on balance, and positioned right in front of nage where they could punch nage in the face if they were fast enough - it was just who was faster. So despite the 'violent' outward appearance, it seemed less 'martially effective' to me.
I am not an advocate of rough and ready Aikido where the person does the type of thing you indicate in your last paragraph.At the same time I do not like videos where the person demonstrating makes
aikido look a bit dancelike.What I like to see his a skilled person applying waza which is effective,
and you can see a martial aspect to the work.Hope that explains my viewpoint.Cheers, Joe.