If there’s one thing I think most authors can agree on, it’s that procrastination is a fun (albeit not very productive) pass time. When I started writing, I used to put TV shows that I had already seen on. I could have them on in the background and not have to pay too much attention as I’d already seen them before. Then I stumbled upon YouTube. I’d watched videos on the platform in the past obviously, but I hadn’t ever subscribed to channels. I used to just watch the odd video here and there whenever they popped up as a suggestion. Now, I actually check to see if certain channels have uploaded new content.
If you aren’t overly familiar with YouTube and those who work on it, you may have been swayed by the news to think it’s an awful place full of awful people. That’s not the case. Yes, you do get people that think it’s fun to film a dead body in a suicide forest, you do get people that film obviously fake videos of themselves- pretending to post themselves in a box from the UK to America and claiming it’s real for example, and having people using the service in this way is a shame. The news being the news, it’s the people that cause the most controversy that tend to garner all the attention. But there are many people on Youtube who do great things and post fun content. These are just a few select channels that I regularly watch and highly recommend checking out yourself. These are no particular order by the way.
The Nostalgia Critic
Doug is hilarious. He’s the sort of person who seems like he was born to do this very thing and he’s brilliant at it. The main content of Channel Awesome are the Nostalgia Critic reviews. They look back on shows and movies of the past (normally the 90’s) and in a comedic manner, see whether they truly are as good as we remember them to be. There’s a ton of effort put into these videos. It isn’t just a “sit at the camera and talk” type deal (not that there’s anything wrong with those- there’s a couple on this list), but each one seems like a full-on production. The questionable acting skills from the team fits in with the feel of the channel perfectly and more importantly, the video’s never feel like they are bashing things for the sake of it. Nostalgia Critic reviews are concluded with an honest summation of the work they have looked at and offer a fair assessment of how well they hold up over time.
As Channel Awesome continues to grow, so does it’s content. There’s the Orbit News Report, movie reviews from Tamara, some Top 5/Worst 5 Lists and videos consisting of Doug and his brother Rob just sitting down and talking unedited about current movies or ones they have had to rewatch as part of another video. All of these are worth checking out. Special mention to them for the charity work they do. Late last year there was an extremely well put together fund raising attempt and it’s positive things like this that sadly get overlooked by the mainstream media.
A Channel Awesome Highlight
Side note, if Doug or any the Channel Awesome team ever somehow find themselves reading this- a Con Air review is long overdue, right?
Speaking of “sit at the camera and talk” type deas, here’s an example of why there’s nothing wrong with that. I tried my hand at YouTube videos a while back and not to blow my own trumpet, I think I was pretty good at it considering I had never done anything like that before. (I stopped purely for time reasons). I mention this because the reason I wanted to give this a go in the first place was Chris Stuckmann. His channel is almost exclusively movie reviews, but the reason they work so well is that it’s clear how much Chris really loves the industry. His knowledge of it and his passion for it really shines through which, at least in my opinion, gives his opinions some genuine weight. He doesn’t seem to get swept up in the court of public opinion either. His thoughts on movies really feel like his own and while I don’t always agree with him- that really ensures that I can always respect his viewpoint.
As well as reviews on new releases, there are also hilariocity reviews. These are looks at films that are awful, but that he can’t help but enjoy. Movies such as The Room, Tomb Raider (still waiting on the Cradle of Life one) and the remake of The Wicker Man have all been subjected to the hilariocity treatment and my only complaint with these is that they don’t seem to come along often enough. 2018 has also seen him commit to do one review a month on movies that came out pre 1970 as he, quite rightly, states that they don’t get too much attention these days.
It’s worth noting too that he also has a movie of his own due out at some point. I’m not sure when it’s due to be released, but given how much he values story in the things he watches and reviews, Auditorium 6 should hopefully be quite the watch.
A Chris Stuckmann Highlight
I Hate Everything (IHE)
Alex from I Hate Everything first came to my attention when he was declared war on by Derek Savage, the (temperamental is one word for him) creator of Cool Cat. Chances are you’ve never heard of Cool Cat, that’s for the best. The argument essentially came down to what fair use was on YouTube and Savage, in the process of trying to show that he knew what it was, proved he didn’t actually have a clue. Ironically, Cool Cat is probably more well known now because of IHE’s coverage of it. The channel has an ongoing video series called The Search for The Worst in which Alex searches for the worst movie of all time. This is mainly low budget straight to DVD stuff and rip offs of popular films, but it’s the commentary on these and all his other videos that make this such an entertaining watch.
There’s also the ‘I Hate’ series, where he takes a look at random entertainment-based subjects that just wind him up. This includes things like Snapchat, Fidget Spinners, fans of Rick and Morty- nothings off limits basically. Alex speaks like he’s totally lost the will to live at times and I don’t mean that as a knock against him; it’s genuinely funny to hear him discuss the things that he hates and give his well thought out reasons as to why. Again, I don’t always agree with the things that he says, but even when he’s slating something that I personally love (Sonic the Hedgehog being one example) it’s still an entertaining watch. There are those who can’t handle something they like getting the IHE treatment and Alex doesn’t ignore these people. Some of his funniest and best videos are his comment comeback ones as he’ll respond to a selection of (sometimes terrible) comments he’ll receive in the YouTube comment section (also known as the place your soul goes to die). Admirably, he’ll even pick out some where he’ll admit he was in the wrong or perhaps hadn’t worded something in the way he had intended.
An I Hate Everything Highlight
The conclusion of the Derek Savage saga. There’s much more to this channel than just the Cool Cat stuff, but this was the video that made me hit subscribe. Thanks Derek Savage- would likely have never found IHE without you.
Screen Junkies has grown into a fully fledged business now, and as a result it’s a channel that you would likely have heard of. After hitting it big thanks to the brilliant Honest Trailers, the channel continued to grow and expand. It actually now has two channels, Screen Junkies and Screen Junkies News. The channel was dealt a pretty big blow late last year for reasons I won’t go into here, but my respect for them grew with how they bounced back and, more importantly, how they handled and dealt with it all. Now, it’s better than ever. That’s largely down to the people they have there. Each member of the team have their own style and their own unique characteristics that make them all an enjoyable watch. As well as movie reviews, they have a daily live news show that tackles the big stories of the day in a normally fun manner. Honest Trailers are still a big thing, seemingly better now than they were before. Special mention here to Dan Murrel for watching every single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation just to do an honest trailer for it. Speaking of Dan, he and Roth Cornet break down the box office every week and there’s a ton of research that’s always put into this. Additionally there’s Movie Fights that’s recently been retooled. It’s a fun, lively and silly debate on movies that’s moderated by the always entertaining Hal Rudnick.
Really it’s just a fun channel that’s successful on the back of those who clearly have a love and passion for working there. Dan, Roth and Hal aside, there’s also Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr, Danielle Radford, Roxy Striar, Billy Business and many other contributors who help make it what it is. It wouldn’t be the same without any of them.
Oh as an aside, can we have a Roxy Vs Dan Movie Fights soon, please?
A Screen Junkies Highlight
A very recent one this and I’m including it purely for this line. “Y’now what? Fu*k it. They were allies with King Arthur and one of them killed Hitler.” I want to know which one of them came up with that line.
First We Feast
This channel made me want to eat spicy food. Thanks to First We Feast, I can now eat medium sauce at Nando’s- when I sometimes found a korma to be a bit too hot, I’m taking that as a win. It’s specifically the Hot Ones videos that I’m talking about here. There’s a ton of other stuff on the channel to watch, but it’s this series of videos that keeps me coming back.
The premise is simple, Sean Evans (who to look at, I wouldn’t think initially that he could handle the heat) interviews celebrities while they work their way through a series of chicken wings that have been coated with hot sauces. The sauce gets hotter and hotter as the interview goes on until they get to the last dab, a sauce that comes in at around 2 million Scoville units. The beauty of this show is its simplicity. Sean just asks well researched questions and has a chat with the interviewee while they eat. The fun comes in as you can see both Sean and whoever is being interviewed start to crumble as they heat ramps up. Now credit to Sean, he rarely breaks. But then he should be the one holding things together, it’s the person doing this for the first time that’s in for an interview like no other.
It can be hilarious to watch someone as they begin to realise, normally around the sixth or seventh wing, what they have let themselves in for. Even some of the lesser known people he has on are worth watching. Sean has a very relaxed way about him while he does these interviews that complements the pain that the celeb on the other end of the table is feeling perfectly. Highly recommend checking this channel out.
A First We Feast Highlight
If I didn’t have a wedding to pay for, I’d be going to see this guy on tour next month. If you find the news to be a bleak and depressing thing, if you wish that a news reporter would just say what they really thought about the things they were reporting on- well then watch Jonathan Pie.
His video structure is that he ends his link while reporting out on the streets and the news would go back to the studio, but the camera stays rolling so that we can catch him ranting about the things he’s just been talking about; completely unfiltered. It would be fair to say that his content is extremely not safe for work (NSFW if you’re into all these abbreviations), but it’s also extremely funny. Not just that, it can be extremely powerful too. He doesn’t hold back on certain topics and has no problem calling someone out, regardless of who they are, if he thinks they need to be told some hard truths. Jonathan Pie may just be a character, but he’s one that I think is important in this day and age.
Donald Trump, Teresa May and Jeremy Hunt are just a handful of the people that have been subjects of his rants and it’s clear that there’s a great deal of passion that goes into the things he says.
A Jonathan Pie Highlight
If you want an example of how Pie is able to blend comedy with genuine outrage- this is it.
The Angry Joe Show
This was I believe, the first YouTube channel I subscribed too. The Angry Joe show is a games (and now also movie) channel and what makes it stand out is the quality of the reviews and the effort that goes into them. His Angry Reviews are full on productions. Interspersed with him talking about the game he is reviewing are skits that feature him and Other Joe (normally in costume) acting out scenes or using props to enforce a point. What I appreciate most about this channel though is that Joe is never one to say something just because it’s the popular opinion. He’s also never one to endorse something just so he can stay in a studio’s good graces. What he thinks is what he says and it’s refreshing to have someone who isn’t afraid of pissing people off when it comes to critiquing something.
Take Destiny for example. This was a game by Bungee. This was a game that had a dedicated fanbase before anyone had even played a second of it. But it wasn’t all that great. It had potential sure, but a lot of that potential was wasted on a repetitive game that had very little in game story. But the reviewers went crazy for it. If you listened to the reviews, you’d have thought it was the one of the best video game in history. That may be a slight exaggeration, but it was almost universally positive. I was running a website at the time that reviewed TV, Movies and Games and I was give Destiny to cover ahead of its release. I gave it a 3/5 and assumed that once it came out, that would be the general consensus. It wasn’t. So I was pleased to see Joe come out and actually call the game out for its faults and he’s continued with that level of honesty ever since (and before it). He does gets a lot of stick for his focus on movies and I don’t really understand why as it’s his channel- he can do what he wants. In my eyes, the movie reviews are a quick and easier way for him to get content out and I don’t see anything wrong it. The differing thoughts between the (normally 3) people that take part in these usually makes for a fun discussion.
An Angry Joe Highlight
The most recent channel that I’ve subscribed too is True Geordie. He’s a Newcastle lad that loves football and women, and he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks about just about anything. I can’t think of another popular YouTube channel that would happily sit down and film a review about Celestia Vega’s first porn video for example. But he will and it’s refreshing to watch someone who will just chat about anything he damn well pleases. The thing that strikes me the most about him though is his determination. More than anyone else I’ve seen on YouTube; this guy has a determination to succeed and push himself further and it really shows. When he says he’s going to succeed, I fully believe him and his tenacity to do so makes sure he’s always an engaging watch.
His dedication shows with the success he’s experiencing too. Take his podcast. He’s now attracting some huge names to do it and that wouldn’t happen if he weren’t a man that had the balls to make it happen. Some of his recent guests have included Alan Shearer and Kieron Dyer (Two Newcastle United legends, which shows he is only interested in guests he actually cares about) and Robbie Williams. And he has no problems with asking them just about anything, even things that other interviewers would likely shy away from. It works and he can get away with it because he and co presenter Laurence McKenna have such an ease with what they’re doing that they can build up a friendly rapport with people almost instantly. This is one YouTuber that’s destined to go far indeed. And perhaps the best thing is that he’s not out to make quick easy money. He was asked whether he would be selling merch on Twitter the other day and said he would when he had the right things to sell. In a world that has people like Logan Paul in it, it’s great to see someone who isn’t out to extort fans. Speaking of Logan Paul…
A True Geordie Highlight
Want to watch the most powerful response to the whole Logan Paul situation? Well there it is.
Granny Potty Mouth
To change things up, here’s a granny that likes to swear a lot. Granny Potty Mouth shouldn’t be as fun to watch as she is. The joke should have worn thin quite quickly, and yet it hasn’t. That’s down to just how likeable she is. Basically, we get cookery advice from a grandma who swears a lot whilst remaining wonderfully chipper throughout. If you watch her channel, you’ll get to learn how to make her Meatball Muffin Mo’fo’s, or her Easy as f**k Potato Salad. It’s such a simple idea with such easy to make videos but the quirk of who’s doing the teaching here is genius.
She’ll also give her take on new crazes such as fidget spinners, she’ll give advice to people who write in and perhaps best of all, she’ll read out jokes that have been sent in and react to them in brilliant ways. There’s also one where she explains how to deal with internet trolls and not only is the video funny, it’s also full of extremely great advice. That’s the thing with this lady, she makes great educational videos and uses the sweary gimmick to give her a boost. It works.
If you watch one of her videos, don’t forget to click the little pink fu**er in the corner.
A Granny Potty Mouth Highlight
So they’re my favourite YouTube channels from my subscription list. And that was about three hours killed that I could have spent writing any one of the four partly written books I have open on my laptop. Procrastination 1 Joe 0. Ah who am I kidding? It always wins.
If you happen to stumble upon this and know of a great YouTube channel I haven’t mentioned, let me know. I can do with some more to watch whilst I’m writing so it would be appreciated.