We're back! It's time to take a look at another four YouTube Red originals, and the ways in which they're bad and/or disappointing.
PewDiePie's SCARE PEWDIEPIE
You knew this was coming. A certain recently disgraced YouTube personality has his very own YouTube Red show where he pretends to be scared at video games and yells really loudly, but in real life! What that actually means is that a bunch of actors create a ~scary situation~ that PewDiePie is the center of, and he freaks out and yells about it.
This seems even stupider than filming yourself playing horror games and getting freaked out about them. In a horror game, you have no clue what's going to happen to your character. The laws of man and the laws of reality can be broken by a game in truly horrific ways, and the player can easily become immersed in a world where they can actually be horrified. But when you're in a pseudo-haunted house, it's not the same. You're constantly aware that the events happening in front of your face aren't actually happening, because you know and are very well aware of the laws of the world and why you're being put into that situation. There is a fear of the unknown when you're playing a horror game, because you don't know why the things in the game are happening. But when you're stuck in a cabin and you see "GET OUT" written in blood on a picture? You know exactly why that happened. You go to a "hospital" and your doctor is actually an escaped mental patient? Well, you know there's no way he could've actually harmed you, since he's an actor and this is a television show.
Like MatPat's GAME LAB, this is a reality show staring the creator himself. That seems to be a trend. I'm sure famous horror game player PewDiePie could create a video series that's similar to what his channel's known for that doesn't involve creating a reality TV show where he's filmed going through a haunted house.
I fucking hate the way he says "PewDiePie."
Dan and Phil's The Amazing Tour is Not On Fire
Unlike every YouTube Red original up until this point, this isn't a series. Instead, it's a live show. A comedy special or something like that. I have no idea who Dan and Phil are, but they seem to be a pair of British YouTubers who at some point had a stage show called The Amazing Tour is Not On Fire.
I don't have much to say about this, because there isn't really anything to say. It's not good. The comedy special is a series of bad jokes, overacted reactions, and cheers from the audience which seems to be almost entirely teenage girls. Perhaps I'm not the target audience for this.
YouTube Red's 12 Deadly Days
12 Deadly Days is, as far as I can tell, essentially a horror anthology with a little bit of plot sprinkled on top to connect everything. The first episode is supposed to be a "twisted take" on A Christmas Carol. Their idea of a "twisted take" seems to be to bring it into the modern day, make it horror, and replace Bob Cratchit with the brothers Mac and Miles Cratchit, paranormal investigators. The rest of the story has pretty much nothing to do with A Christmas Carol.
Each episode is supposed to have a cameo by a YouTube star, but I don't recognize any of the YouTube stars they picked, so I can't tell you if that's true.
Unlike the rest of YouTube Red, 12 Deadly Days is published under the YouTube Red Originals channel. It makes sense, then, that this is the show that's closest to what Netflix and Amazon produce. Without the ego of big YouTube stars invading the process, it feels more like a real television show. This is also perhaps due to the fact that the show is produced by Blumhouse, the outfit behind Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Insidious. So this show is the shining star among YouTube Red's selection, right?
Unfortunately, no. Most aspects of the show are adequate or even good, but where the show really trips is on the writing. It's a kind of stunted, tell-don't-show dialog that doesn't do the show any favors. The rest of the show would fit right in if I saw it on a basic cable channel like USA or the television channel now known as Freeform. But the writing truly feels like a Goosebumps episode.
This had a lot more potential than pretty much every other YouTube Red show, and it's unfortunate to find out that it's not actually that good.
Vsauce's Mind Field
After finally unsubscribing to College Humor at some point last year, Vsauce is the only channel on YouTube Red that I actually subscribe to. I like his videos—they're almost always in-depth explorations of things that I haven't thought about before or I didn't know existed.
Mind Field, on the other hand, seems exactly like a modern-day Science Channel show. Surface-level scientific insight structured like a reality TV show. It's not very interesting, unfortunately. It really reminds me of the National Geographic show Brain Games—another show that is based around the operation of the mind, that doesn't actually get into anything in much depth. It's disappointing, considering the content Michael Stevens has produced in the past.
I have to give this show some credit. It's an example that YouTube can, for the most part, produce something that's on-par with what a real television channel can do. Everything, except for the title cards and graphics on screen, looks pretty much on-par with what I would except from a show on the Science Channel or the Discovery Channel. If I didn't know otherwise, I'd never have guessed it was a YouTube Red series.
Mind Field fills the same space in my entertainment selection as Brain Games: it's a little bit interesting, but it's not something I really care about. It's not something that I'd binge watch, or care to watch all the way through. It's something that would bore me if I was 100% paying attention. Much like Rhett & Link's Buddy System, it's not bad, but it's also not very good.
At zero good shows this week, that means our 25% success rate has gone down to 12.5%. Let's see if the next four shows can bring that back up.