Today's Seeing Red is a bit late, since I went to a kickin' Protomen concert and didn't get back until 1am today. With that out of the way, here's four more YouTube Red originals.
PrankvsPrank's Prank Academy
Oh boy, pranks! Pranks are great because you can be a dick to somebody, but it's OK, because it's just a prank! It's just a prank bro! We're actual full-grown adults but we pretend we never left college!
Prank Academy is about the two stars of PrankvsPrank inviting two guests on the show, and teaching one of them how to prank the other. Episode one has iJustine pranking some god awful YouTube star named Joey by pretending to light some woman on fire. He gets really stressed out because he thinks he did it, but it's OK, because it's just a prank bro! Episode two has one band member of the pop rock band "We The Kings" pranking another band member by having an actor accuse him of ripping off their hit song "Check Yes Juliet" from some random band. It's just a prank, bro!
In my opinion, there's really no way to make this show work. Being a dick to someone, whether or not you're going to tell them after that it was a prank, is not a funny or nice thing to do, and does not make for great TV.
Apparently the two stars of the show broke up a few months after this show premiered. Almost like annoying YouTube stars are impossible to deal with in person.
The setup for this one is pretty simple: Ian Hecox plays Ed, a man who accidentally dies after getting his tie stuck in a door after breaking up with his girlfriend. Anthony Padilla plays Charlie, a man who moves into Ed's former house and must help Ed finish up with his unfinished business so he can go to heaven. It's a simple premise and one that's been done many times; Ricky Gervais' Ghost Town comes to mind.
Ghostmates isn't as good as Ghost Town, but it's OK. It manages to be funny at times, and the thought of watching it again doesn't repulse me, so I'm going to write this one down as a hit. Not a great movie, but silly enough to be fun. Lazer Team quality.
Joey Graceffa's Escape the Night
Oh hey, it's the Joey from that prank show. He's created a murder mystery show, where Joey plays the part of Mr. Boddy from Clue, set in a 1920s mansion. Except that, instead of the show merely being a period piece set in the 1920s, the show is actually set in the modern day, but with a magic house and a time traveling car to bring the YouTube stars back in time. You see, they can't just have YouTube stars play characters in the 1920s in some kind of "fiction"—that would mean they would actually have to do some kind of writing. Instead, they have the YouTube stars play themselves in a reality TV show, but "set" in the 1920s. I only recognize one of the YouTubers—Shane Dawson, annoying YouTuber and star of The Chair, a Starz show where Dawson won the prize by having his fans vote for it—and the rest don't seem likeable or good at playing the part.
This is a reality show. Like every other reality show on YouTube Red, "reality" is stretched very thin. It's shot like a reality show, and has each participant bickering with each other, complaining about other team members on in a confessional segment, and doing a bad job of acting like they're actually on a reality TV show. It feels like Fight of the Living Dead: Experiment 88, and I believe it stars some of the same YouTubers. If only they'd actually decided to do something new and original, instead of another reality show starring annoying YouTubers.
Fine Bros Entertainment's Sing It
The Fine Brothers, known for their React series and presumably other things, have created a show that goes behind the scenes of a TV singing competition. The show's primary conflict is between the show's new executive producer and the over-worked under-appreciated production assistant. It's like the highly-rated HBO series The Newsroom, but about American Idol instead.
It's not very good. Ben and Rafi Fine are no Aaron Sorkins, and they're not really capable of creating the kind of drama that one would expect from such a show. There is no tension in episodes. When something goes wrong in the middle of a show, there's not really the kind of "oh shit" feeling the show should give you. It doesn't communicate the time pressure or the emergency that produces the kind of drama that one would expect from such a show.
It's apparently attempting to be a comedy. Huh. Could've fooled me. Very little happens in the show that I could call funny. It's definitely not succeeding on that front either. Comedy, drama, or dramedy, it's not successful on any front.
Credit where it's due, though—I could really see this as a primetime show. It's not good at all, but standards for that are pretty low these days. Bad Judge got a whole season.
Yet again, we get one hit out of four. That brings us up to an 18.75% hit rate, which is better than last time because it doesn't have a repeating decimal.