In the most recent episode of “Your Place is a Deal Breaker,” titled “Tiger in the Bedroom Makeover,” a young man explains that his girlfriend “wants to incorporate the feminance (sic) with the dominance.” The “feminance” that he is referring to is a ragged looking glamour poster featuring the disembodied head of Marilyn Monroe. The “dominance,” as any rational person would assume, is a giant cheetah bobble head with a bedazzled trucker hat haphazardly placed on it. Holy hell, I think I just found my new favorite YouTube show.
“Your Place is a Deal Breaker” is one of the several shows featured on the YouTube channel Spaces. The original content channel is YouTube’s answer to HGTV but much shorter and much stranger. The show “Offbeat Spaces” features bizarre and virtually uninhabitable dwellings occupied by weirdos. In one episode, a productive member of society named “Hideous Lloyd” shows off the abandoned tent he now calls home at Manhattan’s Occupy Wall Street shantytown. “I live With My Mom” is another featured show, in which young adults still, well, live with their mothers.
Spaces is by far one of the most inventive original content channels YouTube has rolled out this year. If all of YouTube’s premium channels had the originality that Spaces has, then I’d bet 90 percent of them probably wouldn’t be predicted to fail.
In an interview with The New York Times, co-founder Joseph Gomes of DBG, the company producing Spaces, told columnist Steven Kurutz, “We like the idea of these barriers coming down. In traditional broadcasting, the rules are very much ensconced. With this, it’s the Wild West. It’s almost like an Oklahoma land grab in terms of getting in there and creating original content.”
It’s this type of attitude that I believe will set Spaces apart from YouTube’s drowning channels. Gnomes understands that they are working with a different audience and do not need to work within the confines of television. Lately, too many YouTube creators have been trying to create television content for the Web. The problem with that is that YouTube is not television and never will be. The average YouTube patron wants short eccentric content, and Spaces is meeting that need. Here’s hoping that sinking channels will take notes.