Every so often my job includes watching/reviewing some new web series that makes its debut. Today, I’m all about the new Fine Brothers’ production “YouTubers React …”, now the fourth leg of their popular “React” video series. Technically, they could now turn their “React” stool into a chair.
After “Children React,” “Teens React” and “Elders React” one would think the logical progression would be “Zombies React” or “Yuppies With A Mortgage and A Porsche Cayenne React,” but strangely, this offering works too. I’m actually more curious to hear what YouTubers have to say, because unlike children who are mostly stupid, teens who usually hate most things, and elderly people who just want to appear loveable and/or cantankerous before they die, YouTubers have a sort of “fake nice” camera-savvy appeal to them, but also, more importantly, a uniquely keen insight into what makes a video popular and/or appealing. Says Harley Morenstein of Epic Meal Time: “I remember when I used to watch YouTube and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s people being stupid!’ But then, after like a year I was like, ‘Hey! People are stupid, I get it.’ Now you kind of want more.” True story, bro.
The “React” series doesn’t push any boundaries or break new ground with its format of _______ reviewing ________, which seems to be the most common way for laypeople to achieve success on YouTube. As this is only the first episode of “YouTubers React,” I am curious to see where the project goes and how far the reach of the Fine Brothers’ YouTube connections extend. Currently, they’ve shown us an assortment of talking heads including iJustine, Shay Carl, Tay Zonday, and the SMOSH Guys. Good “gets” all of them, as we now follow them watching a trio of videos (the videos are broadcast concurrently to us) and … well … reacting to them.
The first round of videos are the classic “Evolution of Dance,” as well as the new internet staples “Cannonball on Ice” and “Gangnam Style.” It is shocking how many of the YouTubers interviewed cop to never having watched “Gangnam Style” in its entirety (or are derisive of it). I can’t decide if they are being disingenuous or passive aggressive. If it’s the biggest video in your medium, how do you not find the time to sit down and watch?
What I like best of all about the “YouTubers React” edition is that it essentially puts these personalities on display for you to decide who you like, and who can hold up with the format. Amazingly, Zonday seems to do the best of the lot, making the pithy observation during the Cannonball video, “Viral videos where you can see misfortune and ‘Oh, the person is still fine… and afterwards, they’re kind of like a cartoon.” Maybe that’s just more my style though. iJustine, on the other hand, seems little more than a collection of sound effects.
As with the videos these personalities are reviewing, we’ll see how entertaining this all is a year from now. For the time being though, it’s totally worth tuning in.