Bad Youtube


Bad Youtube

We've been watching Gilmore Girls for a while, and as always we've found ourselves watching Youtube videos about the topic. I watched a few Kendra Gaylord videos off the back of Sean's recommendation (it turns out CM was already a fan) and I thought that maybe there would be other videos of similar quality around.

The thing is, Kendra Gaylord is using Gilmore Girls as a prism to look at other stuff she knows and cares about—architecture, urban infrastructure etc. The videos that we've found which are just people talking about Gilmore Girls are strange. The people making them... how do I put this? They talk like the things they're describing (for instance, relationships) with the tone of anthropological observations, rather than real things that exist in the real world. The way they talk about people's behaviour feels like they're running down a checklist. If someone does a behaviour from the bad list then they're toxic, an abuser, whatever. They also have a hilarious habit of playing a clip and then saying "my theory is" before going on to describe the surface text of the show, literally what was just shown on screen. I would rather listen to the LGBTQanon people explaining why Taylor Swift is gay for hours at a time than this. At least they're weird.

The delivery of these lines is abysmal too. I found myself flashing back to watching that million-hour-long hbomberguy video about plagiarism from a while back. The thing that struck me most about the Bad Lads he was describing—and that main guy in particular—is how crap they are at their ostensible job. Now, I know the actual job of a Youtuber is to get eyes on themselves, and they (somehow) seem to be OK at that, but in theory what they’re doing is making entertaining videos.

From the clips presented, at least—and I guess since James Thingy took his whole thing down that’s all I have to go on—they seem to be bad at the basic nuts and bolts of making Youtube videos—not just the editing stuff (which is called attention to) but speaking in a manner that’s entertaining. If you’re not able to speak in an entertaining way—varying pitch and intonation, using rhythm and timing to create an effect—how do you find yourself doing stuff that primarly entails talking?

Content can pull this back somewhat: one video (the first one we watched from the Gilmore Girls analysis channel, which is why we ended up watching more—because we thought there was more there) was the host talking with one of her friends, and while the levels of vocal fry on display were so severe that it was impossible for me to tell which was which at times, their conversation was so much more interesting than the monologues that are this channel's bread and butter that I was able to look past it–to the point where I'm not sure why they don't do more of that thing.

At least they're (presumably) kids who are working out what they're doing. One prominent feature of the plagiarism clips was the guy repeating himself, not for rhetorical effect but in a way that just sounds amateurish. It was artless and graceless and enervating to listen to. The most telling thing about the main guy in those, for me, is something that was only tangientially mentioned: he's a marketing guy. All about making impressions, appearances; nothing real, not ever. The content is immaterial, it’s about working out how to present himself as a certain kind of guy, with zero follow-through.

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