IT’S SAFE to say that Youtube has an abundance of critics. Ever since we’ve discovered that producers can potentially make a decent living, the market has been flooded with wide-eyed hopefuls attempting to break through the near indestructible wall that is gaining viewership. Just recently the news dropped that Pewdiepie made an impressive $7.4M last year; whether you enjoy his work or not, it’s difficult not to be in awe over that kind of income for internet videos. After that bombshell, I would imagine Youtube is about to receive a whole new flood of newbies trying to make their mark, so it’s always refreshing to see someone create a series based on a concept a little different (while not exactly innovative, certainly a less populated subject).
Many users may be more familiar with Mike Jeavons, or MikeJ, via his show Shameful Sequels on Channel Awesome. This is where he explores the sequels that, let’s say, don’t hold up as well to the original film. No matter how bad the sequel is, MikeJ is there to face it with his smart looking suit and empty cup of tea. In fact, there were films under his reviews that I genuinely had no idea existed. For example, did you know there’s a sequel to American Psycho starring Mila Kunis? Because there is and, I assure you, it’s as awful (or shameful) as it sounds.
Shameful Sequels is approached with MikeJ’s British sensibilities combined with some great sarcastic and dry humour. While I can’t say that every single review is top notch, as some reviews it feels like he’s trying to rush to the end, it’s certainly a rarity to come across an episode that didn’t make me laugh at least one part.
However, since the fall of Blip.tv, the future of this series is unknown, since Youtube has apparently never heard of the fair use law and copyrighted material struggles to stay on the site.
Switching over to the Youtube side of content, he has two regular ongoing series: ‘Infomercialism’ and ‘A week on…’. The former is a review show criticising those products that we see on late night television. You know the ones – the really cheesy ones promising the impossible kind of products. The quality of these episodes really depends upon on the product and what MikeJ can actually do with them; while it’s not all about the comedy for these ones, the need to be entertained still exists and this can vary from review to review.
When Mike can make a good joke or an interesting review from the product, he hits the nail on the head and crafts a great video. Although while not common, some videos can feel like he’s going through the motions of a review, a reoccurring problem from the Shameless Sequels series. Some of the best Informercialism videos actually come from products that deliver on their promises, a legitimate surprise from the hoard of cheap plastic crap that is the norm.
Lastly (in terms of regular videos anyway) we have his diet videos. The amount of investment can vary from person to person, but I particularly found his diet on the miracle ‘Lose 14lbs in a week’ diet to be a curious insight into how little the human body can actually consume. If you’re considering starting one of the ‘fad’ diets, it’s certainly worth looking into. Also featured is a nifty budget diet where he shows an example of a week of home cooking that can be achieved with small expense.
Also on this channel are some of his more infrequent videos, the ones that don’t appear to have a regular release date. There’s ‘I love Lego’ which is your bog-standard review of Lego. If you’re a block head I would recommend it, but for the I can’t see it appealing to a huge crowd of the casual viewer. You can also watch his reviews on theme parks, his own music videos, personal blogs and what I believe we can label as miscellaneous.
I would wholeheartedly suggest that you check out his Shameful Sequels on Channel Awesome and Infomercialism on his Youtube Channel (also on Channel Awesome, but lacks the playlist feature), with the other videos as added extras. My only real criticism is that some videos he could use further scripting, though obviously he does rely on some surprise expressions which would make this rather tricky.
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