I live in a household where the only two non-gaming forms of entertainment I utilize (other than alcohol) are YouTube and Netflix. Its the 2010’s, and regular media, cable, and news fall a bit short of holding this generation’s attention. So, we adapt. We’re now able to turn to different forms of streaming entertainment that aren’t dictated by the mainstream, but our own personal preferences, and in most cases, its much cheaper! Only access to internet need apply.
When I moved into my first apartment, cable wasn’t applicable to my paycheck, as some of you can probably relate, so I settled for Netflix. Now, Netflix streaming is awesome, and has a lot of really good TV programs to binge watch and Movies to see until you’re tired of them. When I did get tired of the ever changing titles, (not to mention they’re not even courteous enough to warn you when a title is being pulled) and the somewhat limited selection of movies, I turned to YouTube, and actually found myself watching it far more often than I did Netflix. In my searches I’ve found some wonderful shows that have held my attention, catered to my geekiness, and had me re-watching them as much as any season of Weeds or Archer. I’m going to reveal to you some of my favorites, and hope you can gain some entertainment for yourself as well!
Now, I know there are a plethora of “Let’s Plays” and “Game Review” style shows on YouTube, but I’ve limited myself to shows that felt sequential, and episodic, like I was actually watching TV.
#5 Creepy Gaming
Creepy gaming is definitely a show tailored to this generation’s outlook on horror. Creepypastas, Reddit Nosleep stories, and digital urban legends are all things The Sticky Paddle’s Mullet Mike touches on in his miniseries, Creepy Gaming. He has episodes centered around everything from Animal Crossing spooky lore, bootleg game cartridge tales, and of course, the ever popular Ben Drowned Creepypasta. Mike is a funny, if not occasionally dry-humored guy, who takes on these projects with the fervor of all who enjoy them, but is realistic about his expectations of the truth in the tales. The series is up to 4 seasons at this point, with a few “bonus” mini-episodes included, so there’s plenty to catch up on.
Mike’s intro and outro music are perfect for getting me in the mood to “turn the lights down and the volume up,” and I always feel lulled into an eerie mood by his narration and background score.
Horror is my main squeeze, and when nothing on Netflix gets my motor running, I always tune into Creepy Gaming to satisfy that dark side sweet tooth.
#4 Minecraft Hardcore
Are you tired of your YouTube Gaming playlist being flooded by annoying Minecraft Lets Plays, and “look how much better I am than you at minecraft” videos? Me too. I don’t want to talk about it. If you answered in the affirmative, you may have just missed the diamond in the rough that is PeanutButterGamer’s Minecraft Hardcore series’. Its 4 seasons of non-stop hilarity, failure, and shenanigans. PBG is joined by other big names of YouTube ranging from JonTron, Barry “I’m here too” Kramer, ProJared, The Completionist, Smooth McGroove, and many more. From season to season the gang ventures out, clad in the silliest of MC skins, and fail at minecraft Every. Single. Time. Some of them are even allegedly good at the game, but “good” doesn’t really add up to much when you’re on a team with a bunch of rowdy YouTube dudes playing pranks on each other and weaving in and out of stable WiFi. The crack team is “led” by PBG, and I use that term incredibly loosely, because at times the only thing he seems able to lead is himself, away from the group, to be murdered. The camera jumps from player to player, so the narrative is always fresh and not one-sided. Its like watching Survivor, except instead of a bunch of overpaid diptads, you’re privy to an all star cast of YouTube celebs.
They do succeed in one of their endeavors, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers, because all 4 seasons are worth a few watch-thrus. I found myself genuinely sad every time one of them was killed off by a kamikaze “skulltan” or the creepy as hell Endermen, and they even go out of the way to build grave markers for their fallen comrades, as cheesy sad music plays behind them making fun of whoever just bit the dust, because as we all know, in MC Hardcore, when you die in the game, you’re dead for real. Well, not “for real,” its still just in the game but- you know what I mean.
The chemistry between the ‘Tubers is great, as most of them know each other and are actual friends; and while they’re all hilarious on their own, nothing really beats the inside jokes and endless laughter they create when they’re together, as an awful, awful team.
#3 Hellsing Ultimate: Abridged
Ever laughed? Ever felt like you were dying? Ever laughed so hard you were afraid you were dying? If you’ve watched this Team Four Star staple, you have. Unless you’re a humorless dick-waffle. This project stands out to me because you needn’t have ever actually seen Hellsing to enjoy it, and in fact, I haven’t. TFS is known for taking old or beloved anime series’, then re-dubbing and re-mashing them all up to make them so much funnier than you ever dreamed they would be. They’re most famous, (and rightly so) for their longest standing series, DBZ Abridged, where everything’s funny and the Krillin’s don’t matter. What’s cool about TFS, besides the ungodly amount of editing and voice acting talent on their surprisingly small team, is that they bless us with all of this funny for the love of it. They seek not monetary reward, and can’t, because they lay claim to none of the material their parodies draw from, and if you’ve ever seen the title screen of one of their videos, you know they draw attention to that fact, and beg you support the official release.
While a bit too crass and R rated for some folks, this parody is right up my alley in terms of tongue in cheek, forever quotable humor. Its just a shame we can’t buy shirts with those quotes on them…I’d love to walk down the street with a shirt whose front read “Bitch I Eat People” and a back that said “Follow me on twitter @TheCrimsonFuckr.” Its also a shame that this series was unfinished and left to a measly 4 episodes. Don’t let that shy you away from it though, because those 4 episodes are enough to make you spit-take and pee your pants. That’s my idea of a party.
I’m sure Hellsing is a great show with a forthcoming narrative, but as I said, I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t watched any of it. Despite this, and the fact that though I love DBZ, I’ve only fully watched a limited amount since my childhood, these parodies are hilarious in a way you rarely see. I imagine TFS’ brand of humor is a bit polarizing based on age and levels of morality in its viewers, but as with anything, when you find that perfect target audience, magic happens.
#2 Bravest Warriors
Brought to you by Pendleton Ward, with Cartoon Hangover, we present to you, grown up Adventure Time on YouTube. Pendleton Ward is a name that’s hard not to hear these days, especially if you have a young or adolescent child, or share a maturity level/ similar humorous tastes with them. Adventure Time opened a lot of doors for eccentric animated comedies in the 2010’s, but by no means was it the first or last to tread on that frontier. Whatever happened, it exploded into Hot Topics and Televisions everywhere. The only people that don’t like it are only saying that because they’re hipsters, and they really do like it but want to seem better than you.
While Adventure Time, at times, seemed a little timid to let it’s freak flag fly, Bravest Warriors knows exactly what it is, and that’s what you get. Its basically a bunch of tweens cooped up in a semi invisible house, following in their parent’s footsteps and saving the galaxy one jive-ass stick at a time. Its packed with tons of pop-culture references it’s target audience will appreciate, Whovians included. There’s even a pet horse who narrates his thoughts a la Morgan Freeman, and a mini soap-opera voiced by the now beloved half-bug half-cat, starring a potato, (REBECCA!) a stick, and a dead rat…I think? Anyways, it was fun to see something so made for TV on YouTube, and gave me hope for the future of that medium. I still don’t know how to feel about Pendleton Ward as a human being, but he writes some funny stuff, and always brings lovable characters along for the ride.
#1 My Music Show
My Music Show is YouTube’s MTV reality baby, and though that combo sounds repulsive in theory, its beautiful in practice. Written and directed by The Fine Brothers, a quintessential Jewish, do-it-yourself comedic powerhouse. The mockumentary style sitcom actually boasts a few “real” actors, namely, Whedon Darlings Adam Busch and briefly, Felicia Day, and Always Sunny fans may recognize Tania Gunadia. There are also a few big YouTube names in the mix, like Toby Turner, Jack Douglass of YGS fame, and Grace Helbig, who’s delivery of humor is just too big for the internet to contain.
Its basically a bunch of musical pop-culture stereotypes that all work together in the same office. It works by being inclusive to pretty much all forms of recognizable popular musical subcultures, and hating them all equally. There’s some really special contempt for the show’s “hipster” character, appropriately named “Indie” and brought to life by Adam Busch’s deadpan punchline delivery.
The episodes flow like that of a Real World-esque reality sitcom, and the actors were even involved in a plethora of social media outlets to both promote the show, and drive the content via fan submitted questions and suggestions.
Despite this, and the fact that the project was backed by YouTube itself, the show remains relatively obscure, with only hundreds of thousands of views on most episodes, and no real public news on the possibility of a 3rd Season.
I’m here to tell you that they deserve so much more than that. The characters are so well written and stereotyped, the humor is always believable and relatable, and I’m really happy with the fact that despite what musical category you fall into, all of the characters are at some point, in tune with everyone. I loved the inclusion of “Scene” and “Nerdcore,” two fandom’s I both admittedly and regrettably have been or am a part of. The content may not be timeless, but those of us who fall into the categories portrayed, and even some who fall in between, will always know that at one time, we were immortalized by comedic gold.
Are you excited yet? You should be. Now boot up that Laptop, or tablet, or Xbox, or whatever, pull up a comfy chair, hit the subscribe button, and enjoy these shows at absolutely no cost! Enjoy them knowing that they are a lot better than most of what you’ll find browsing your Netflix queue, which you’re paying them to do, despite how clueless they are at guessing what you’d like to watch based on your viewing history. (What does Donnie Darko have to do with Storage Wars?!) Except if you’re using an Xbox to watch YouTube, in which case, I’m sorry.
And of course, the links to each channel are below.
My Music: http://m.youtube.com/user/MyMusicShow
Hellsing Abridged: http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL581218B72A4B9170
Minecraft HC: http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96A812F2AAC7758F
Creepy Gaming: http://m.youtube.com/show/creepygaming