Quick Kicks: The Joy of Youtube

Tallulah Young 1 June 2018

This term has dragged.  I don’t even know what week it technically is, and I am counting down the minutes for the debauchery of May Week to kick off after a long and painful hiatus from Kuda and, well, socialising in general.  Tragic, really.

After three terms of Cambridge madness I feel a little broken.  When I look back at these past few crazy months I think about all of the hours I have spent scouring iDiscover and Jstor, staring at the clock in lectures, and getting a stitch from power walking to my supervisions, because I’m nearly late, again.  I am more tired than I have ever been, and daydream of those dreamy angst-filled GCSE days, if only I’d known how easy it was then…

Alas, summer is coming soon, and I know that before I know it I’ll be clawing to get back to the mad little bubble I now call home.  In the interim, as the last trickles of exams peter out, the final essays are submitted, and the last non-fun all-nighters get done and dusted, I am going to be giving myself a break.

As a film & TV editor I should probably be pouring myself a glass of Merlot and settling in for evenings filled with quirky, independent, subtitled, black and white films.  Nope, I’ll be in bed, wearing tea-stained trackies, shovelling in Aldi’s weird off-brand crisps, and watching Youtube, for hours.  This is my new unwind, and I don’t care, I love it.

By now I have the attention span of a gnat (literally no scientific knowledge of gnats’ attention spans, I just presumed low, and I like the word gnat.  Gnat.  Fun.), and a three-hour, intellectually stimulating film simply won’t do at this point.  Yep, I have zero endurance left (even an hour-long BBC drama is a push at this point), but I’ve embraced the fact that right now four to fourteen minute Youtube videos are pretty much my limit.

To justify myself a little, I did do some proper research for this article.  You know, net worth, advertising revenue, a cheeky bit of history (fun pub quiz trivia: their first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005; actually, just file this under things you will never need to know), and a saucy little bit on how this generation accesses media differently than, duh, when they only had about three and a half channels on a grainy telly.  Yawn.  Honestly, it just turned out really, really boring.

So, sod that, here’s what you should watch if you too cannot hack anything longer than a quarter of an hour but nevertheless need a little entertainment.


1. Smart Stuff: ‘In a Nutshell’ and ‘How Stuff Works’

I may have been psychologically defeated by early modern agrarian reforms (I wrote an essay on turnips, first term, week three, and I haven’t been the same since), but I’m still a Cambridge kid at heart, right?  These channels can blow your tiny, diminished mind in minutes.  Who wouldn’t want to curl up to a six-minute explanation of Optimistic Nihilism after a long day at Sidge?  Is there really any point in understanding the depths of the medieval papacy if you don’t even get how a gas nozzle knows when to stop pumping?  Educate yourself on the stuff that really matters people, and stat.

2. Comedy: ‘Emma Chamberlain’, ‘Jenna Marbles’, and ‘Chris Klemens’

If you walk out of your exam a little teary (been there, done that), watch one of these channels.  Jenna Marbles’ iconic ‘How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking’ is a must for all my fellow potatoes out there and her very handy ‘Drunk Makeup Tutorial’ should just be mandatory viewing before any day drinking situations.  Emma Chamberlain is my latest crush – even though I simultaneously actively hate her for being 16 (her parents let her drop out of high school to pursue Youtube, sigh) and effortlessly cool – because she’s perfected comedic editing with hilarious sound effects and brilliant self-deprecation.  She also has approximately 42 iced soya lattes a day, and by golly I can relate.  Chris Klemens just gets high a lot and films weird interviews with strangers on the street, you cannot go wrong…

3. Food: ‘How to Cake It’ and ‘Hellthy Junk Food’

The danger zone, because watching these from my duvet cocoon, Sainsbury’s a whole fifteen-minute walk away (plus the time it takes me to shower and be generally presentable for public viewing), gets me really hungry.  It’s worth it for Yolanda’s uber realistic cake recreations of sushi, winter hats, and pencils to name a few.  Couple goals JP and Julia recreate massive versions of junk food from their home kitchen: the best was a huge McDonald’s chicken nugget.  Dribbling.

4. US TV: ‘Carpool Karaoke’ and ‘Ellen Degeneres’

Without these two we wouldn’t have Adele killing Nicki Minaj’s ‘Monster’ whilst holding a mug of tea, James Corden’s realistic ‘Versace on the Floor’ (warning: contains explicit spanx references), and the Walmart Yodel Kid!!! Okay, maybe we could have done without that last one…

5. ‘Fail Army’

If you don’t laugh at other people falling over, we probably won’t be friends.