I persevered and slogged through all the available premium videos to bring you a first-look at each of the YouTube Red original.
Earlier this month, YouTube released the first original shows and movies on its Netflix competitor, YouTube Red.
YouTube Red's pitch is that provides "premium," (relatively) big-budget content from your favorite YouTube stars. For that, you pay $9.99 per month, though you also get access to perks like ad-free YouTube.
YouTube Red technically delivers on this promise, it's just boring and irrelevant for anyone over the age of 13.
If you are the type of person who enjoys the high-quality dramas and comedies coming out of Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Amazon, and so on, you will not like YouTube Red. The only way I could imagine an adult truly falling for YouTube Red is as part of a strategy to bond with his or her kids over goofy videos. For the record, I think that's a completely valid reason to pay $9.99 a month.
But let's get into the content.
Here are the good things: the videos focus on YouTube creators (including PewDiePie), all of whom are undeniably talented at things like dancing, comedy, or even just being inspirational. The stars are good-natured and fundamentally kind, the type of people that might really help a kid battling with low self-esteem. And they certainly aren't vapid.
If you are an adult, however, these videos are a chore to watch. They are straight-to-DVD camp, where lines like, "Dance is about being on time, so that’s what I expect from you,” are par for the course.
Nevertheless, I persevered and slogged through all the available premium videos to bring you a first look at each of the YouTube Red originals.
Here they are:
"Dance Camp" is the age-old tale of boy who is "too cool for school" finding his passion. And his passion is, surprise, dance.
The movie is filled with very on-the-nose jokes and big slapstick. At the start, a random character falls over the chair inexplicably. "I'm okay, I'm okay." That's the whole joke.
At minute 17, the main character really dances for the first time, and it's admittedly very impressive. And if a mix between "Step Up 2: The Streets," "American Pie Presents Band Camp," and The Disney Channel sounds good to you, you might just love this movie.
Let's look at one scene:
Two people are dancing. Then someone says something like "trust me." Then they kiss. "That was ... awesome." They giggle. Shawn Mendes' "Stitches" plays.
If you don't know that song, you're definitely too old for this.
"A Trip to Unicorn Island"
This docu-movie opens with screaming fans of YouTuber Lilly Singh — aka Superwoman — and if you are one of them, you'll like it. Singh is a multi-talented vlogger trying to spread joy in the world, and the movie chronicles her world tour.
The issue is that much of the movie is people being interviewed about how insanely amazingly creatively artistically brilliant she is. We get it.
One of her goals is a great one: helping people out of depression. But the actual content of this movie is a pretty vanilla. It's like a behind-the-scenes band video with only a few minutes of real emotion.
"When my grandma died I watched her videos," one fan says, and that truly is powerful. But unless you already have a wealth of emotional connection to Singh to draw upon, you'll have trouble getting into the swing of this one.
"Lazer Team" is a movie about a pack of everymen saving the world from evil aliens. It's about the redemption of the semi-loser, but as a parody, it's simply not that funny.
If you think fireworks continually interrupting someone's speech and the word "froyo" are inherently funny on their own, this humor might be to your liking.
But this was the worst of the bunch, especially the special effects, which looked like a mediocre video game.
And now we get to PewDiePie, YouTube's blockbuster star and top earner. His new show stars him making his way through real-life versions of horror video games.
It's a mix of his usual video game shenanigans with shows like "Jackass" or "Punk'D," though it feels more "fake" than either. It's sort of like watching someone walk through a haunted house over and over.
The real problem with the show is that in live action it actually feels less fun than when he's playing video games. There's too much build up. But his Swedish charm still translates, and if you are a PewDiePie diehard, you'll enjoy it.