5 Videos I Like to Watch Again and Again on YouTube
More often I’m watching YouTube videos than I am watching television shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBO, or other streaming platforms. (Although, I do still make time for Game of Thrones and The Newsroom). When I was younger, I did enjoy following shows for the character developments and the plots, but a lot of the time these days I just prefer the variety, the frequency, and also the (relative) brevity of content on YouTube. Plus, I am a fan of the egalitarian nature of YouTube, how there’s something for everyone and also something by everyone, so I tend to visit that platform more than the others.
Of course, YouTube doesn’t have the same level of curation or the same kind of barrier to entry that Netflix or Hulu may have, which can sometimes lead to clicking on a questionable video. Or many questionable videos.
Still, there are a lot of gems out there and below I’ve listed a few that I enjoyed so much that I’ve watched the videos multiple times. Each watch-through, I pick up new details or I learn something new or I think of a specific topic in a new light.
These aren’t my only favorites (there are several more!) but here’s just a taste, in no particular order:
- How a melancholy egg yolk conquered Japan
“Gudetama’s cute looks aren’t the driving force of its popularity. Its main attraction is its lazy personality.”
“So at a time of confusion and turmoil all around the world, maybe this is just what we need: an egg yolk with a little bum that’s just done dealing with life.”
Gudetama’s lazy nature resonates with me, which is undoubtedly the main reason I first watched this video. What keeps bringing me back, however, is how Vox really tries to break down why Gudetama has become so popular. They explore the cute character not just in terms of marketing, but also in context with other characters and trends that are popular in Japan today, as well as in juxtaposition with historical and cultural events that have influenced the behaviors, personalities, and stances of Japanese society. This video reminds me to be more conscientious with trends, to look at them at face value, yes, but also to consider what other forces there might be that contribute to their popularity and ubiquity.
2. NICK JONAS — Bacon | Kyle Hanagami Choreography
“Aw shit! Throw some bacon on it!”
I’ve watched this video multiple times for multiple reasons. First off, Kyle Hanagami’s choreography is fun and dynamic and makes good use of the space. Second, Kyle Hanagami features a bunch of strong dancers in the video with him, including Haley Fitzgerald, whose presence and movement quality I admire and aspire to as a dancer. Third, the featured song is about bacon!!! Seriously, what a combo!
I really enjoy this video because it focuses on the choreography and the dancers, with no frivolous editing or sets — just purely the movement to the music. Plus, the choreography shows that while urban dance should definitely be perceived as an art form, that doesn’t mean one can’t still have fun and be cheeky with it.
3. history of japan
“How ‘bout I do anyway?”
This video is a very abridged history of Japan, done in an unconventional way that is at once captivating, humorous, educational, accessible, and WTF-inducing. It’s difficult to explain its appeal so you’ll just have to watch it! (And if you still don’t get the appeal, that’s fine, too.)
4. My 5-Minute Magic Routine #UnicornMoment Ep. 6
“You being you is what makes you gorgeous.”
Oon Shu An is a television actress from Singapore, who also hosts a web show about trying and testing beauty products. In this video, while she does her makeup, she explores her journey with beauty and touches on societal rules such as how looking good and put together in a certain way — even though that way may not suit you or feel natural to you — can lead to people taking you more seriously and therefore can make you more successful. Oon Shu An also talks about how society will always push ideas of what beauty is but we shouldn’t let those ideas dictate everything. It’s difficult to do, and insecurities may bubble up, but it’s a wonderful process to figure out for ourselves what beauty means to us.
I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability she shared in the video, especially coming from someone in an industry where image and visuals play a significant role.
5. Satoshi Kon — Editing Space & Time
“Kon’s work was about the interaction between dreams, memories, nightmares, movies, and life. Matching images was how he linked the different worlds.”
“Kon felt that we each experience space, time, reality, and fantasy at the same time as individuals and also collectively as a society. His [film] style was an attempt to depict this in images and sound.”
Tony from Every Frame a Painting analyzes film form and in this particular video, he dissects the work of the late animated film director Satoshi Kon and his influence on live action directors. Between scenes from Kon’s popular films, Tony talks about how stylized and dramatic and deliberate the director’s edits are with regards to time and space, so much so that the audience is always wondering how to process and absorb the information. It’s incredibly trippy, and I’m no film buff but it made me want to watch movies and see if I could recognize the types of scene cuts that were mentioned.
The video is also great tribute to the director and I especially love that it concludes with Kon’s last film Ohayo, which so accurately captures what it feels like when one is first waking up.
Usually I go on YouTube to watch new (or new to me) content, but sometimes it’s comforting to go back and watch videos that I already know I’m going to like. The handful above most certainly belong on my go-to list. Hopefully others can learn something from them or at least derive some joy while watching them, as I do!
What are your favorite YouTube videos? Link them to me on Twitter!