I watch a considerable number of commentary YouTubers. Some that I watch talk about specific topics and some just react to anything or will comment on a variety of things. I appreciate anyone who can get their point across well and do it in an entertaining, well-researched way. That’s why I spend a lot of time watching that kind of content, and that’s why I enjoy reading that kind of content in blog form too.
One YouTuber I watch is named Nick DiRamio, and he does a series called Clip Breakdown where he analyzes movies/TV shows/music videos and reacts to them and explains what they could do to be better. He’s very funny and smart, and I enjoy his commentary. Recently, he did videos on the music careers of Niki and Gabi De Martino (they’re twins and YouTubers, but you don’t need to know who they are. They’re not relevant to this post at all). Nick, with good reason, tore into Gabi’s messy music videos, but for Niki’s he prefaced his video by saying he overall liked her video style and her music, and throughout his commentary, he kept highlighting good things she did and how much he enjoyed them.
And for some reason, seeing a commentary YouTuber who has more positive things to say than negative took me by surprise. It got me thinking about the commentary genre. On YouTube specifically, since people are usually there for entertainment, it’s really easy to get cheap laughs by ragging on something objectively bad. It’s like why people purposely go watch bad movies because they can enjoy how bad it is.
I understand why these YouTube funny people do it because there’s literally an unlimited pile of bad/cringy things to make fun of, but I’m now wondering if there are lasting effects of this. Are people constantly looking for things to dislike or reasons to ruin a piece of media? Are people who do like things being made to feel bad for liking it? Are people unable to enjoy bad media? Are people becoming overall more negative because we’re used to everything being hated on?
In a similar sense, it’s like how in the news, there’s often a lot of bad news rather than good news. Obviously, that can’t be helped as much, but it is worth considering. How many people have built their careers off of being negative and tearing into things others made with (hopefully) love?
As a person on the internet, I’m thinking about my part in it too. I blog reviews on things sometimes, or I’ll Tweet out my thoughts on a movie, and while I won’t pretend that bad things are good just for the sake of it, I do think I’m overall mostly positive. Often when I talk about media, it’s things I love and want others to love too. Maybe I’d do more of the negative stuff if I was making bank from it the way YouTubers do, but who’s to say. To that point, I do think a lot of people who do this professionally do it because it works, algorithmically. But is it right? Let’s refer back to my lasting effects questions.
I’m not saying we should all stop watching things/YouTubers who are consistently negative or making fun of things, but I at least am being a little bit more conscious about how much of it I take in. And I’m also reminding myself that one person’s opinion doesn’t matter, and if some random adult on the internet says something I like (or liked, as often it’s children’s media that is getting torn apart) is bad, I don’t have to agree, nor do I have to explain why I don’t agree.
Do you have thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear them!