It’s been a while since I’ve shamelessly fawned over things I’m loving on YouTube. In fact, I haven’t written a post about anything I’m watching (aside from drunk movie mondays, of course) since How to Train Your Dragon 2, and my last online video round-up was in 2013. Yikes. Well, let’s talk about some things you should probably be watching.
1. The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy
Do you like cute things? Do you like things that are so cute they make you want to barf puppies??? Then this is probably your new favorite webseries. In the style of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy is a vlog adaptation of Peter Pan, following the lives of Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, (Tiger)Lily, and Tink as their relationships grow and change in the small midwest town of Neverland. You can’t question the world-building too hard, but frankly the actors are all so adorable and they commit to their characters so hard that it doesn’t really matter. Peter and Wendy are SUPER CUTE, and Michael’s goofy screw-up characterization plays perfectly off John’s buttoned-up neat-freak, and Tink is SUPER EVIL like she was meant to be. The show is currently on hiatus, with a big announcement supposedly coming soon–which for some reason has necessitated making all of the episodes private? Thus the lack of a link here. When it goes back online, I promise to edit this post with an actual link. XD
Update: Season 1 is back online! Season 2 premiers June 12th.
In the same vein as P&W, we have Carmilla, a vlog-style adaptation of the novella of the same name by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Carmilla is considerably lower budget than either P&W or The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, but what it lacks in special effects it more than makes up with sheer creative directing. Most of the episodes are one-shots, and I don’t want to know how many takes each one cost them, but the end result is a show that’s polished, fast-paced and incredibly entertaining. Plus, lesbian vampires everywhere. What’s not to love about a gothic horror romance set in a college dorm room?
3. How to Adult
You know how you’re still actually a child, but somewhere along the line people started mistaking you for an adult and making you make adult decisions and trusting you with things like taxes and cooking and maintaining a house? This web series is here to help, and it is so helpful oh my god. How to Adult breaks down every day things that no one bothered to teach you, and it does it with charm, wit, and not even a drop of condescension. The home page is even helpfully sorted into categories! Adulting is way easier with a how-to manual.
4. Healthcare Triage
You know how everyone is always shouting on facebook about toxins and Obamacare and vaccines and no one seems to be able to agree on anything and it can sometimes be really difficult to figure out what the hell is going on? Well, if you want the cold, hard facts, Healthcare Triage can help. Written and performed by Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics and Assistant Dean at Indiana University School of Medicine, Healthcare Triage is doggedly focused on the data. You won’t get any speculation or emotionally charged rhetoric here. It’s literally just detailed breakdowns of what the research has to say about any given medical debate. The show covers topics as varied as fad diets and signing up for health insurance under the ACA, and they do a regular “news” show where they weigh in on whatever crisis people are currently freaking out about. Heathcare Triage is a breath of data-driven fresh air.
5. The Trail to Oregon
To end on a fun note, we have the always entertaining Starkid Productions, the team that brought us the Very Potter Musical and Twisted. Their most recent production was significantly scaled-back and came out with very little hype, which almost made me miss it, but I am so glad that I didn’t. Trail to Oregon plays on all the things that we use to love (read: make fun of) about the video game by the same title, with a heavy dose of insight and potty humor to round out the mix. There’s even a heavy audience participation section, where the theater audience chooses the characters’ names and then chooses which character dies of dysentery (while singing a death aria that had me literally cackling alone in my bedroom). If you’ve got a couple hours, this is a musical well worth watching.
“Grandpa, you’re gunna make our pioneers think it’s a good idea to name our characters stupid things.” –The Trail to Oregon