YouTube Spotlight

Photo by Varun Gaba on Unsplash

Channels you will definitely want to check out
By Morgan Hannah, Contributor

Charlotte Dobre’s fun, high energy, and entertaining personality shines through and occasionally there’s a live meme-like cut-to a moment from a well-known tv show to emphasize a point or add some humour.

These days it seems as though everyone and their dog is either watching YouTube or creating on YouTube; after learning of the common feelings of burnout, insatiable demonetization, and low payout per view, I’m part of the latter group. If you are also a viewer rather than a creator, then have I got a list for you!

Let’s show a handful of my go-to self-made celebs some love with a YouTube Channel Spotlight:

Pro Home Cooks
This YouTube channel is new to me and really amazing! From the few videos I’ve watched, I’ve learned money-saving techniques for snacks and meal prepping as well as some fantastic recipes all while following the camaraderie of a group of boys as they become men. Eight years of video making and meal prepping, and the main character’s most recent videos are far more organized and informational, much like a cooking show on cable tv, and he even doles out simple relationship advice on the side.

A memorable video mention is “Never Buy These 5 Store-Bought Snacks Again!” In this video, our host guides us through the making of homemade gluten-free “Cheese-Its” Crackers, dairy-free Banana Chip Ice Cream, Dragon Fruit Roll-Ups, “Energy” Balls, and “Cheezy” Popcorn. While all of these recipes are supremely easy and don’t require a how-to video on how to make them, the video really is a nice nudge in the right direction for taking control of your snacking habits and your wallet. I mean, why do we spend anywhere from three to eight dollars on MSG-loaded crackers made in a facility that most likely introduces them to a handful of undesirable contaminants when we can make gourmet crackers at home in bulk for a much lower cost? I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of a three-ingredient fruit roll-up and saving tons of money on ice cream!

Highly entertaining and addicting, BE AMAZED is a channel that is self-described to deliver “[amazing and] interesting bite-sized documentary-styled videos.” And they’re correct for the most part! From Top 10 type videos to facts about amazing mysteries, if it’s amazing, they’ll make a video on it.

Most recently, I watched a video called “Strangest Last Meal Requests on Death Row”, which was exactly how it sounds: a Top 20 list of the weirdest or largest requests for final meals for convicted felons on death row. These requests ranged from thousand-dollar meals to a lump of dirt and were interesting enough to keep me watching until the end, as most of their videos do.

Similar channels such as The Fancy Banana claim to deliver binge-worthy entertainment and educational videos, such as “20 foods you’ll never buy again after knowing how they’re made.” While that title is certainly entertaining and click-bait, some of the “facts” aren’t entirely factual and/or are sometimes outdated. For example, the previously mentioned video on 20 foods that you’ll never eat again claims that a lot of ice cream is made with propylene glycol, which they say is antifreeze… like the stuff in your car. However, propylene glycol is found in a ton of edible things as it is a thickening agent and the base for vape fluids and other preservative contents and not what you find in your car. That is ethylene glycol, an extremely poisonous chemical. Though they sound similar and they are related they’re still different.

So, as with most things, when watching YouTube channels such as BE AMAZED and The Fancy Banana, make sure you take what they’re serving with a grain of salt. It’s simply meant to entertain after all.

Charlotte Dobre
If you love TikTok, drama, reaction videos, and all things petty, then you’ll love Charlotte Dobre. I’m not a fan of any of those things but somehow stumbled across her videos and stayed for her personality, the tv show cut-to style, and the giggles.

Basically, Dobre’s content is compilation videos of her reacting to a particular topic, such as “Caught Cheating”, “You’re Not Ready for the Petty”, “Am I the Asshole”, and “Bridezilla Ruins Wedding.” Her fun, high energy, and entertaining personality shines through and occasionally there’s a live meme-like cut-to a moment from a well-known tv show to emphasize a point or add some humour. Charlotte provides a lot more content than just the aforementioned humour too, as she has admitted to feeling the pressures to keep creating constant content and keeping things fresh.

An aspect that I thoroughly enjoy about Charlotte’s content is her realism and humanizing aspect; unlike most self-made YouTube celebs, Charlotte isn’t trying to fool anyone with an ultra-glossy perfect image, instead, she highlights moments such as accidentally spitting when laughing, burping, loud seagull-like laughs, hissing, and furniture farts—there’s a recurring segment about her desk chair making foul fart-like noises.

If you’re a fan of the strange, dark, and mysterious delivered in story format, then MrBallen is the right YouTube channel for you! He has the ultimate storytime voice and a wide variety of entertaining and creepy videos to keep you on the edge of your seat… or more accurately, curled up in your bed and praying the ghosts and murderers stay away.

Former Navy Seal, John Allen now tells creepy and mysterious stories ranging from historical legends and last-minute decisions to stranger than fiction, unsolved mysteries, backstories to disturbing photos, and missing 411. He tells all and leaves out no details, and if you’re in a crunch for time, MrBallen Shorts are the condensed versions of his dark stories so there’s no excuse to not catch up on all the disappearances, paranormal activity, and crime stories he has to deliver.

Viva La Dirt League
A bunch of New Zealand nerds who play games and make comedy sketches about games make for an entertaining and highly successful bunch! Since 2011, Viva La Dirt League has been pumping out great videos such as Bad Therapist, D&D Logic, Dirty Gaming, Supercuts, Baelin’s Route, and Wildcard. If you’ve ever played a sandbox game like Oblivion, Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto, then you’ll love Viva La Dirt League’s content. Oftentimes they’ll portray the perspective of a bot or a built-in/background character gaining sentience or personality.

Recently, the boys behind Viva La Dirt League created a Kickstarter page to raise money for a filming studio in Auckland, New Zealand as well as to fund new shows, updated shows, a greenscreen set, a D&D set and much more; they have been so successful and popular with their content and online reach that they’ve raised over two million dollars!
So if you’re a nerd or into comedy and nerdy stuff, I highly recommend Viva La Dirt League.