Most people in their spare time may use it to watch TV. They may eagerly look forward to the latest reality show watched by the masses or spend their weekends binge watching Game of Thrones. While I’ve always loved a TV show I am notoriously bad at catching up or even starting shows that interest me. Ask me about the Marvel Netflix series and I’m ashamed to say I’m yet to start any of them.
There’s a big distraction I’ve found in the way of my TV time, YouTube. It may be famous for cat videos and funny South Korean pop songs, but over the years I have found hours upon hours of fascinating entertainment on the website to the point where I watch it a lot more regularly than traditional television or even catch up apps like iPlayer. It may seem a bit like an alien concept to many but as YouTube shifted from a silly little website to an actual platform people have made a living off of, so too has the content on it. Find the right channel and I would argue the quality is just as good if not better than a lot of mainstream shows on air today. While others get excited for the next episode of that soap opera, I’m rushing home to watch a piece on that new movie news. While you’re binge watching that new hit US show, I’m playing the “one more episode” game with a video game play through.
Being such an endorser of the world of YouTube, I should show you all why I keep coming back to it. So, here are a few channels I watch on a regular basis, each basing their content on a specific topic, genre or interest. These aren’t the only channels I subscribe to, I could easily make another list of 10 I watch that many channels. I wanted to not only show the wide variety of stuff I tune into online, but also give the limelight to some channels who really go and above and beyond for what is a free service.
John Campea (movie news and opinion)
My number one source of movie news since leaving Collider, John’s channel is a great place to find all your movie news and reviews. Being in the UK and due to mainstream media’s lacklustre coverage of entertainment stories, I have learned of so many developments and updates on upcoming films thanks to this channel.
In addition to reporting on the latest news stories and reviews on the world of movies, John also does a weekday podcast aptly named The John Campea Podcast where he takes 30 to 40 minutes to answer fan questions. This is probably my favourite series in he Channel as I love hearing others’ opinions and it’s a great way to learn more about the film industry and how it all works when questions are raised on such.
Flabaliki (video game gameplay)
There was a whole host of video game players I could have picked for this list, but I ultimate decided with the soft spoken Aussie Flabaliki and his huge backlog of Let’s Plays. For those who don’t know ‘Let’s Plays’ were once all the rang in the YouTube gaming scene, a full walk through of a specific video game, usually with a fun personality playing and taking fan feedback along the way.
With a pretty old and weak laptop, I unfortunately am unable to play many PC games I would love to get my hands on like Cities Skylines, Planet Coaster and Prision Architect to name a few. This is where Flabs comes in and has hours upon hours of funny, great content as he plays through these simulation build-a-thon games – taking suggestions and advice from fans along the way. There’s something very relaxing from watching these Let’s Plays. Maybe it’s the idea of watching progression and seeing a city or theme park grow and evolve, or the easy going personality of the player. Either way all I know is his channel has been a great source of stress and anixtey relief for me over the past year.
Vox (News and current affairs analysis)
Taglined to “explain the news”, Vox is a marriage of beautiful infographics, professional reporters and trusted sources to give easily the best new related channel I have ever seen. While many news shows around the world will often gloss other specfic events and confuse their audience on what it means, Vox will take a new story and explain what it means and why it is important to the world.
If you enjoy having your finger on the pulse of US and world news, this is the channel for you. Their political world especially I find to be outstanding, breaking down policies and happenings into an understanding language everyone can understand. They also have some fascinating documentary-like pieces that discuss the odd and interesting in the world around us. More news channels need to follow this type of reporting.
MrSundayMovies (movie trivia and opinion)
I love a bit of movie trivia. I love watching a brand new Marvel trailer and speculating what all of it could mean, what hidden secrets are lurking in the preview and when the movie releases, doing it all again. MrSundayMovies made a name for himself with these type of videos, looking for all the Easter eggs and things you might have missed from your favourite films.
You’ll enter the channel for the trivia, but you’re going to stay for the humour. MrSundayMovies is one of the funniest channels out there and isn’t afraid to make fun of himself, the movies and the whole YouTube format. Whether he’s including fake sponsorships, trolling the audience with a mooning gnome or just going off on a parodiorical tangent, I’ve often found myself laughing out loud at some of his work. Especially when his pal and podcast co-host Nick Mason joins him to play video games. That stuff is comedy gold.
Top5s (Random interesting information)
One thing that has always fascinated me is the unknown. The creepy mysteries, strange sightings and of course, conspiracy theories. I may not believe in all of them but there’s something remarkably enjoyable about learning on these, hearing the arguements and what those who do believe say about it all.
I’m certainly not alone in this belief, as list channels seem to be all the range these days showcasing a number of facts, odd sightings, conspiracies or something else bizarre. There isn’t a channel I’ve found however that does this as well as Top5s.
Not only providing insight in some of the most interesting topics, from UFO sightings to dreams that inspired real events, the quality Level in these videos is outstanding and manage to appear professional, informative and entertaining no matter what the topic. Perhaps some of the best videos however is their standalone documentaries. Here a full video length is dedicated to a single topic allowing us to delve so much deeper into it. If you like to learn and have a curious mind, Top5s is a must watch.
BrightSunFilms (Disney Park and corporations history)
Some of you may already be aware of Jake and BrightSunFilms through his dedication and work in with Disney parks, but he is certainly one you want to check out for some fascinating history. His most popular series, Abandoned, takes a look at a place of company of yesteryear – be that a theme park, retail outlet, hotel chain etc – and gives a full history of its existence and inevitable downfall. As the name suggests, the series focuses on places and structures that after closing have since become abandoned and left to rot, a sad reminder of how things were and the hopes that didn’t come to fruition.
If you love Disney like me, you’re going to feel right at home as Jake has a number of videos related to the Mouse’s resorts and cancelled projects, such as Westcot, Disney’s America and Discovery Island. Just as interesting and entertaining however is the non-Disney content he produces. Maybe it’s because I have always enjoyed the world of business, but I love hearing about the history of old stores and chains that once dominated the US. Think how important these places once where and are now just empty shells of brick and mortar. It’s somewhat poetic in a Greek tradegy sort of way.
TheRedmenTV (football news and opinion)
Okay, this one is probably going to be attracted to the least number of readers, but bare with me. As the name may suggest to those clued in with their football, RedmenTV is a fan driven channel dedicated to all things Liverpool FC; my beloved team.
I’ve been following these guys for years now and honestly can’t imagine my sport route without checking in on them. Whether it’s a pre-match speculation show discussing who could be playing, the post match reaction chatting what went right (or wrong) in the 90 minutes or the fantastic opinion topics they sporadically put out, Paul and Chris’ channel is everything a Red could want throughout the entire football season. It’s also all done in that unmistakeable Scouse humour I love.
TheRealJims (The Simpsons analysis and theories)
The name may not suggest it, but TheRealJims is a must subscribe for anyone who loves the iconic yellow family that has entered our living rooms for nearly 30 years. In a very unique approach, Jims looks at classic Simpsons episode with an analytical eye, explaining what he felt was done right from a writing standpoint and why it works; something growing up I never gave much thought of. It really does make you look at the famous show a different way and appreciate the dedication and hard work those behind Homer and co. put into the series.
Perhaps the best of TheRealJims content however is Simpsons Mysterious, a semi serious, semi parody look at some of the unexplained in Springfield and attempt to answer it. Whether it’s determining what state the town really is in, or figuring out who was the real shooter of Mr Burns, you’re going to have a lot of fun being reminded of the classic episodes and jokes while thinking a little along the way.
TheJWittz (Pokemon trivia)
Not a lot of people know this, but I adore Pokemon. I grew up right in that sweet spot when Pokemania took over the world and everywhere you looked there was a Pikachu something. Lately – thanks mainly to last year’s Pokemon Go – I’ve been trying to get back into the series and see what I’ve missed all these years later. TheJWittz is a perfect place to start.
Made famous for his Pokemon fact videos and top 10s, Josh takes a look at some of the more interesting elements behind the games and anime. Whether it’s creepy mysteries that circulated back in the day, scrapped ideas that never saw the light day or crazy speculation that occurred due to poor translations, Pokemon fans will spend hours entertained, laughing and reminiscing of the old games we all played. Lately, JWittz has branched off to talk about all Nintendo content, and regularly live streams on Twitch if that’s your thing, but there’s a big enough back catalogue to keep the most hardcore of Pocket Monster fans happy.
DidYouKnowGaming (video game trivia)
Can you tell I like my video games? If there’s one thing I love as much as duking it out on Mass Effect or Uncharted, it’s learning about the creative process that went behind the games I adore. This is where DidYouKnowGaming excels, a channel fully dedicated to the random trivia many would never have a clue on about classic games of every generation.
There was a whole host of video game trivia channels I could have picked, it seems to be a pretty popular market, but DYKG is easily the highest quality, most entertaining of them all providing really informative and enjoyable content you’ll find hard to step away from.
What did you think of my list of some of my favourite channels? Have I tempted you to check any out or do you have your own you subscribe to? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and on Twitter!