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Whenever I finish watching a TV show I love to cleanse my palette with a YouTube binge. I’m an absolute sucker for video essays. Video essays in short are just what they sound like: a video where someone makes an argument or expands on a topic. These can range from topics such as politics, history, media criticism, abandoned theme parks, and tiktok trends. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite video essays from some of my favorite channels. I highly recommend not only watching these, but watching other videos from these creators as well. 

THE Vampire Diaries Video by Jenny Nicholson

Jenny Nicholson is absolutely one of my comfort creators. With a run time longer than some of the Harry Potter movies, this video gets into all the nuances of The Vampire Diaries show. As someone who only has seen about half a season of The Vampire Diaries, this video is still incredibly entertaining. If you’re into media criticism (especially Star Wars) you need to check out Jenny Nicholson.

Envy by Contrapoints

If you’re looking for a more academic creator I absolutely idolize Natalie Wynn. More commonly known as Contrapoints, she creates videos on everything from the concept of cringe to the controversy surrounding J.K Rowling. Her videos are all extremely well produced mini-movies. Envy is one of her longer videos but does an amazing job of making academic philosophy accessible and fun. Her set and costume alone is a reason to watch. 

Stalking for Love by Pop Culture Detective

Pop Culture Detective is a channel I have not watched all the content from but still deeply enjoy. Their series on misogyny in nostalgic media is a great watch for anyone interested in feminist media critism. Stalking for Love examines a very interesting trope in media where stalking is displayed as quirky and innocent. Their videos have really opened my eyes to toxic media tropes that still permeate our entertainment. 

Tumblr’s Failed Convention by Sarah Z

If you were ever on fandom Tumblr in your teen years, you need to watch Sarah Z. Sarah takes all the deep internet lore you forgot you knew and reminds you how insane having internet access as a teen was. If you’ve forgotten about the notorious DashCon or just want to understand the references when someone mentions them, this video has all the info. 

Normalizing Rough Sex & Kink by Jordan Theresa 

Jordan Theresa is a new find of mine but I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve watched from her so far. She talks mainly about feminism and media. Her video on the parels of normalizing kink did an amazing job of expanding on a subject I had opinions on but wanted to hear more about. If you’re active on apps like TikTok this video brings to light an issue you didn’t even realize was happening. 

Next time you’re looking for something to watch or just listen to, try out a video essay! You’ll learn something new or just get to hear someone talk about a topic you love. 

Julia is a freshman English major at Lasell. She enjoys reading, writing, exploring nature, and spending time with her family. Most nights you can find her in bed watching Keira Knightley movies.
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