I have a not- so- guilty pleasure of watching Youtube channels probably just as frequently, if not more, than I watch TV. A year or two ago, I found Shane Dawson, who is very well known if you watch Youtube. He is funny and honest, and I will drop anything to watch his videos when they come out. If you don't know much about Shane, his recent "style" has been coming out with documentary-type series, releasing videos about twice a week that last around 45 minutes long each. The series usually focus on learning about a well-known Youtuber- asking them questions, spending a day in the life "as them" and diving deep into their Youtube channels.
His most recent series "The Mind of Jake Paul" follows the career and life of Jake Paul, who if you have not heard of, is a 21 year old millionaire with a reputation surrounding around many controversies (including with his brother, another YouTuber, Logan Paul). I was excited to watch it because, of course, I love anything Shane comes out with. I was very interested to see the direction of the series because I don't know much about Jake Paul, but what I did know about him was not necessarily good things.
Part 1: One of my roommates is also a huge fan of Shane, so as soon as we were both done classes, we hopped into our Shane merch, raced to the TV and watched the first video. This first video focuses on the question, "Do you think Jake Paul is a sociopath?" Now, with this video I honestly thought "YES." Seeing the video clips from his channel of his crazy pranks and hearing more about his media reputation and controversies got me to be more and more convinced.
Part 2: In this part, Shane talks to a therapist about sociopaths and asks her questions to dive deeper into the "dark side" of Jake. She compared some sociopathic tendencies to what Jake Paul and other YouTubers seem to emulate. Even though some of them were fascinating and made sense, I feel like some of the examples were a little coincidental. I was curious to see what they discover in the future videos. My favorite part was when Shane met a fan in the street and asked her about the issue. He always finds the best ways to add comedic relief to his more serious toned videos.
Part 3: I am glad that Shane added the disclaimer at the beginning of the video so that people would not take his videos the wrong way. Anyone who watches Shane frequently knows that he was not trying to make fun of mental illness by talking about sociopaths in a negative way. I found it sad that so many people took this too literally and thought Shane was trying to be offensive, because he wouldn't do that, especially as an advocate for mental illness himself. After the disclaimer, Shane watches some of Jake's videos and his family's videos to see what he could discover. One realization was that both his parents are involved on YouTube and use clickbait to get views based on their sons. This makes Shane wonder about Jake's upbringing and childhood. I definitely thought his dad's strange appearances and nonchalant reactions to Jake's crazy actions was a little concerning. As a human development major, I know a lot about how parents and environment affect development of a child. I'm kind of curious after watching the complete series about Jake's dad and his thoughts on the series. And the end touches on Logan Paul's response to the series, makes me think that Logan is more of the issue than Jake is.
Part 4: Shane talks to Nick Crompton, a former member of Team 10 (Jake's coworkers and roommates that are all young YouTubers, dancers, models, singers, etc.) I found myself trusting Nick's explanations of everything because he seemed to be mature and tell the truth. He still admitted that Jake Paul was inappropriate and made mistakes at times, but that he was not intentionally hurting people in the Team 10 household as badly as people were saying. I thought it was interesting how many truths he spilled over the fact that several of the pranks were fake and the reason for people leaving Team 10 were skewed. Nick's confirmations made me slowly get out of the sociopath idea, but I was excited to hear Jake's thoughts and stories on everything to see if they matched up.
Part 5: I loved this part of the series because it was definitely more light hearted and the usual Shane comedy. And we finally get to hear Jake and the current Team 10's opinions. First of all, no wonder Jake is having issues; he is far from living the normal teenage/young adult life. His house is ginormous, he lives with so many other people that are in the same boat, and he does all these crazy things on a daily basis because he has the money to do so. It was funny to see Shane, someone who uses self deprecating humor all the time about his career, to react to the unbelievable house and interact with the Team 10 members. At this point, I definitely think that Jake is not a sociopath - despite his extravagant life, I think that his actions on camera are mainly to make money and that he is a genuine person who just isn't living the "normal" life someone his age is.
Part 6: This was my favorite video out of the series, because I loved seeing Shane follow Jake and Erika around. The Walmart trip, the fan that helped start the car, and the "carpool karaoke" all were great. It was also interesting to hear Shane's one on one conversation with Erika. I agree with Shane that Jake should probably take a break from living with so many people in a giant house with his dad. Erika seems like she is very understanding and is good at keeping Jake in line after everything that went down and making him take a vacation after his training for the fight and all the drama. Also we gotta love the ending where Shane gets to meet Justin Roberts, a member of Team 10.
Part 7: This part of the series was not my favorite. Shane interviews Alissa Violet, Jake's so called "ex-girlfriend" (which Alissa says was fake, but Jake says was on and off again...still confused about that). I was a little conflicted by what Alissa talked about. I personally think that she was partly keeping in the truth, but I do think what she said was good to let out there, especially clearing up that Jake was never a physical assaulter.
Part 8 Finale: An 1 hour and 45 minutes of Shane Dawson...I was so excited. There is a lot covered in this video, which was mostly a sit down 1:1 with Jake. The situation Jake was put into by Alissa and his brother Logan was awful. Honestly, even though we heard Alissa's side of things, I think that Jake's side of the story sounds more realistic. It just confirmed to me that Logan contributes a lot to Jake's reputation. The video about Jake's assistant being assaulted was another issue talked about. I don't know too much about the background for this, but I think that it was good he admitted to using the topic in a video and using it partly for views. One of the most interesting things I heard about in this video was Jake explaining the effects of Logan Paul's suicide forest scandal on him. Because they are brothers, they often are associated with each other's actions. This affected his business and his reputation as much as it did to Logan. Believe me, I still think Jake Paul can be a stupid guy, but I do think that it stinks that he gets tied to Logan's mistakes in addition to his own because it doubles the controversial actions he has done and that young kids are watching. I am glad that Shane gave words of wisdom to Jake about his career as a more experienced YouTuber and did give him tough love about his mistakes in the past. I do not think Jake is a sociopath; I just think he has made stupid mistakes and has had to face other people's stupid mistakes he was involved in. I also think that he has used his channel to promote things purely to better himself and upped his personality for videos, which is why Shane and the therapist could find examples of sociopathic tendencies. I'm now curious to see what Jake does from now on and what people are saying about the series as a whole.
Props to Shane (and everyone involved) for producing and editing so much film for such a risky series. If anyone out there has watched his series and know anything about these videos, maybe you can relate to my thoughts throughout the series. If not, I suggest that you watch these videos if you have ever heard of either Shane or Jake to get the full scoop because they are honestly pretty fascinating. Who knows what Shane will come out with next! Also, if you want to see Shane Dawson's humorous and behind the scenes recap on the series, check out his interview with The Hollywood Fix.