Although they not be the “best” videos of the year, or even the most culturally significant, below are the videos [in no particular order] that I had the most fun watching and thinking/writing about for NewTeeVee in 2007.
Then: “I’ve watched about ten Next to Heaven episodes, and my favorite so far is probably episode 41, in which an ex-junkie describes replacing his addiction to heroin with an addiction to anti-drug education films –- particularly those narrated by Paul Newman.”
Now: In September, Rob Parrish’s series won the big prize at NewTeeVee’s NYC Pier Screening. That same month, Parrish wrapped up NtH‘s first, year-long season, with the promise of new episodes in 2008.
Then: “The sheer visceral experience of watching actual criminals enact some kind of zombie prison rape in homage to Western culture? That tops any experience I’ve had on YouTube…this week.”
Now: Still my favorite “accidental” hit video of 2007, and a common pick on other year-end Top Tens, this is one YouTube phenom that could have lasting repercussions –- as Craig Rubens learned back in August, the clip may stand as evidence “in an ongoing prisoner rights abuse case.”
Then: “I love Midwest Teen Sex Show…as a non-condescending, bona fide piece of sex education, MTSS is clearly on the cutting edge, of both online video and popular culture as a whole.”
Now: Not everyone is so enamored — Townhall.com’s Mary Graber, for example, has devoted two columns to slamming MTSS. But that kind of criticism makes me like it even more. Apparently I’m not alone; as of this writing, MTSS is #3 on iTunes’ Health/Sexuality podcast chart.
Then: “Practicing what she snarks against, [Julia] Allison seems to prioritize the gaze of the camera to that of her boyfriend. She’s far from clueless about the contradiction: all of that studying has taught her the importance of creating the conditions of celebrity all around her. It’s, like, a Horatio Alger story for our times.”
Now: Jake & Julia are, as of early December, no more. Jakob Lodwick infamously left/was fired from Vimeo, the site he co-founded; he is currently dropping hints about his next venture on his blog. Julia Allison is still posting clips at Vimeo, but disappointingly, she’s eased up on the professional/personal self-reflexivity. Her last video was about her dog.
Then: “I would never describe myself as a fan of Hillary Clinton, but I admit that I LOLed three or four times watching this clip. I still wouldn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton, but I might subscribe to her YouTube channel.”
Now: I don’t know if it’s the clips or the candidate, but I haven’t watched a Hillary video since. Have you?