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Karina’s Favorites of 2007

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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.

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Next to Heaven

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.

Filipino Prison Thriller

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.”

Midwest Teen Sex Show

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 —’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.

Jake & Julia

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.

Hillary’s Sopranos Spoof

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?