17 December 2017 | clarkn-nc2
"I don't know any of these people!"
Ah, Rewind. You were once an amazing end-of-year event, celebrating the people, the memes and the trends of the year, letting us reminisce about what we liked, didn't like, and tolerated throughout.
YouTube in 2017 was a mess. Unfair demonetisation, Vine stars taking over, and countless bugs and glitches, that YouTube simply said "oops!" to and ignored afterward. With people such as RiceGum, Jake+Logan Paul as well as many other 'influencers' taking their rise to fame via fidget spinners and red-hot knifes, it was a foregone conclusion that Rewind 2017 was destined to be an equally messy production.
The video starts off with world famous YouTuber-- I mean, talk show host(?) Stephen Colbert introducing the video. I get it. Talk show hosts have a huge following on YouTube, and it kind of made sense that an announcer should announce the big video. But... this is YOUTUBE Rewind. Shouldn't a YOUTUBER introduce it? How about Keemstar? Scarce? People who are known for announcing events. Ah no, they weren't included because YouTube doesn't like them. Too controversial.
"Here we have two very special guests" - one is an admittedly massive YouTuber who I've never heard of, and the other is an ex-Vine star. Not 30 seconds in and already we get a taste of what's to come.
Following this poor introduction are several people who I have never seen in my life. And sure, getting more unknown YouTubers involved with the production is cool... but when you have so many people to squeeze in, it squeezes other people out. Huge influencers like Markiplier, TomSka and Casey Neistat get <1 second of screen time, while Team 10, arguably the most hated and controversial group of people on the internet right now, get their own entire segment.
Moving on shows the same deal - more unknown, bland, 'advertiser-friendly' faces show up, trying to warm the hearts of thousands with a dedication to the Houston floods...? Ok...
The editing is arguably the biggest mess in this video. The reason people are getting less than a second of screen time is not only because of the sheer amount of faces involved, but because the average shot length is around half a second. That paired with high framerate cameras and 'speed-up-slow-down' shots laden throughout the video makes the entire viewing experience jarring and not enjoyable.
The music choices are... odd. Sure, Despacito deserves its spot at the beginning of the video - the only video on YouTube to surpass 4 billion views, especially in less than a year, should be front and center. Then it's quickly forgotten about to incorporate a Shooting Stars reference. Twice. Then Smash Mouth - All Star. Why? I love All Star, but it shows how much of a mess this video is - forcing in an old meme from pre-2016.
Speaking of forced memes, there's a huge sequence with gravestones (obviously referencing Taylor Swift's single), with the names of old memes on the stones. This is cool... but again, why is it there? We get it, planking is an old meme. Woo, the Harlem Shake was a thing, remember that guys? So why bring it up over 4 years later? What's the context? And fidget spinners. Of course they were going to make it in, it would be surprising not to see them. But having them take up a good 10% of the total run time? Once again, why?
Overall, YouTube made the mistake of thinking bigger is better. Look at Rewind 2012 and you'll see that that's not always the case. Forcing in hundreds of YouTubers for literally milliseconds of screen time is a waste. In 2012, a large segment of the video had 4 people in a dance battle. In 2017 there are about 20 flying in space, so small you can barely tell who they are without pausing the video and taking a good long look. Take out the YouTubers who quit (KSI), take out the faces no one recognises, take out 80% of the fidget spinner scenes, give the bigger YouTubers (Vanoss, Markiplier, Casey Neistat) their deserved screen time and you've got a video that isn't a 1.4/10. I'd say remove the Paul brothers, but what can you do? They have 20 million combined subscribers. On that note, where was Nigahiga...?
Lastly, the animators. It was a really nice surprise to see them. What wasn't nice was shoving them to the very end of the video, and apparently not paying them for hours of work. Nice job guys...
I didn't have high hopes for this Rewind at all, and still I was disappointed. 2013 was a masterpiece, and 2018 should learn from it. Slower paced editing, a cleverer integration of trends, and less punchable faces.
4/10. Worst one yet. Worse than 2011.