Category Archives: YouTube Watch

YouTube Watch: The dogs who stole Christmas

Dog Vs Wild Turkey There’s never a real sense of danger in this video. For one thing the poodle – yapping away and bounding about – clearly just wants to play. The turkey could defend itself if it wanted to, its beak-jabs make that clear. You forget (especially just after eating one) what imperious, silly creatures they are. Those enormous frills! That neck! Note how the dog has tried to blend in with a similarly garish collar. A nice touch.  2/5

Dog Eats Christmas Tree Here at YouTube Watch we have mixed feelings about embedded captions. On the one hand they can offer a lively commentary on the goings-on. On the other they can point out things you might not have noticed. The “This is the horrible part XD” speech bubble that appears a few seconds into this excursion is clearly meant as the latter. But even then the action – disrupted by a catastrophic camera shake – isn’t clear. What has, or hasn’t, the dog eaten? We may never know. 1/5

Pearls Christmas This is more like it. When the video begins Pearl is sat devouring a candy cane – a symbolic item that’s both decorative and tasty. In a very real sense Pearl is ingesting Christmas itself. She has the loveliest long muzzle and is a joy to watch. But everything that this video gains from its falling snow graphics it loses from its misleading description, which claims that the candy canes were stolen. We see Pearl both taunted and wilfully rewarded with these festive shibboleths. 3/5

bulldog stealing christmas presents Right, HERE’s the drama. And what drama! And so much noise! They’re right to warn us not to watch with the volume all the way up. It’s pandemonium. And that’s the thrust of this post: for Christmas to be successful it needs to tread a fine line between control and debauchery. A dog is the random element that tips the scale towards chaos. And all the better for it. 4/10

Dog Robs Store for Bone On Christmas(Dog Steals a Bone) Well this has been doing the rounds for a while. And rightly so. Allow CNN’s cheesy “Dog’s Eye View” camera reconstruction, the meat here is the genuine CCTV footage of a fearless, optimistic dog marching into a store and boldly taking what’s rightfully hers. Merry Christmas x 5/5

YouTube Watch: Separating Eggs

The white and the yolk. They belong together, don’t they. Well not if you’re making a pâte sucrée with a meringue on top they don’t. But who dares tear them apart? I’ve checked out the best instructional videos…

How To Separate Egg Whites Our selection opens with some no-nonsense tips backed by some ominous jazz-grill background music. Don’t go driving shell fragments into the white. Keep the bowl to hand. It’s all good stuff, so let’s not be disheartened to see that the bowl looks like something surgeons would plop your organs into during an operation. The method here is Floating Yolk, Dripping White, and everything’s presented beautifully. 4/5

How to Separate Egg Whites and Egg Yokes Short and to the point, with the same ‘to me, to you’ half-shell pass in play. So what’s new? The musical intro is a bit more dramatic, and the presenter beckons us to the close-up coquettishly. But what’s that typo in the title? YOKES. It says more than it knows. Are the yolk and the white pressed into service together like oxen? Do they secretly long to be free? Practicality takes over and we have to cast such thoughts aside. 3/5

The Egg White is Separating from the Yolk Who’s this, then? Yes, it’s Almine De Villiers, The Rt. Hon. Countess of Shannon, and she’s got some inspiring thoughts to share with us. Like an egg, society has LITERALLY split into two different realities we hear – that of those who are awake and that of those who are asleep. And quite right too! Imagine if dreams and the waking world crossed over! We’ve all seen THOSE films. No, hang on, it turns out she doesn’t literally mean ‘asleep’, she literally means ‘asleep’ figuratively – it’s all about spirituality of course. A highlight is when she describes all the unenlightened people she sees in the street as ‘retarded’ and ‘drooling’. At the end she says she hopes no-one was offended. But still, we can’t allow this eggless ramble. I’ll do the badly thought-out metaphors round here thanks.  1/5

How I separate egg whites. Back to the kitchen, but oh what a spooky one. A darkened, cropped frame reveals whites and yolks all in a bowl together already. “I just play around with them,” says a deep, cracked voice, occasionally breaking off to cough. A spoon teases the yolks up and down towards the camera. It’s like Saw. “Sometimes you can’t get the white out of it, or your hand trembles…” our narrator adds. “Just move on to another one.” There’s some talk about protein and biological value while the spoon gestures violently away. Finally, suddenly, it stabs down repeatedly, mingling all the white and yellow in the bowl together whether they like it or not. The Blair Witch of instructional videos. 2/10

如何巧妙分离蛋清蛋黄 very cool way to separate yolk from egg white
And here we are. The miracle method. I saw this today thanks to Michael. It’s so simple. So sensual. They say nature abhors a vacuum – well this is proof that an egg yolk doesn’t. It fucking loves it. You hardly need any more words from me – just watch it – but look at how, after being separated in the most elegant and perfect way possible, the egg and yolk are soon reunited – separate but together. Perhaps that’s all they ever wanted  5/5

YouTube Watch: Starfish vs Scallop

Nature’s great conflicts. The lion, bearing a bloodied baby giraffe to the ground. The crocodile, lurching out of muddy waters to trap a zebra in its jaws. And while not all these events are accessible to the amateur video-maker, there’s one terrfiying predator who’s all over YouTube. Step forward – however it is that they do that – the starfish.

Scallop vs. Sea Star The tension is unbearable. Well it would be if the soundtrack weren’t stuffed with chatter and giggling. Still, GAWP as the starfish rests its sinister arm on the scallop’s lid. TREMBLE as it slowly pulls open the shell a bit. GASP as the scallop slams shut. Yes I know. Bear with me. 1/5

Freaking a scallop with a starfish Ooh, actual natural habitat footage. Clumsily staged natural habitat footage, but still. A fat-looking starfish is placed atop a weary scallop. The starfish doesn’t seem bothered – maybe it had already eaten – but the scallop senses the danger, giving us the first glimpse of one of their daring escapes. It’s over in an eyeblink. The international divers’ sign-language for ‘OK’ that we see at the end really does just mean ‘OK’.  2/5

Scallop Escape First off, Scallop Escape needs to be a Saturday teatime BBC gameshow at the earliest opportunity. It’s the Don’t Scare The Hare slot I’ve got my eye on. This video already has a whiff of Saturday night telly about it, with its overbearing blast of O Fortuna, while that friendly little shrimp that keeps bobbing up would make a great sassy puppet sidekick to, say, Liza Tarbuck. Anyway, the clip itself is great; snappily edited with a sense of flair and menace. The dramatic  rebuffs of the scallop! The slump of the starfish! The explosive pockets of cloudy mud! It’s a winner.  5/10

Scallop / Kammussla So peaceful, this one. And so short. A vividly coloured scallop isn’t taking any shit at all and gets straight out of the way, grinning all over its shell as it claps away to freedom. Sure, the embrace of the starfish looks friendly, but a savvy mollusc knows it leads to your new friend ejecting their own stomach, forcing it into your little gap and digesting you with its horrible juices before it’s even eaten you. Never trust anyone whose mouth is adjacent to their anus.  4/5

Starfish VS. Scallop The indignity. This clip opens with a lengthy section in which the mighty predator is held helplessly in someone’s hand outside the water, the modesty of its naked body protected only by a few small pebbles. Then after a short, uninformative Q & A it’s back into the tank for a bit of scallop-scaring. This mollusc’s escape is the most pleasing yet, as it lurches defiantly from side to side before galloping off. But what have we learned from all this? Who are we supposed to identify with? The plucky scallop, off like the clappers at the first sign of trouble? The rapacious starfish, who seems always to have the excuse that someone else made him do it? Or the human hands, goading these gentle creatures into early deaths? My sympathies are firmly with the scallops. Remind me of that next time I eat one.  3/5

YouTube Watch: Dogs who tilt their heads

I’m picking my way through the best and worst of YouTube’s most popular genres so you don’t have to. This time, I’ve looked at the elusive art of filming the doggy head-tilt…

My dog Sam tilts his head – Dog head tilt video – SUPER CUTE! You can see all the challenges of the genre in this introductory video. There’s a balance to be struck between piquing a dog’s interest enough to initiate a tilt and getting it so excited that it starts running around. The signs are good as this video opens with an adorable mutt in the almost existential arena of a large bare room with a sandy carpet, but some basic mistakes are made. And by the end the lure of licking its own arse wins out over all other considerations. 2/10

The Pug Head Tilt With 4.3 million views and an As Seen On TV! endorsement this is YouTube’s most viewed canine tilt video. “For a ride, for a walk, or to bed?” This doggy Daddy Or Chips conundrum is the catalyst for a trio of cricked pug necks. Nicely framed on an attractive rug with excellent taunting, you can see why it’s become so popular. I like the closing zoom on the last dog, who it seems didn’t care about any of the mooted activities and was enjoying head-swivelling for its own sake. 4/10

How to make your dog tilt their head Oh no, no, no. This isn’t what we’re looking for at all. “Scratch their ear and they will tilt their head in that direction.” Show, don’t tell! And despite repeated attempts the poor confused dog is more interested in licking her owner’s arm than anything else — there’s hardly a decent tilt to be seen. Soundtracking this farrago with Eminem talking about one shot and one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment just adds insult to injury. 1/5

Shiloh’s Birthday? Dog head tilt Sledding – Fan Friday #26 At six and a half minutes this is a video for hardcore tilt fans only. So is it worth picking through? Well, it’s enlivened with occasional crash zooms for a start, and you’re guaranteed dramatic muzzle angles with a long-faced dog. A Q&A from viewers plays throughout, the highlight of which is the very ambivalent look from the dog on the sofa when they discuss the possibility of turning its fur into yarn. 3/10

聞いてるんだよ (I’ve Been Listening, according to Google Translate)

It takes some serious trawling to find this one, readers. No English search tags at all. But that’s why I’m* here for you! (*Actually @baradar85 found it for us.) So, abandoning any pretext of subjective opinion, this is clearly the loveliest and most watchable dog tilting its head on YouTube or anywhere else. The most alert and loving of faces. The most pleasing of tilt angles in quick, regular succession. The gentlest of coaxing voices. And if you watch right to the end — a lovely little yelp. 5/5

YouTube Watch: Lookalike make-up tutorials

There are scores of tutorials on YouTube showing you how to ‘get the look’ of your favourite celebrity or fictional character. Everyone from Fern Britton to Ed Sheeran is there! Actually, no, I couldn’t find either of those. But here are the best of the rest:

How to look like Drake ?! A Make-up Transformation Very relaxing to watch, and very efficiently done. There’s nothing not to love about a drawn-on hairline and the issue of Drake’s ENORMOUS ARTHROPOD EYEBROWS is discreetly glossed over while they’re drawn on in MASSIVE STROKES. “Add a silver necklace if you wish, and the look is complete.” Lovely. 4/5

human centipede makeup tutorial First thing: lighting. Open the bloody curtains! Even the most crazed of Nazi doctors wouldn’t work in these conditions. Still, stitches are drawn on cheeks and she does her best to express the longueurs of a hard day tied up and eating shit: “You’re going to have to make your eyes all dark and scary, cos they’re really tired… make sure you put a lot of brown around your mouth.” Crying is simulated with drops of water on the face, and a LOT of make-up is used with results that to be honest aren’t that great. You could save money by literally smearing shit on your face, and then perhaps you’d cry for real. 2/5

Jessie J inspired lips – Do It Like a Dude Brevity’s to be applauded, right? Not on this occasion, no. In quick succession we see the finished result, a tube of lipstick and some rhinestones, and no consideration’s given to guiding us through the application process. The end titles crash in before the afterthoughtish drawling voiceover’s finished. And the lipstick’s not even black. 1/10

Angry birds makeup tutorial Less is more with this accomplished tutorial. Barely a word is spoken as we’re shown how to transform ourselves to take sides in the endless war between bird and pig. It’s tightly edited and all the steps are shown in a very clear visual way. But the best is yet to come. 3/5

Black Swan Makeup Tutorial I really like this girl. She starts in a lovely warm, softly spoken way, talking about being inspired by Natalie Portman. Then after applying foundation she suddenly announces “First I’m going to take some ecstasy so I can imagine Mila Kunis giving me head.” The best way to enjoy the rest of the surprises in this vid, as glowpinkstah gets further and further into character(s) is to watch the whole thing. Absolutely sensational. 5/5

YouTube Watch: Cats in the bath

I research YouTube’s most popular topics so you don’t have to!

“Funny Cat taking Bath”  To forcibly wash a pet is to strip it of its animal nature. “What the fuck is wrong with coating myself in my own sweet saliva?” they seem to say with their little paws. In this introductory example of the cat bath genre, kitty’s rage is wonderful to behold, and its Total Wipeout style slippery escape bids are thoroughly entertaining. But the video could do with some editing: at the start, at the end, and especially in the middle section when the cat calms down and we all suffer lotion longueurs. 2/5

“Mick (the cat) takes a bath”  Mick’s owners have found a unique and mediaeval-looking way of making sure he doesn’t escape from bathtime. Laugh at him if you will. Pity his mewlings, oh yes. But wait for his release. As he fills the camera frame in the final moments, paws outstretched like a monster revealed in a Doctor Who Part One cliffhanger, you know he’ll have his revenge. 3/5

“Cat Regrets Entering Bath” And we’ve all seen this one. If not, where have you been?! The internet’s that way. The only thing funnier than this classic cat/baby/bathwater conjunction is the legion of YouTube commenters underneath it who’ve convinced themselves it represents some sort of animal abuse.  4/5

“Sphynx kitten’s bath time” Another very popular video. And you can see why the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. This one’s as fearless as it is hairless; it wants to manipulate the water, to operate the controls, to understand why the water’s going down the plughole… OK the Egyptians worshipped any animal they happened to notice having a shit in a bush. But it’s a cute kitty. 4.5/5

“Cat in a bath… “The Torture Room”” At last – editing! And how. This is a slo-mo treat from start to finish. I like how the cat is shown a painting of some majestic leopards basking on a riverside at the start as if to say “See? You can enjoy water and be savage!” Although it is the least savage cat you’ve ever seen, which is part of the point. My favourite bit is the close-up on the eyes at 1:02, capturing that look in a pet’s eyes that says “How could you betray me this way?” YouTube doesn’t get any better than this. 5/5

YouTube Watch: The career of Kerry Katona

Up until now, my YouTube Watches haven’t featured anything professionally filmed (clips from tv shows and the like), because I like to celebrate the glory of the amateur video (see my feature on Interpretative Dance, or the classic Dogs Eating Eggs). But I’m making an exception in this case, because Kerry’s career is gloriously amateur. And because these videos have all been making me laugh very much indeed.

Atomic Kitten – I Want Your Love on TOTP WITH Kerry Katona In my last post I was talking about how dazzling and precise Beyoncé and her team were in their Billboard awards performance. This is the hilarious opposite. The Kittens, fresh from the basket in an early outing, have been saddled with choreography that’s just too hard for them. They give it their best. But failure is an option. I watch this over and over again.

Atomic Kitten – Behind the scenes I want your love Yes, the same song again. But it’s the interview with the girls (who were big in Japan at the time) that I’m interested in, from about 1:15 onwards. A cock crows noisily and tunelessly. “Shuddup!” shouts Kerry, more grating than the bird. Does an unspoken thought pass between the other girls? “Do you want a record deal, love?” yells Liz in the direction of the coop. Perhaps this was the moment that Kerry’s card was marked.

kerry katona iceland out takes Which brings us to Kerry’s biggest success after leaving the band. And this is a very funny, very nicely put together behind-the-scenes montage. She seems to be happier doing these ads than at any other point in her career. There’s a filthy ad-lib about the delivery driver before the first minute’s up which I won’t spoil because it’s all in the, er, delivery. But oh to imagine these versions of the adverts hitting the airwaves.

Kerry Katona On This Morning, Old Clip If the last few videos have shown that Kerry’s someone who’s famous not for any particular talent, but just for being herself, then this is the most vivid stop on the terrible comedown. Imagine if you or I turned up to a job interview completely wrecked, made a pig’s ear of it and had to shamefully write off the whole experience. This is similar, because Kerry’s an ordinary person who makes stupid mistakes too, except that because she’s chosen to live her life in the public eye, she gets to fall apart on national tv. On this unforgettable occasion, she finds herself — rather gently and kindly —being asked by two of the country’s best-loved tv presenters to consider that she might have an alcohol problem. Awkward doesn’t cover it.

Dancing On Ice 2011 wk 6 – The Skate Off Well I know it’s fun to see her fail but fuck it, here’s a happy ending. Kerry considers her next career move while being thrown windmilling around an ice rink to the sound of Ethel Merman belting out “There’s No! People Like! Show! People! They Smile! When! They Are Low!… Let’s Go! On With The Show!” For some, it’s the only life they know.

YouTube watch: Dogs under doors

Crazy Dog Under The door In one sense this video’s got everything we’re looking for, from the urgent paw thrusting through the gap to the jubilant appearance of a wet nose. And the cinema verité set-up, with that sharp angle on the carpet, is also to be praised. The moments when the dog writhes and thrutches in the ecstasy of unfulfilled transition, or runs briefly around the mysterious room beyond the barrier, half-seen, mostly suggested, are excellent. An excessive amount of taunting from the human in the clip renders this less than perfect. Still, you have to admire the audacity of the film-maker in going in for that extreme close-up around 1:20. 4/5

The Dog Under The Door I like the first-person perspective as the camera explores the hallway at the start of this clip, strongly reminiscent of the opening sequence of John Carpenter’s similar Halloween. And the canine reveal is handled with an equal sense of darkness, as its face fills the screen with shadow before its paws pad unknowably away. It’s not entirely what we’re looking for though. 2/5

Dog Squeezes Under Door For all that it’s poorly lit and statically framed, there’s no denying this video ticks many of the genre’s most important boxes, from the initial exploratory paw and nose, to the thrill of the threshold wriggle. Exuberant joy from a triumphant little dog at the end lifts this slightly above the average. 3/5

Amazing Chihuahua Fits Under the Door Crack It’s with some reservations that I include this video at all. A chihuahua is more rat than dog. And if I didn’t know better I’d suspect that door had been deliberately hung high to facilitate exactly this sort of shenanigan. Little to recommend it. 1/5

Dog Squeezing Under Garage Door Lola’s journey is a dramatic one. We’re plunged straight into the action as not just the paws, but a full sideways muzzle pokes frantically through the gap. As you follow her quest, you’ll see some encouraging petting, and some desperate clawing at a nearby tyre. At 0:56 something extraordinary happens. Another paw, another muzzle! Who is this mysterious dog, the colour of lightly burnt syrup, who’s intervening?

Sadly Lola’s bid for freedom is unsuccessful. But in many ways that feels right! Ultimately the story of a dog under a door is the story of us all; our own animal natures in conflict with the demands of the modern world, as we wrestle with fate in the liminal spaces between one darkened state of existence and another. It’d be naive to suggest that an easy resolution is possible. For style, and drama, this is the best video of its kind. 5/5

YouTube Watch: The magic of Interpretative Dance

Interpretive Dance Rhythm Is A Dancer (The Original) Because sometimes, “as serious as cancer” just isn’t serious enough. Moves to watch out for include the ‘Churchill, can I really save money on my car insurance?’ (0:04), the ‘Milking a giant cow’ (0:15), the ‘Greek Tragedy’ (0:25) and the ‘Man Machine’ (0:54). 2/5

Kristin and Lindsay to raise me up It’s a slow, awkward start, but there’s little on YouTube to rival the appalled look on the face of the girl at front right, as she turns to camera at 0:10. Then things get a bit more dynamic at 0:25 when the dancers nearly take a tumble. There’s some showboating as the chorus kicks in, and a surprise guest running into shot in the final moments. Don’t wait up – it’s not Westlife. 1/5

celine dion interpretive dance Whose music could be better suited to a dramatic interpretation than Celine’s? Still the opening might leave you confused, as the camera zooms in on some split ends, but bear with it. Watch for the ‘Three Potato’ at 0:17, the Liza Goddard-styled ‘It’s a TV show!’ at 1:02, the ‘Sisterhood of Karn’ at 1:28 and, most especially, for the dangerous technical coup de theatre of the ‘clusterfoot’ at 1:37. It all goes a bit freestyle after that. 3/5

Improvised Dance part 1/5 – Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto n. 3 – 1st Movement.m4v Words almost fail me with this fella. Is he a body-popping spider? Is he a gangly robot? Why is he in his pants and socks? Fortunately he’s provided many of the answers in his blurb for the video: “There’s a story to go with this dance: Here, we are introduced to the dancer. He has had an idea and believes it to be his own.” You’ll have to watch for yourself to find the truth in that statement. 4/5

Can You Feel It dance (HD) This woman is a legend. She’s got over 1,000 videos uploaded and she never seems to run out of spunk. Watch how she coaxes us into her world with that confident over-the-shoulder smirk. And then how that knowing nod signifies: IT’S ON. At some point as she whirls and pounces, we notice that she’s wearing a spare pare of Pringle leggings as fingerless gauntlets. Sometimes her hair gets stuck to her face in the excitement. But mostly we’re caught up in her dance, five minutes of transcendent private joy made public. It’s terrible when it ends. But we’re left with her looming hugely towards us as though for a kiss. And there are 1,000 more to watch… 5/5

YouTube watch: The fans of Daniel Bedingfield

This time on YouTube Watch, I’m looking at Daniel Bedingfield’s superfans – the ones who love If You’re Not The One enough to risk going public with a YouTube cover version. How will they fare? And what about that big note?

Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One (Auto-Tune) There’s a refreshing casualness here, compared to some of the earnestness that’s coming up. jeffersonkim delivers his performance slouched on an office chair, framed by a superbly messy backdrop, swivelling and fidgeting away, with the occasional builder’s sniff to punctuate Bedders’s timeless melody. Sonically, you might be put off by the trilly autotune, but the alarming stereo separation is worse, if you’re listening on headphones. As for the big note, he wins me over with a very gracious ‘refusal at the first fence’ and a long sigh instead, as though finally reaching a toilet on a busy day. 3/5

“If You’re Not The One” – Daniel Bedingfield (COVER) (HD) Romance! Passion! Drama! Such things can bore. And someone’s gone a bit mad with the swirly graphics and screen-in-screen effects. The big note is passable, and as for the sensuous video backdrop, YouTube commenter harbordman puts it best: ‘That sheet could have done with an iron.’ 1/5

Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One (Paolo’s Version) Is that an uncomfortable pause at the beginning? Technical difficulties? NO! Paolo is simply allowing the words ‘Here’s your song request Cyrus’, ‘My gift to you’ and ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ to slowly appear, before announcing the start of proceedings with a devastating wink to camera. And what proceedings. He teases us with the big note the first time around, but on the final one (around 4:16)… Let’s just say that after I listened there was a scuffling noise at the front door and when I opened it, all the neighbourhood dogs were sat there expectantly. I don’t know what they wanted. 2/5

If You’re Not the One – Daniel Bedingfield and Nikki Gil (Cover by Khrystle) You know those adverts for cancer or whatever, where a child’s voice sings a haunting nursery rhyme while the camera pans around an empty room with abandoned toys etc.? That. Extraordinary. However it doesn’t seem that Khrystle is really dead. She simply chooses to illustrate the big note (it’s OK) with a splash of Ken Burns Effect across a discarded High School Musical ring binder and charm bracelet. 4/5

two know Music Video (If You’re Not the One – Daniel Bedingfield) And THIS, saved till last. The full cinematic treatment in a video from Same Difference tribute act ‘two know’. HE roams around melancholic woodland clutching at fences while SHE sits on a settee looking supremely bored until it’s her turn to sing. There’s amazing ‘literal video’ treatment for the lyrics ‘run away’  and ‘crying on my bed’, and — not that I want to spoil anything — the moment when our star-crossed pair are finally reunited features the best ‘awkwardly sitting down at the same time while leaning on each other’ dramatic move that I’ve ever seen. Terrible. 5/5

Daniel Bedingfield is launching his new video from his Facebook tomorrow