Shane Dawson’s newest docu-series, The Mind of Jake Paul, has made quite the splash in the Youtube community. It has his subscribers tuned in as well as has attracted viewers who wouldn’t normally watch his content. Overall, the newest set of videos seems bigger than the platform and ventures into territory that hasn’t yet been explored on YouTube.
I’m a fan of Shane Dawson, I’m one of his 18 million subscribers, and I’ve watched his videos for the past 7-ish years. I’ve come to know his on-camera personality quite well—I’m used to his quirks, his dark humor, his gasps and his level of energy. Arguably, those characteristics are what I find entertaining and keep me tuning in, but as a consistent viewer I’m also aware of how his newer content (from the past year, not just The Mind of Jake Paul), has reached another level, a better level. Clearly I'm not the only one who's noticed this.
"I strongly believe that no one should be a “Super-fan” of anything because it warps perspective and stifles discussion"
It’s interesting to me to hear and see reactions from outsiders who are unfamiliar with him and are watching his videos for the first time. Overall, his old and new audiences seem to be responding positively, but that’s not to say there isn’t criticism—both constructive and just plain hate—in the mix. I’m by no means a “Super-fan” of Shane Dawson—someone who loves and defends the content no matter what—and I strongly believe that no one should be a “Super-fan” of anything because it warps perspective and stifles discussion, but I do know that my opinion is biased because I generally enjoy his personality and style of video.
Having said that, I’m enjoying the series’ journey so far, flaws and all, although I do worry that the hype is going to be the demise of its potential success. Shane is a dramatic person, he has high-energy reactions to just about everything, but if you are a new viewer and don’t know that, it can come off as over-the-top, which in turn can come off as disingenuous.
People with big personalities are a lot to take in, especially on first impression, and Shane has a big personality. His success is due to this, but again, it’s interesting to gauge reactions from viewers, both new and old, because the series does not have a passive narrator, which is what we generally expect from an interview or documentary voice.
"He’s not taking a submissive, "documentarian" approach to exploring ideas and people, he’s very much being himself"
Shane’s personality has influence and show-stealing qualities, which is probably why his new videos are getting so much attention. He’s not taking a submissive, "documentarian" approach to exploring ideas and people, he’s very much being himself—having large reactions, making jokes etc—which makes the docu-series half about the other person and half about him. As a fan, I’m enjoying the fact that the limelight is on him a lot of the time because, honestly, I probably wouldn’t watch it if he took the back seat and focused it all on the other person. The formula he’s using feels different, in a good way—which, again, is probably why he’s garnering so much attention from subscribers and outsiders alike. He’s not sitting behind the camera, he’s not changing his personality to fit into a “documentary” mold, and he’s keeping the spotlight on him too—it’s his channel after all.
He’s never done such a long series before, but I doubt viewers will get bored or leave it unfinished halfway through. According to his Twitter, Parts 4 and 5 will be released Oct 3rd and Oct 5th, and the rest are TBA.