I enjoy watching movies, but I don’t call myself a movie buff. However, I can appreciate the passion some people have for films. It’s that passion that makes watching other people discuss movies and TV so interesting. YouTube serves as a solid platform for movie and TV fans to share their enthusiasm with others around the globe.
A quick dance of the fingertips can summon countless options from YouTube’s vast selection of movie and TV commentaries to watch. However, the selection, varying from commentary playing alongside the work, to satire to video essays, can be overwhelming to novice viewers such as myself.
This simple dilemma has led me to put together a list of YouTube channel recommendations, so that hopefully, fellow movie and television commentary newbies can find a channel they like.
1. Cinema Sins
Calling Cinema Sins, a YouTube channel with a 7.9 million current subscriber count, popular is an understatement.
The Nashville based creators Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson upload “Everything Wrong With…” videos each week that feature Scott’s narration picking apart the movie minute by minute. All of the videos end with a sin count tally and the movie’s sentence, a themed phrase describing the movie, such as “W.A.S.P. Attack” for “Bee Movie” or “Surf n Turf” for “Finding Dory.”
Every video is captioned to help viewers keep up as Scott speed talks his way through the script, and his frequent swearing is censored with a bleep for no reason (the curse words are right on the screen, after all), only adding to the humor of his diatribes.
Driven by the slogan, “No movie is without sin,” the YouTube channel does at times seem to be counting trivial sins, a fact, which Scott points out in a video tallying the channel’s own sins. Catching the pointless details you would never notice by yourself is a part of the channel’s charm. Although the videos aren’t meant to be taken seriously, the channel still has its critics.
Cinema Sins is for people who like petty humor and don’t mind sitting through ruthless dissections of their favorite movies. If you don’t like longer videos — some of the longest ones are a little over 20 minutes — or nitpickiness, then this channel is not for you.
I recommend: Paper Towns
2. Honest Trailers
The movie and TV oriented Screen Junkies video brand and YouTube channel recently underwent a shift in ownership when digital media company Defy Media sold the brand to Fandom.
This company move seems to be a new start for the brand, following a sexual harassment scandal that resulted in Screen Junkies and Honest Trailers creator Andy Signore being fired. Despite this scandal, Screen Junkies still releases new Honest Trailers episodes.
Honest Trailers do more than recount the plot. They point out strange and random patterns you would never notice yourself and give the characters and title a punny yet accurate nickname, all in signature trailer voice narration.
“Honest Trailers” are for people who like parodies and don’t like sitting through long videos. The addictive short episodes are perfect for bingeing. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.
I recommend: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
3. Let Me Explain
Arturo Zurita runs three YouTube Channels, the movie and television focused AtZ and Let Me Explain and the music focused Hear Me Out.
On the Let Me Explain channel, Zurita gives his commentary on different movies and TV shows in around eight minutes or less for each episode. During some videos, he has a specific argument he wants to make, while in others, he just recaps the movie or show.
Zurita even has his own rating system that explains how much the movie is worth seeing by telling the viewers where they should watch it. “Work of Art,” “Combo Price” and “Junior Price,” mean you should see the movie in the theaters, while “Rent It,” “Stream It” and “Coaster (literally use it as a coaster)” mean you’re better off watching the movie at home.
A cute, animated version of Zurita, which he credits to Instagram account amcdrawings in a live stream Q & A video, appears in every video.
I recommend this channel for people who don’t like long commentary and enjoy recaps. If you want more in-depth commentary from Zurita, then check out his first channel, AtZ.
I recommend: Peter Rabbit
4. Alex Meyers
Alex Meyers is a Japan-based YouTuber (born and raised in the United States) who started out with a gaming focused channel that eventually evolved into film, TV, media and pop culture commentary.
I suggest watching the video essays he has made this year, particularly the new ones where he starts using the cartoons, which he animated himself, to explain different TV shows and movies. Not only do you get to hear someone else’s thoughts on popular TV shows, but you also get to learn more about Meyers himself from the animated anecdotes he includes in his videos.
The video essays he posts without the cartoons are must-watches, too. He still has interesting visuals and gives clear examples to present his argument about the show, movie or internet phenomenon.
People who enjoy cute cartoons and catching up with YouTube trends and news would probably enjoy his channel the most.
I recommend: Riverdale is a mess…
5. 24 Frames of Nick
Nick Cross is the brains behind 24 Frames of Nick. A lot of his current videos are about older TV shows and movies from his and other millennials’ childhoods such as “6teen,” “Ed Edd N’ Eddy” and “Total Drama Island.” In other videos, he talks about more recent movies and TV shows such as “Avengers Infinity War” and “Mr. Robot.”
Cross uploads mostly video essays, which have a central argument that is supported with main points and video clips. They are really engaging, because he is talking about shows that I (and other readers my age) haven’t seen in years. He really benefits from millennial and Gen. Z nostalgia.
Now four years in the making, this Youtube channel already has over 97,000 subscribers, and looks to be steadily growing in popularity. I recommend this channel for people who like to be able to say that they supported emerging channels from the very beginning. When they blow up, you can say you were there with them from the very start. Cross’ channel has a lot going for it, especially Cross’ quirky, relatable sense of humor.
I recommend: High School Musical 2