We’ve heard from most people their thoughts on You Tubers: lazy, egotistical, jobless, young starlets who go too far when they venture to call their videos “art”. All they do is sit in front of a camera and talk; there’s no skill required and no critical thinking going on. I’d be lying if I said I never thought this way myself. However, after watching infamous YouTuber, Shane Dawson’s, new online docuseries, “The Mind of Jake Paul”, I beg to differ. In fact, I binged it.
In the collection of videos, Dawson explores actor/YouTuber, Jake Paul’s life to determine whether or not he’s a sociopath based on the destructive behaviors he’s exhibited the past two years. Despite a somewhat controversial subject, Dawson has received overwhelming praise for his series due to the subject matter and portrayal of a complicated character.
Dawson has been on the video-sharing website for nearly ten years now, and it’s obvious to see his style of filming has evolved. Most of his work up until last year has dealt in sketch comedy, conspiracy theories, reaction videos, and miscellaneous antics. This isn’t to say Dawson has refrained from showing more serious subject matter in the past. He’s featured a coming out video and series that focuses on his choppy relationship with his father. Dawson’s outgoing and curious personality has always drawn people towards him, but “The Mind of Jake Paul” exhibits more than just his likeability as a human being. The videography, production quality, and story-telling aspect of this work is seriously impressive.
Dawson begins the 8-part video series by addressing Paul’s chaotic lifestyle and questionable judgment portrayed in his videos and social media. He candidly jokes about not understanding the depth of Paul’s past until he had announced on Twitter that he was going to be creating a series revolved around him. This is when fans first brought up the idea of Paul being a sociopath. Not only does Dawson have interesting commentary, he interviews a licensed therapist (Kati Morton) to discuss the probability of this being true. As the series continues, he addresses rumors about Paul with fellow YouTubers such as iNabber, Nick Crompton, and Alissa Violet. The main topic of the docu-series initially focuses on whether or not Jake Paul has a harmful personality and explodes into issues like manipulation of employees, fake video content, endangering neighbors with destructive stunts, xenophobic comments, false accusations of assault about other online personalities, and so, so, so much more. There’s a lot of “tea” to spill, but Dawson’s skills keep the viewer reeled in, ready for more.
From lighthearted giggling with his cameraman/co-creator, Andrew Siwicki, to final a heart-wrenching interview with Jake Paul, himself, Dawson’s use of captivating graphics and pinpoint editing keep the series dripping with suspense. He methodically places snippets of Paul’s videos attached to a voice over of an interview with one of Paul’s “enemies”. He addresses harsh critics who claimed they were bored of the series because of the lack of “tea” by using their own video footage and bold graphics even quoting Logan Paul (Jake’s brother, infamous social media star): “Buckle the F*ck up”. Dawson is able to simultaneously design content that is extremely engaging and build a narrative of Jake Paul that leaves the audience feeling conflicted. He’s not afraid to discuss the negative press Jake is associated with, but he also just wants to know more about him. As a result, the viewer wants to dig deeper on the subject instead of running to conclusions.
The amount of thought and heart put into this docuseries truly is a reflection of the talent Dawson possesses. He certainly does not fit the description of a stereotypical YouTuber. The videography sheds light on topics that aren’t easy to discuss, and it’s encouraged people to open their minds about individuals like Paul. Will Dawson continue this streak of docuseries content? I hope so. Could this YouTuber move up in his career to become a director of a major motion picture one day? I think it’s absolutely possible.
Here’s the link to Dawson’s page: https://www.youtube.com/user/shane
Other pages to check out: https://www.youtube.com/user/ShaneDawsonTV