The Terrifying Meta-Metaness of YouTube Reaction Videos

Next logical step: users reacting to videos of themselves reacting to themselves.

The next logical step: users reacting to videos of themselves reacting to themselves.

The other day I was looking for the once-viral YouTube clip Hell To The Naw Naw by Bishop Bullwinkle, to show it to a friend. One of the top results for my search was the video below, which seemed utterly moronic to me. It’s two people watching a video on a channel called “Merry Reacts”. The thing that struck me most was that, well, they’re not reacting. Don’t even bother watching it. You’ll need the 5 minutes and 49 seconds you’d waste for the other clips below. Plus, they probably don’t deserve another view.

I honestly didn’t think much of that clip again until today, when I randomly ran across the clip below, which is YouTube favorite GradeAUnderA’s sixteen minute rant on why “Reaction Channels Are Shit”. GradeAUnderA rose to YouTube fame with videos like Girly Drinks vs Manly Drinks and Things I Find Stupid. Watch it in its entirety, if for some reason you can’t understand in about 30 seconds why something called a “Reaction Video” would be shit:

It may not surprise you that one of the best “Reaction Video Artists” on YouTube (user H3H3) is actually little more than a guy watching videos and saying funny crap about them, much like your craft-beer-and-game-addicted nerd friend, only maybe not quite as funny. On his behalf, he actually comes across as a nice guy, and in this particular video, he is, to his credit, targeting some of the douchiest dudes on YouTube, the “give a homeless guy ninety cents to get views” crowd:

But maybe I just don’t get the medium. I never really understood the joy in watching MST 3000, either

MST 3000

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