Youtube released its Rewind 2015 two days back, and it is all sorts of AMAZING.
For those of you who don’t know what it is, Rewind is Youtube’s annual tribute to the most successful videos of 2015 – more or less a recap. You know those annoying songs and videos that keep popping up on your social feed and no matter how much you try to avoid them you end up exposed to them? (I’m looking at you, PSY). This video has all of those, and some more. But it’s not a mashup – it is a CRAZY, CRAZY portrayal of all those videos, featuring Youtubers and (a handful of) TV celebrities.
And by ‘CRAZY, CRAZY’ I really do mean ‘CRAZY, CRAZY’. It is so fast and detailed and downright weird that by the time you stop hyperventilating about, say, ‘OMG wasn’t that Superwoman who opened the video?!,” you have something else to be confused about.
Full disclosure: If this year’s Youtube Rewind has made me realise anything, it is that I know shit about this weird world called Youtube. Because for the most part, I was like “Is this person Youtube-famous? Why don’t I know about her?”. I also realised that I was more familiar with Youtube a few years back, than I am now. #ShameOnMe
So, in this post, without researching on the videos/people featured in Rewind, I will list out only the ones that I managed to recognise. Maybe some of you non-existent readers could help me out with the rest – NO CHEATING!
1. The Music
The background score is a mashup of all popular songs of this year, and I could catch just these:
Justin Bieber – What do you Mean
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean on
Omi – Cheerleader
I happened to chance on these songs and add them to my playlist, I don’t know how – I swear. #ViralBlackMagic
2. Lilly Singh, aka IIsuperwomanII.
It took me a whole 24 hours to stop hyperventilating about the fact that this video opens, and closes, with my hustle queen – Lilly Singh (most Youtuber ever). For a great part of my life, I’ve either never had a person that I gained inspiration from, or they were fictional (At 14, it was Neville Longbottom).
But since I started watching her videos on Youtube and followed her from making videos in her basement to going on a world tour, I can easily point to her and say “This woman is my inspiration.” It is not just her sense of humour or talent that impacts me, she has this amazing work-ethic that blows my mind every time I see her videos – especially her vlogs.
If you haven’t seen any of her videos, I suggest you start watching the same video that made me take a double-take and check her out. Maybe not hilarious in the present-day where we are not used to home-made videos without a soundtrack, but give it a try.
3. Miranda Sings
I find her plain weird – in the most interesting way. Miranda is a fictional character, played by Colleen Evans. She is a satirical representation of all the talentless people on the internet who are also narcissistic and extremely arrogant. She has an (incorrect) opinion on everything, looks down on others and gives stupid advice.
Her quirkiness has taken her to share the stage with big names such as Ariana Grande, Jerry Seinfeld, and she has even been discussed on David Letterman. If you haven’t watched her perform, you must. You’ll either find her brilliant/hilarious or stupid/unfunny – no middle ground. And then read about how successful she is – it’s unreal.
4. Just Do It
Rewind 2015 also has Youtubers performing this video, originally performed by Shia Lebeouf. Most of us know him through the success of the Transfomers movies. But some of us remember him as cute little Louis Stevens from the Disney show, Even Stevens. And like many Disney kids he turned out to be, well, complicated.
He’s been getting a lot of attention not only for various arrests and criminal charges, but also for his unconventional projects in performance art.
The latest was called #ALLMYMOVIES when he live-streamed himself watching all his movies and TV shows in reverse chronological order. Basically, we could see him sitting in a theatre with a few other people, with little or no emotion on his face, for three whole days. All meta-lovers, hail this man!
He’s also now opened a dedicated phone line for people to call him and ask him whatever they want.
This motivational video was one such thing. If there’s one word that I would use to describe this, it would be : Bizarre.
5. TVF Qtiyapa
One of the best Indian YouTube channels, albeit they do not get as much attention (read: virality) as AIB, despite having a hell lot of smart, meta content. (Am I right or am I right). It’s probably the downside of having a presence on YouTube alone, while AIB has a lot more presence through stand up comedy, podcasts, and award shows.
Besides normal sketches and parodies, they have a few mini-series within their channels, portraying/parodying everyday stuff. In Chai Sutta Chronicles,they speak about stuff like ‘The Middle Berth Aversion’ (How we hate them middle berths in trains, because they screw with our independence) and ‘Digital Suicide,’ while Tech Conversations with Dad is a set of poignant and painfully hilarious conversations that millenials have with their parents while familiarising them with technology.
Recently, they’ve set a golden standard for themselves with the release of their original web series ‘Permanent Roommates’ and ‘TVF Pitchers’.
They pop up in the video for around half a second, enacting Shia LeBeouf’s “Just Do It” in Hindi. And yes, they are the only Indian channel in the video.
6. John Oliver
More popular among Human Beings as Professor Ian Duncan in Community, this man is a British comedian and full-time host of his HBO show ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’. His show is essentially the ‘For Dummies’ version of news and politics. He calls out major corporations and politicians on their bullshit, and he has so much of an influence that after his episode on Net Neutrality, so many people flocked to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website that it overloaded and crashed 🙂
See what he had to say about Modi visiting New York:
7. Elastic Heart
This is the music video of Sia’s song in which Shia LeBeouf (his name is now synonymous with ‘thought-provoking’) and Maddie Ziegler dance rather crazily, leaving us bewildered and wondering what they’re really trying to portray. A man fighting his inner demons? A couple who fight too much but can’t bring themselves to get out of the relationship? I don’t know.
Rewind 2015 doesn’t refer to the music video itself, but in one sequence, people are seen dancing in what seems to be the cage from Elastic Heart.
For me the whole thing went nuts when the video started to rewind *even further*. Something never before done with Rewind videos – it took us back to a few viral videos from before 2015. SayWhaaaaaaaaat?
8. The Ice Bucket Challenge
Need I say any further? This challenge took social media by a storm in 2014. Millions of people, including Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey dumped ice water on their heads to raise awareness (and money) about Lou Gehrig’s disease. And raise money they did – over $220 million, which enabled further research on the ailment that currently has no known cure.
My favourite ice bucket challenge video is this:
Marques Brownlee, my go-to guy for all tech info and info (Result: A tech wish list of things I would buy if it didn’t have to be shipped all the way from U.S. to India). Also, his videos are a pleasure to watch.
He appears in the video for a few slow-mo moments during the ice bucket challenge part.
10. The Van Damme Split
This epic video in which Jean-Claude Van Damme performs a split between two reversing Volvo trucks. The video aimed to ‘demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering’.
Fun fact: The feat wasn’t nearly as dangerous as it looked. Van Damme had safety lines hooked to his body, and his feet actually rested on two small platforms on the side mirrors.
11. Felix Baumgartner’s Jump
On 14 October, 2012, this Austrian daredevil jumped from the stratosphere, at an incredible altitude of 39 km, which set the record for fastest free fall and made him the first human to break the sound barrier outside a vehicle. This mission, sponsored by Red Bull, was brilliantly marketed on social media, and more than 7 million people tuned into Youtube to watch it live.
YouTuber Jenna Marbles plays Felix in the Rewind.
12. Rebecca Black’s Friday
Ahhhhh. How do I explain what this 2011 song means to me? This was probably my first experience with a it’s-so-bad-it’s-good viral video. Sometimes, when a viral video has horrible content, you can’t understand why it is as popular as it is. And this song was widely titled ‘Worst song ever.’ This leads you to accept how strange an entity Youtube really is. You can’t help what catches your eye, sticks in your brain and plays itself on loop.
The lyrics of this song go pretty much like this: I wake up, I eat, I go to the bus stop, I see my friends, WHICH SEAT DO I TAKE?, it’s Friday, Friday gotta get down on Friday! (It’s really catchy, we should sing this together)
Today, this song gives me as much nostalgia as the Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya album. Even now, I catch myself singing this song on some Fridays. The sad part: Like all YouTubers with unpopular videos, Rebecca Black was terribly bullied. She was 13, and received horrendous hate comments, and even death threats from haters.
But guess what she did? She did NOT take the video down, attended all interviews with a smile, and in 5 months starred with Katy Perry in her music video titled Last Friday Night (See what they did there?). Rebecca Black’s reaction to this shitstorm is #goals. Oh, and she was also the host of Rewind 2015. Take that, haters.
13. The Double Rainbow Guy
In 2010, a guy saw a double rainbow and recorded a video. But highlight is not the double rainbow. It’s the the guy in the background, filming it. He seems to be, well, awestruck. I’ll have whatever he’s having.
14. I’m on a Boat – The Lonely Island
The Lonely Island has the most random, bizzare and hilarious fake-rap songs on the internet. This music video, which went viral in 2009, is the band’s account of them ‘being on a boat’. That’s it and nothing else.
This band are the main creators of Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts, until one member quit the show. Their channel has a series of fun songs that you can’t stop rapping with. Check them out to tickle your funny bone (Oh, and strong language warning. Don’t go there if sticks and stones don’t break your bones, but words always hurt you).
15. The JK Wedding Entrance Dance
The year was 2009, and weddings were still run-of-the-mill events, Ravi Pillai had just started wedding planning for his daughter, and people didn’t professionally choreograph/videograph wedding entrances just yet.
And there came this video that made me want to have a wedding RIGHT THEN (and I’d just joined college). So in the video, just when the wedding is about to start, Chris Brown’s Forever starts playing.
The groomsmen and bridesmaids play-dance-walk down the aisle, with the surprised relatives clapping along. Finally the groom, and then the bride come, both grooving to the music. Since then, we’ve been through so many wedding dances and surprises that today this video might seem like a very poorly filmed and choreographed number.
Get this: The Office parodied them in one of their episodes.
16. Charlie bit my finger
This is a supremely adorable 2007 video of two baby brothers. Charlie, the younger one bites his brother’s finger. Noticing this, he puts his finger in Charlie’s mouth again and gets “really hurt.”
This happens to be one of the most viewed videos on Youtube, ever. The parents are still active on YouTube and occasionally post video updates of the kids.
17. Evolution of Dance
Boy, we’ve rewound till 2006. This is a live performance by Judson Laipply, who demonstrates, in 6 minutes, the various types of dances from the 50s through the early 2000s.
Btw this video was also covered by The Office!
That is a Wrap
I wish I could catch a few more references, but I really can’t. Maybe next year.
Thank you, Youtube, for respecting your audience’s pop-culture intellect and not dumbing it down to a list of videos in order of choronology or number of views, but by detailing and performing it in the most meticulous manner possible. You definitely gave me goosebumps when I first watched it. Looking forward to Rewind 2016 – can’t wait!