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Not great, but better than a lot of Youtube's other popular stuff
It's a little fact we all know, if we're honest with ourselves: people on the internet do not, generally, have very good taste. I have practically no love for much of the You Tube celebrity crowd - Fred, Shane Dawson and the like. They're not bad blokes, as far as I can tell, but you used to require a hell of a lot more talent than that to make it big.

So when I finally decided to give =3 a look, I wasn't optimistic, to say the least. Once I'd gotten through two or three episodes, though, I found myself quite pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's far from fantastic, but it's not terrible, either. For me, that was a start.

The central concept is a sound one; it's simple, but interesting and quite broadly appealing (who doesn't like a viral video once in a while?), and requires a respectable amount of effort from the creator, but not so much that he begins taking himself overly seriously or growing an oversized ego. And that's one thing to be said about Ray William Johnson: he never takes himself too seriously. That, in itself, is commendable on the internet.

Johnson's efforts at comedy, generally, range from passable to pretty damn good; with the majority of the Fred videos, or much of Shane Dawson's earlier efforts, the only thing I could get myself to laugh at was how stale so much of the humour was. With =3, however, I found myself having quite a few genuine laughs. Sure, it's hardly deep or insightful stuff, and he will resort to crude humour now and again, but really, how serious can you be when you're reviewing viral videos? Generally, Johnson's quips and commentary serve as an effective, amusing complement to the videos he's reviewing, especially when the videos are entertaining in themselves. Moreover, I quite like his general methods of presentation - in my opinion, they do a decent job of helping him maintain an image (even after his making it relatively big) of being less some superior authority on mocking viral videos and more just another guy who watches them and decides to vlog about them.

So if you've got nothing else to do, and aren't feeling too serious, give =3 a look; you might well have a few laughs.
Good review. Fair and balanced!
comment #7774 longstreth 25th May 11
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