Reviews: Equals Three

While his popularity moves up his videos decline in effort

=3 how low have you sunk. Ray's parts videos are forced while the only laughs you get are from the videos that are not his. His attempt at humor falls flat on its face almost constantly and his fans eat it up. It's obvious that his content stealing and childish humor is what gets him his fans. Taking humorous videos and adding unneeded and adding unfunny commentary is the basic format of each episode with little change what so ever. If you watched one of his videos you've seen them all. The sad part is that he used to be entertaining when the show was "Capital Hill Gangsta" adding insightful commentary of political happenings. What he is now seems like what he will be until the show ends which is very hard to foresee seeing as he basically gets paid for stealing videos.

I really don't get it.

I heard all the buzz about Ray William Johnson and figured I'd have to at least see what all the fuss was about. And after just two episodes, I guess I just...don't get it. I couldn't watch it anymore. He watches videos (that other people send him) and makes a comment or two about it. How is this guy one of our biggest web celebrities? He doesn't make the funny videos he talks about (and actually kills some of the humor by now allowing them to speak for themselves), he doesn't find the videos himself...I don't know. I don't get why he's so popular. I see him coasting off of the success of other people and I resent that. Nothing he's doing seems particularly creative or original. I guess that maybe if it wasn't so popular, I wouldn't have such negative opinions of it. If it were just a way for people to find amusing videos, I'd be fine with it. But it seems like it's trying to be more than that. The concept is fine, but RWJ's heavy inclusion of himself in the series and the fact that he's making money off of the work of others kept me from being able to watch more than two videos.

Hasty judgement? Perhaps. But it didn't draw me in enough to make me consider going back and giving it another evaluation.

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.