Posted in: Op-ed
Published:
December 7, 2019 1:00 PM UTC

YouTube Rewind: 2019 Edition Should Have Quit Trying and Embrace the Cringe

YouTube has promised us 'something different' for Rewind this year, and we all know it's just going to be as cringe as it always is.

  • YouTube promised that Rewind will be different this year, which it was.
  • Rewind 2019 turned out to be worse than cringe, it was boring and lazy.
  • They should have just embraced the cringe and made the most of it.

YouTube Rewind is always terrible. Last year’s event may have been particularly hard to watch, but they’ve never been good. Each year they throw together the most annoying people on the planet, surround them with loud music and bright colors, then expect it to somehow resonate with people over the age of 3.

Except for this year. They already promised us ‘something different’ for this year’s rewind according to Gamebyte. It was certainly different, but it was also the dullest thing that has ever existed. They should have just embraced the cringe and really leaned into it.

YouTube Rewind Will Always be Cringe

Whenever a massive company like this tries to engage with people it comes out horribly wrong. Everything done by the big social media companies has this air of forced cheerfulness to it. Take a look at the world around you and you’ll see why that feels so wrong.

That’s the reason why those pre-made Facebook videos for your ‘friendaversary’ or whatever are cringy too. It’s basically a company that makes billions trying to show emotion with ukelele music and pastel colors. YouTube is just the same. Just swap out ukelele music for EDM and pastels for primary colors and you’ve got the same formula.

Really YouTube needs to just accept that no matter what they do Rewind will be awful. Better to just embrace that fact and go all out with it. Why not just have Marshemello (again), get him performing some EDM while people do Fortnite dances all over the place. While you’re at it why not add a joke midway through about copyright claims, that’ll actually resonate with your audience.

There is no better visual representation of what YouTube is trying to accomplish with each year’s rewind than this clip of Steve Buscemi from 30 Rock. | Source: Giphy

It’s a Wonder That They Still Even Bother

These social media companies are based upon their ability to connect with people, or rather their ability to make other people connect. That is part of the reason that we end up with these horribly cringy products. Worse than anything is the fact that the older generation seems to love them.

On the plus side at least we tend to get some semi-decent memes out of it each year. I think that YouTube really does need to just realize that everything they do is going to be subjected to ridicule. To keep up their ‘friendly’ image they can’t do anything too real, because the real world is a gritty and frequently awful place.

Regardless of what YouTube claimed about YouTube Rewind 2019, it turned out to be just as unpopular as the rest of them. If they really want to make something popular they should seriously consider just letting someone who isn’t a corporate robot create the blooming thing.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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