Here we are again, cooped up inside, huddled indoors as we weather the extremely scary storm of a global pandemic of unprecedented scale, alternating between feelings of extreme hopelessness and feeling perhaps a little optimistic about things. Look, nobody really knows what’s going to happen, and the world will almost certainly not look the same after this whole thing. But we have to live in the here and now if we’re going to make it through this with any semblance of sanity.
So, in the absence of events, we must find different ways to occupy our minds. In the last few weeks we’ve given you ideas of movies to watch, shows to binge, and music to check out while you’re stuck indoors. If you’ve been following our recommendations for every waking moment of the last few weeks, then you should be just about done with the entire list. What else is left? Well, this is the year 2020, and entertainment isn’t just movies and TV anymore. Nope, there’s a whole new industry out there, one that’s decidedly more home-grown and punk rock than traditional media: Youtube channels!
Look, we know what you’re thinking. When you hear the word “Youtubers,” your mind immediately goes to that cliché of the unnaturally perky twenty-something with the spiky hair yelling at a camera about some Minecraft meme you’re at least 10 years too old to fully comprehend. And while, yes, there is a lot of extremely cringy Youtube content out there, there’s also some really good stuff that is worth checking out. And what do you know, many of them are based in this very country!
So below is a list of ten Youtube channels that get an enthusiastic recommendation from us. It’s not, by any means, a definitive list of all the most important or noteworthy Youtube channels — they are certainly not the most popular ones — but instead a nice assortment of various specialties that we think you’ll get a lot out of. Check out the sample videos below, and then subscribe to their individual channels if you’re diggint their content.
Without further ado, on with the show!
If there’s one content format that’s ripe for Youtube, it’s that of sketch comedy… for better or worse. Yes, Youtube is filled to the brim with Key & Peele wannabes who cobble together the least funny iterations of each thoroughly-played-out premise. But every once in a while you come across a gem that mixes a freshness of content, a sharpness in wit, and impeccable timing. This is the case with Guille Aquino, a Youtube-based comedian whom you might have seen in a shared viral video before (his stuff tends to make the rounds over WhatsApp messages) dedicated to analyzing the ridiculous minutiae of this country’s social norms and trends. Check his stuff out for a hearty laugh.
Musiquita en la Cocina
Youtube is also a great spot for music, and while you can find all kinds of live shows with high production value, it’s also a good place for quieter and more intimate performances. A good example of this is Musiquita en la Cocina, a Youtube show that brings musicians to… well, as the title implies, performing in a small kitchen. Not only is the artist selection consistently good, but it really does feel like hanging out with a bunch of talented people doing what they do best. In these COVID-19 days, that’s about as close to a live concert as you’ll be able to get for a while.
El Traductor de Ingeniería
Youtube isn’t all silly sketch comedy and surprisingly toxic comment sections — it’s also an invaluable resource that can be used for educational purposes, and there’s a new breed of Youtuber that’s dedicated to sharing information in the most engaging and entertaining way possible. The channel El Traductor de Ingeniería is a great example of this, as he dedicates each episode to either debunking popular misconceptions, explaining basic engineering concepts, or engaging with his audience on ways to make the world a better place. Finally, Youtube videos you can watch without feeling like your IQ is quickly dropping.
Ah, yes, cooking channels. What would Youtube be without cooking channels? If you’re anything like me, you watch these cooking videos not just for the recipes themselves but to develop a personal connection with the cooks themselves. I mean, the whole reason behind Bon Appetit’s Youtube rennaisance is that everybody who works at their test kitchen appears to be extremely charismatic. After a while it really does feel like you’re cooking along with your friends. This also happens with Argentina’s own Paulina Cocina, an extremely wholesome Youtube channel that won’t just teach you some good kitchen skills but will also make you feel like you’re chopping away with an old friend.
We live in an extremely rapidly changing world, and sometimes it’s easy to lose track of just how much happens in a single year. That’s why projects like Nestor Montalbano’s Youtube channel are so valuable. This is one of Argentine Youtube’s best-kept secrets; a year-by-year compilation of notable events in the country’s history, cobbled together through archival footage. A great example of the video collage format which serves as a living document to Argentina’s incredible history and culture, and will give you a quick glance at what the country looked like before most of us ever arrived here.
Un Mundo Inmenso
Another great example of the educational side of Youtube. Un Mundo Inmenso is a Youtube channel dedicated to highlighting fascinating facts about this enormous, beautiful, unfathomably complex world we live in. History, geography, and more; the channel covers everything from interesting factoids about far-off corners of the world to giving us detailed histories of the things we’ve grown to take for granted (for example, time zones. I didn’t even know I needed time zones to be explained to me until I watched their video about it). A wonderful channel that deserves much more attention that it gets.
It’s undeniable that a large part of Youtube is populated by youth culture. Try as we might, there are large swaths of videos that will just be thoroughly incomprehensible to anyone older than 25 years old. But every once in a while, you find one of these that actually makes some sense, that takes special care to make its message comprehensible to people who aren’t knee-deep in post-modern memes, and that speaks to the lived experience of the millennial-and-younger crowd in a way that is insightful and also genuinely entertaining. This anonymous Youtube channel run by a girl simply known as “La Lucy,” is an oddly fascinating follow, and her slightly-cynical take on the world is a welcome change from the perpetually-upbeat Youtube personalities you’re likely to come across.
Youtube is also a great place to find animators and illustrators sharing their work, either as standalone projects or as a sort of online portfolio to further their careers. Some of these animations can be rather crude, but therein lies their charm; their unpretentiousness and lack of polish makes them all the more endearing, employing the medium as a tool for quirky storytelling. Pablo Noriega is a talented Youtuber who crafts fascinating and deeply hilarious little video-stories that will have you cackling along as you follow the ridiculousness of their premise; we especially recommend the “El Otro Día” series.
Damian Kuc is an incredibly engaging storyteller, which is what makes his Youtube channel so fun to watch. He doesn’t really come up with his own content, per se– instead, imagine his channel as a weekly show-and-tell presentation, where he goes through a different real-life story each time, telling you why it’s interesting and why you should care about it. I’ve definitely used more than one of his presentations as conversational fodder during a parties, and guess what: it works wonders!
Te Lo Resumo Así Nomas
Finally, we have Te Lo Resumo Así Nomás. If you’re not already familiar with this amazing Youtube channel, we implore you to drop everything and go through its archives. It’s a channel that goes through existing media and cuts out all the extraneous stuff to give you the nitty-gritty of what it’s about. Are you about to step into the newest superhero movie without having watched all the backstory? He’s got your back. Are you, for some reason, about to watch the new entry in the Harry Potter franchise without knowing anything about the world? Watch one of these recaps! Movies, TV show, you name it, the gang at Te Lo Resumo Así Nomás will give you an incredibly entertaining summaries, drawing from our shared pop culture references to paint the most complete picture (within the context of his rapid-fire recaps). Check it out!