Reaction videos: The big thing that’s now all over YouTube


The festival weekend is here and it’s time for pooja, great food and family time. When one is done with all that, what next to kill time? How about some fun with YouTube?

YouTube has a ton of stuff to keep us entertained and engrossed for hours. The range is just insane – apart from music, serials and the usual stuff, there are food and travel videos and stand-up comedians are putting out some very high-quality content.

In all this, there’s a a trend that’s growing – reaction videos. Popular YouTubers react to original videos to give their opinions and discuss issues that have been spoken about. The videos can be educational and entertaining. 

Jaby Koay, Our Stupid Reactions, Uncle Roger, Geeks-a-Musing and Head Spread are a few of the channels that have massive fan followings and subscriptions. However, there are so many others out there. 

One of the latest videos to go viral was one from the mrnigelng channel in which Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng plays the role of Uncle Roger. The video was of BBC Food presenter Hersha Patel’s egg fried rice recipe. Uncle Roger is shocked and disgusted with the way Hersha Patel cooks rice, the recipe itself and the fact that she uses a metal spoon on a non-stick pan. In fact, BBC even had a small news item about this video going viral. 

Uncle Roger does not spare even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for using olive oil to make egg fried rice. Uncle Roger is appalled that Oliver does not use MSG (or flavour crystals) in the egg fried rice. Nigel Ng puts on a very nice accent of how a Chinese person would speak English and his ‘haiya’ remark to express displeasure is hilarious. 

India-based East India Comedy channel’s Donald Trump’s USA song parody is based on the old hit YMCA by Village People. The lyrics are about issues like racism and how the USA has changed after he took over. It’s not exactly suited for younger audiences but EIC gets the American situation spot on. American channels like Jaby Koay and Our Stupid Reactions are absolutely thrilled with the creativity and enjoy it thoroughly. They are also appalled, however, by how the world sees America after Trump became the President. 

All India Bak$@#d (AIB) makes great videos, anything from making fun of the Indian arranged marriage process and dowry to how restaurants function and a whole variety of other topics. Reaction videos from a lot of foreign YouTube channels about the darker side of India being projected in a fun way can be a treat to watch. 

On a more serious note, many YouTube reactions from the US, Russia, Japan, the UK, South Korea and Australia show that they are awestruck after seeing the Republic Day parade, with all the extremely precise marching and weaponry on display. 

AIB’s The Day India Resigned is about an ‘exit interview’ between India and the British when the former became independent. The video pokes fun at how Indians were sent on ‘overseas assignments’ when it was only Indian soldiers who fought for the British or slaves who were taken to other colonies to plant sugarcane. While the American channels saw the funnier side of it, British channel Head Spread thought it was pretty rude. Obviously, AIB has sent a very powerful message about British atrocities but an Indian will feel very strongly about it. To each his own really. 

Shashi Tharoor’s Oxford speech on the British owing reparations for colonial wrongs that were done was another massive hit. It also found favour in reaction videos. In fact, it was educational for the young hosts of Head Spread who knew nothing about the horrors of colonialism. Even the other channels were appalled because hardly anyone knows the dark side of colonialism.

The Tharoor Guide to Indian English is a Brut India video and talks about the words the British have ‘looted’ from Indian languages. People in the reaction videos have no clue that shampoo, dungaree, cash, catamaran and many more are derived from Indian languages but are surprised to learn that brinjal is used only in Indian English. Or for that matter, ‘preponed’, ‘we are like this only’, ‘kindly adjust’, ‘I’m damn chilled’, ‘taking my case’ etc. have all been coined in India and are very much in current usage. 

Apart from being fun, many of these reaction videos are making people aware of a lot of things that they probably otherwise would never have known about. 

Whether these reactions conform to the YouTube terms or if they are being monetised is another issue. The point is that there are so many reaction videos out there and they can be real fun to watch and enjoy.



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