YouTube Channel Recommendation: Overly Sarcastic Productions
I remember when YouTube came out in 2005. I was in 8th grade and to us, it was like a supplement to MTV—you watched music videos. By the time I started teaching, I really developed a love-hate relationship for it because I feel like it contributed to my students’ stupidity and education. It seems my generation and younger see it as an outlet for stupid videos to distract them from boredom.
But, I also found out that it’s an awesome place for tutorials and educational videos. I used it in my classroom every chance I got. Eventually, I dug deeper and started finding stories on it. Scary story narrations (creepypastas), story analysis, and summary, all kinds of things that offered me a variety of literary understanding and study when I’m not reading a textbook.
That’s what I want to address. The awesomeness of YouTube for the reader and storyteller.
The videos I link are not created, endorsed, or represented by me; nor am I being compensated or represented by the channel and their creators. Just giving recommendations and suggest you check out my terms and conditions to understand more.
Readers tend to love recommendations for books. But, what about other resources. Not all of us “read” the traditional way anymore. Personally, I love to study literature more than I like to actually read it. I know, I have sinned, but I imagine the story gods will forgive me for my transgressions.
Anyway, I find that I love hearing about stories and look into summaries. Many times, if the summary engages me, I’ll want to read it even more. That’s the storyteller in me. It’s not just a plot, it’s an art that has been developed with purpose and passion. How did the author pull that off? How do you handle something so brilliantly complicated? It’s my writer curiosity that encourages any real reading I do.
So, when I discovered Overly Sarcastic Productions (OSP), I binge-watched episodes that ended in a trip to Barnes and Noble and a devastated bank account. Yeah, it’s that good.
OSP is run by two college kids—Red and Blue. Blue is a history buff who passionately obsesses over the tiny nuances of humanity’s stupidity in the times before. Red, on the other hand, is a candid literature nerd who drools over the literary brilliance of classic works (nothing modern, so far).
Both of them are all about that Europe study, though, they are starting to expand. In any case, they offer four kinds of videos that really educate you about stories, history, and topics from around the world in the most begrudgingly awesome way that only 20-somethings can truly appreciate.
Red leads the literary analysis with her awesome drawings and candid commentary. Everything from Shakespeare to African mythology, she offers story variety so we may expose ourselves to the gist of more literature. Very visual!
Blue leads the history synopsis with his enthusiastic needing and witty side-notes. From Greece to America, he lays out the big boys from our past so we can better understand that literary context. Some visuals.
Red predominately leads these, considering her reading skills help her better understand writing trends. Very different from her summaries, she explains patterns in literary development and their success or failure. This is way more opinionated at times but interesting to know as a writer, especially. Typically visual.
This is a Blue project that is mostly just history narration. However, while the summaries are covering the history itself, the podcast focuses on characters and topics in history that may not be tied to a particular event or country. From what I’ve noticed, this isn’t as engaging for those who aren’t auditory learners. It’s not like the original OSP videos. But, the info is still just as good as the other videos without the visuals.
You can tell which classes they’re taking because they suddenly become experts in the topic. Nevertheless, I love that these two found another way to share their studies. So many of us reject a degree in our favorite subject because you “can’t do anything with it”. Well, they’re showing that’s not true. They’re learning what they love, drawing and recording what they love, and publishing what they love—with potential for income with enough followers.
Moral of the story: do what you love. That simple.
A few of my favorite OSP videos are:
- Trope Talk: Five-Man Band
- Classics Summarized: Paradise Lost
- Classics Summarized: Beowulf
- History Summarized: Ancient Greece
I recommend you check them out. They’re pretty safe for the classroom, too.
What are some reader/writer channels you love? Any recommendations for us?
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