TV Review: Brie Larson Levels Up (Aka Brie Larson Does Things)

brie larsen levels upEarnest and professional (due to editing and availability of captions), it’s the kind of content that every YouTube channel should aspire to (in our journey to build a kinder world).

I actually came across Brie from Jacob Tremblay’s Instagram posts (though I was more fawning over Jacob’s amusing captions and photos) before even seeing her in a film. I resisted watching ‘Room’ (I barely finished Act 1) as I wasn’t keen about what it was promising (learning to live with being abducted). As with anything, usually the right things find us again and I’m not sure what it was that made me open to give it another shot (maybe it was seeing a clip that Joy is rescued – which would be right about where Act 1 ends).

Actually, that is not true. Now I know that she’s was in ‘Suddenly 30′ (aka ’13 Going on 30’), I’ll probably to amend it to: ‘as an adult’. Which sounds about right as she was 26 when ‘Room‘ was released. Looks like I’m not alone in taking awhile to connect her and the film since Brie also wasn’t able to remember that she was one of the ‘Six Chicks’ in ‘Suddenly 30’ (aka ’13 Going on 30′). I have a bit of a leg up as I’ve viewed the film recently, so…no judgement from me!

Lucky for me that I saw ‘Room’ (which she won an Oscar for) before ‘Captain Marvel’ as I didn’t link her lacklustre performance as Carol Danvers to her capability as an actor (or even that she was not the right person for the job). I basically linked it to the fact that the story wasn’t developed enough for her to really flex at least 70% of her skills. Of course I’m happy that there are those who really enjoyed the film (and I would guess would give it at least an 8/10 compared to my 6) and thought her performance was hitting the right (Marvel) notes. For a moment I do wonder if I would have enjoyed the film more if I didn’t know that there may be a version that maybe could even rival Robert Downey Junior’s performance in ‘Iron Man 3’.

I found out about her releasing content on YouTube because of a tweet, which made me look for that video. Of course, to my surprise that video is actually hers! I was a bit confused at first. Really scratching my head before it clicked: Brie has a YouTube channel. My search for her twitter feed was all triggered by the anger about her ad with Nissan. And yes, you’re probably not surprised that I didn’t buy at all into that anger.

Between watching ‘Room’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ I came across videos, comments and opinion pieces about people not liking her. After finding out that they were a result of ‘cancel culture’ (maybe that’s not the right term…but not forgiving someone because they didn’t come across in an interview well…is kind of a similar thing), I found myself easily warming up to her (because who hasn’t been misunderstood and written out of another person’s life because of one incident?) then found myself being really open to what she has to say. Also, I am relieved to find out that the piece of news that still circulates to this day (that she is hated by her Marvel cast mates) isn’t true. Looks like I now have proof that I’ve been a victim of fake news.

What about the content? Every video is something that I’d watch. The tone is consistent (Brie and her guests enjoying themselves and only get serious when needed). I remember coming across a podcast feed with so many disparate episodes, and wonder why its creator hadn’t just made a dedicated feed for each. I’m not sure if we get to find out how Brie tackled releasing content on YouTube with her marketing representatives and consultants. She’s an A-lister and it’s the norm to have a publicist handle these sorts of things. Will we find out how she got verified? I hope so!

Comedic Moments:

  • The subtitles actually says ‘Bernard sizzling’
  • Unintentionally scaring the casting people during an audition
  • Brie’s mum looking up talking points and suggestions before going on a video conference about her daughter’s new YouTube channel
  • Negativity isn’t allowed when someone is playing Super Mario Galaxy and trying to defeat the final boss

The best part for me is definitely the consistent presence of captions. I’m not sure even Ryan Reynolds (the guy that bought a stake in Mint Mobile) does that for his content on YouTube (I just checked 4 of his videos…only AI captions). I know I keep mentioning it, but my ears really appreciate that I don’t have to turn up the volume as high. There’s also the fact that captions would be the cure for ‘bad audio’. Not that there is any in Brie’s videos, if there is…they seemed to have been compressed well so there is a decent level that all audio layers are close to. So if you have a podcast and are wanting to serve your listeners better, add a transcript when releasing show notes. Now, that would be a breeze if you already follow a script and I understand that you might want to wait until your subscriber numbers are the level of ‘This American Life’ before investing in getting someone else to do them for you.

A test on whether you can be really friends with someone (or knowing you’ve truly forgiven someone who’s wronged you) is being able to laugh with them, or allowing yourself to laugh at something they said or did. If you look through comments made on her videos, you’ll find ones that come from people who have permanently cancelled Brie out of their lives. I know it’s confusing to see them there, waiting for new videos from her and probably yelling a lot of negative things about this particular YouTuber. But maybe, it’s their subconscious wanting to be open to what Brie has to say and it’s only a matter of time before that person says: “You know…I was wrong about her.”

Watching all the episodes available I am left with the following questions:

  • Who does the subtitles, editing, filming?
  • How does Brie pick questions to answer (is that an assistant that does that stuff or is it Brie who actually scans them and flags notable ones for ideas for next videos?)
  • How is Brie’s ‘team’ paid? Are they participating in this because it’s just marketing? Is that why there are ads (rather than doing then like Michael Tucker who has ads within the video?)
  • How long does a video take to be finished?

Of course the titles I’ve picked for my review (‘Brie Larson Levels Up’ / ‘Brie Larson Does Things’) are not the names of Brie’s YouTube channel (‘Brie Is Online‘), and I was just brainstorming on possibilities. Plus it’s much better than just using the heading ‘Brie Larson’s YouTube Channel’ or ‘Brie Larson on YouTube’. It could be that coming up with a name is much more challenging than one for a band. There’s also Brie’s ability to release a video every week. This is the golden rule when building up a community: regular content. It’ll be interesting if she still would have a lot scheduled while she has to head to another location for work. Will we see a period with no videos then a deluge to make up for it? I, for one, am looking forward how she’ll be tackling the next chapter.

As for the possible fit for your viewing tastes? I think if you’re looking to be inspired (I was when I watched her two videos sharing the jobs she did not get) or need a reference on how to put together your content on YouTube, then I think this might be what you have been waiting for. Brie isn’t scared to just take the first step (which is asking advice) rather than waiting significant time to perfect the kind of content she shares. You can look at it as ‘focus testing on the go’, because when presenting the Interwebs with content that they could easily consume and comment on is a wise decision forward. The feedback enables creators to decide on future ones easily.

Leigh Lim. / /

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