When YouTube made its debut in the spring of 2005, no one could have imagined the massive influence it will have on popular culture. Its impact is multi-faceted, affecting everything from politics to the economy. Its main strength was that it was entirely free to use.
However, when streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime began to show that subscription-based services could lead to better content and more profit, YouTube had to take notice. Thankfully, YouTube took the plunge, and now we have a range of amazing original YouTube shows. In this article, we’ll discuss the top five.
No discussion of YouTube Originals can quite start without the mention of Cobra Kai, the fantastic reboot of the 1980s-era Karate Kid franchise. Returning to reignite their onscreen rivalry that had enamored the world a few decades ago, William Zabka and Ralph Macchio are as good as ever. Set 34 years after the original Karate Kid film, it is a landmark moment in online streaming history. It evokes 80s nostalgia with a dash of timeless humor.
There are always pitfalls when trying to revisit cultural juggernauts of the past, but Cobra Kai circumvents any such issues with grace. Instead, it’s a tersely scripted and humorous drama with a strong emotional impact and exciting storytelling.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit for the third season, but that’s no reason to skip the show if you’re looking for something new to watch. We highly recommend it.
Rhett & Link’s Buddy System
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are an American comedy duo best known for creating and hosting Good Mythical Morning, a talk and variety series that launched on YouTube back in 2012. Due to their massive success on the platform, YouTube roped them in to produce another original series called Rhett and Link’s Buddy System.
The show is a meta-take on Good Mythical Morning, in which an infomercial star and their former girlfriend, played by the sparkling Leslie Bibb, comes back to scam them. It’s absurdly funny and a great casual watch if you’re looking to spend your time without too much hassle.
After mentioning two comedy shows, we thought it’d be a good idea to mix it up a bit. Impulse is an intense thriller starring 25-year-old Maddie Hasson. Adapted from Steven Gould’s sci-fi novels, the narrative revolves around the isolated life of a single teenager in a broken border town.
Director Doug Liman has made sure to make this show as engaging as it’s aesthetically beautiful. Hasson is a revelation, and we couldn’t recommend this show more. Get yourself all the popcorn in the world and start on this arduous, self-reflective, and passionate journey. We bet it’ll be a ride.
Step Up: High Water
Step Up was always a lucrative franchise. Therefore, it made sense for YouTube to play it safe by giving it another shot in the arm with Step Up: High Water. Based on the original series created by Duane Adler, Step Up: High Water premiered in January 2018. It has since proved to be a massive success, driven not only by the franchise’s already significant fan base but also by expanding to newer audiences.
Step Up: High Water is stylish and forceful. What begins as a coming-of-age drama about twins Tal and Janelle, quickly morphs into a stunning dense-soap masterpiece.
If you haven’t seen the original show, you should probably set aside time to binge this most watchable of shows.
While we had quite a few options to choose from to fill this last slot, we had to go with Wayne as our final pick. It’s an action-comedy series whose eponymous hero could be billed as a cross between Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye. Wayne is daring, immersive, and hugely enjoyable. You have to watch this masterpiece.
So, this is our list of the five best YouTube original shows. Do you agree with our picks? Let us know if there are other series that you think deserved a spot on the list.