It’s a strange thing to admit, I love reaction videos. Well, I should clarify, certain types of reaction videos, namely those that deal with entertainment pieces that (a) I love and, (b) evokes a strong reaction.
I’m trying to remember what piece of entertainment drove me to watch a reaction video. I think it was The Force Awakens trailers. I saw the first Star Wars movie when I was about seven years old at a drive-in movie theater with my family. It was a very impressionable age and I was blown away not by the special effects (though I loved those too) but by Princess Leia. Up until that point the only princesses I had been exposed to were Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. For various reasons, not my cup of tea. Now Princess Leia, here was someone special! There she was on the drive-in movie screen mixing it up the boys, powerful in her own right, and flying across the galaxy on a mission of justice. Just awesome.
Like many others I was disappointed by the prequels so when I heard JJ Abrams was taking over the franchise at the behest of Disney I was cautiously optimistic. This sense of excitement grew as the teasers and the final movie trailer was released. The imagery, the music, the droids, and Han and Chewy (!) all transported me back to that magical, impressionable seven-year-old at the drive-in. I think the final official trailer actually brought a lump to my throat.
To be perfectly honest, I felt ridiculous to be moved to tears by a movie trailer. What on earth was wrong with me? I couldn’t really talk about it with many of my peers so I turned to the virtual world in search of validation and on YouTube I struck gold. Hundreds of The Force Awakens reaction videos were available on-line. Here people of all ages watched the trailer and recorded their powerful emotional reactions. Watching them I began to feel a little less ridiculous and instead experience a sense of virtual camaraderie with like-minded individuals. You see, the power of Star Wars for us wasn’t simply being entertained, but more of a remembrance of what it felt like to experience child-like awe and a belief that anything was possible.
Since I discovered the world of reaction videos they are my go to place whenever I watch a piece of entertainment that provokes a strong reaction. I enjoy watching realization dawn on the faces of others as they figure out what’s coming. The tears of joy, the laughter, the cries of shock or horror are all highly entertaining to me. It enhances the original work and also exposes me to countless others who are on my wave length, at least in terms of entertainment options. Because I’m a serious of a sci-fi/fantasy geek two “Reactor” groups I very much enjoy on YouTube are The Normies and Blind Wave. They are quite knowledgable about the shows/movies they watch, are highly expressive, and offer insightful commentary as to what they believe is happening with character development and plot.
If you’ve just watched something you can’t get out of your head a la The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, go watch a few reaction videos on YouTube. You won’t be disappointed.