Social bookmarking giant Reddit has launched their first original series on YouTube, based upon one of their popular threads, Explain like I’m Five. The thread is designed to boil down complex subjects so they’re understood by the layman. Based on this premise, and taking the title literally Reddit has created their Explain like I’m Five show which features a number of presenters attempting to explain heady topics to a group of….well, 5 year olds.
On paper, the concept works. However, the recently released show has come under flak for various reasons, from a simple lack of research and erroneous information, to the misguided adaptation of the original thread – of which the title was hyperbolic, rather than literal.
The videos in this series are HORRIBLE. I understand what you are trying to do. The concept is okay – but the explanation of the subject/topic of each video is just awful (and not even accurate!). Why not actually teach the kids about the topic, accurately, while being funny – and at a level where they could actually LEARN / UNDERSTAND the subject?
This popular, top comment on the video from lesliejay67, articulates all that is wrong with the production. Top comments on the other episodes are equally negative. The concept itself does not lend itself well to humour, and the content is unfortunately being criticised for missing the point. It’s a shame that Reddit’s big launch of original content is not as slick or explosive as one would hope, and the misfire of Explain like I’m Five is rather anti-climatic.
However, it’s only the first steps for Reddit, and they have a wealth of material to choose from when planning their future productions. It can be done, and In fact, it was recently revealed that a number of Hollywood films are in the pipeline based on the imaginative ramblings of Redditors. So if only Reddit can capitalise and focus on creating some truly amazing content, they already have an army of loyal fans that will easily convert to a ready-made YouTube audience.