Perhaps one of the most successful projects of YouTube’s original channels program My Music Show takes the most divisive factions of modern music culture and smooshes them together in the setting of a dysfunctional web start up.
The show’s characters are based on basic stereotypes about lovers of certain genres of music specifically Techno, Dubstep, Idol (pop), Indie, Scene (alternative), Hip-hop and Intern 2 (because there’s always that one guy who just kind of likes everything).
Each character is hired ostensibly because their influence will attract people who listen to the same music as them to the show.
In reality it’s the main source of conflict and the driving force behind a fair amount of the plot in each episode.
For the most part the writers and actors have been able to develop their characters beyond the limits of their individual genres. Some more successfully than others.
Idol, Indie and Scene have become rich enjoyable characters in their own right while Techno, Dubstep and Hip-Hop in particular still rely on stereotypes to generate humour. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the season will give them the screen time they need to become fully fleshed out.
^ Veteran MyDamnChannel vlogger Daily Grace plays Idol, social media expert and queen of everything mainstream.
Sadly a rarity in online video the show is genuinely hilarious; even if it sometimes relies too heavily on the “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” style of comedy. It’s at its best when it’s relatively subtle and character driven.
Props are used to good effect and the odd recurring joke is never allowed to outstay its welcome. They’re either burnt up and quickly discarded or allowed to simmer gently in the background.
Celebrity cameos are used but it never feels like a cheap gimmick to attract attention away from weak writing (I’m looking at you, Wil Wheaton in Big Bang Theory).
Much like it’s fictional counterpart the show has worked hard to engage with its audience and outside of the weekly episodes posts music news, live shows, answers questions and takes polls on its various social media pages.
Again like it’s fictional counterpart the shows cater to all tastes; a rarity within the sphere of traditional media where each magazine generally caters to a single genre. You’re either reading Kerrang! or NME, Rolling Stone or Revolver and there’s little room for discussion between people from different backgrounds and taste.
It’s unclear whether the news and discussion aspects of the channel have been embraced by the hardcore music lovers it wants to attract but there’s a place for them there if they want it.
The element most key to it’s continued success is the one that all good sitcoms need and a lot never achieve. It’s hard to pin down and impossible to manufacture.
It’s that feeling of coming home at the start of every episode; the knowledge that things will change but essentially remain the same.
My Music Show has it in spades.