It might use the same technological architecture, but the internet of kids is a totally different place than the adult internet. Instead of infuriating political news, weight-loss apps, and Zoom meetings you have to go to even though the whole thing could have been taken care of with an email, the kidernet has weird online celebrities, dangerous and seductive social media trends, overhyped, buggy video games, and, most importantly of all, adorable cats. So here’s what the kids are about this week.
Celebrities you’ve never heard of: Davie504
Davie504 would probably never have become famous if there was no internet, but he’s big star on YouTube. The Italian musician/comedian created an online army of nearly nine million subscribers who are in love with his bass-playing talent and hilariously deadpan, arrogant, comedic attitude.
On his channel, he “battles” other musicians — violin players, ukulele players, guitarists, other bassists, and more — tries to find the hardest bass line on earth to challenge his skills, and generally creates an alternative bass-centric reality where picks and guitars are illegal and bass-mastery is the ultimate human achievement. None of this would “work” in traditional media, but on YouTube? It’s straight gold.
Below are some quick follow-ups to TikTok trends I’ve pointed to recently.
- “Scalp popping” is a bad idea. Turns out you shouldn’t pull your own hair hard enough to make a snapping sound. According to paediatrician Andrew Doyle, “If you pull too hard or the wrong way you risk tearing the tissue, tearing the skin itself and pulling out a whole lot of hair.” The more you know.
- The “Benadryl Challenge” is a bad idea. Taking so much Benadryl you get high is neither cool nor smart, according to the Washington Poison Centre’s executive and medical director Dr. Erica Liebelt. High doses of Benadryl can cause hallucinations, seizures, and heart problems that can even kill you. Huh. Who would have guessed?
- Creating a musical version of Ratatouille is a good idea! The internet-grown, fan-made Ratatouille musical is going into production…kind of. On January 1, 2021, theatrical production company Seaview will present “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” in a ticketed, one-time live-streaming event. You can buy your spot here. The organisers are asking for a donation of between 10 and 50 bucks, and all donations will go to the The Actor’s Fund. I’ll be in the front row. I mean, in front of my computer.
In summary: You should never do anything you see on TikTok ever, except produce musical theatre for old Disney movies.
This week in TV: Cobra Kai returns
Both kids and adults enjoy Cobra Kai. The Netflix series has taken the entire watching-things community by storm with its combination of loopy martial arts action, over-amped teenage drama, and nostalgic humour. It’s really the only thing holding our wounded nation together. Thankfully for the American experiment, an entire new season of CK drops on January 8.
Here’s the just-released season three trailer. There will be new alliances, enemies becoming friends, inter-dojo warfare in the San Fernando Valley, and at least one sweet Trans-Am. It’s going to be hard to top the end of season two, when everyone punched everyone else in the face at school so hard that one kid ended up in the hospital, but I’m glad someone has the courage to try. People at Netflix are the true heroes.
Viral video of the week: Cat dancing on TikTok
My undercover teenage spy, my niece Claire, sent me this week’s viral video. She tells me that everyone is sharing it on the TT (that’s what us cool people call TikTok.) In it, TikToker 0nurcot and his cat stare at the camera and then do a little dance. Not much, right? But there’s an indescribable, hypnotic quality to this video. I watched it at least a dozen times, and then I tried to get my own cat to dance with me. It didn’t work, and I got scratched because my cat is not good at all, so I spent the next three hours watching videos of adorable little kitties on the #catsofTikTok hashtag to make her jealous. Just look at these little guys! This one’s riding a skateboard! This one’s freaking out because it has post-its on its paws! This one’s wearing tiny hats! (I am clinically depressed.)
This week in gaming: Cyberpunk 2077
Everyone who cares about gaming is playing Cyberpunk 2077 this week. The open-world, sci-fi role-playing game was made by the company behind the legendary Witcher series, and was originally announced in 2012, so there was a lot of anticipation. But does the actual game live up to the nearly decade of hype? Yes…and no.
According to players and reviewers alike, it’s wildly ambitious, massively detailed, and often mind-blowing — if you can get it to work right. The game has been released across nine(!) platforms, and your experience will apparently vary a lot based on where you choose to play it. If you’re running it on a high-end PC, you should be fine, but last-generation console peasants will be struggling with slow frame-rates and overall sluggishness. Plus, open-world games this complex are always buggy as hell when they first come out. I say, enjoy the glitches now, before an endless series of patches takes them away. Some are hilarious, like this poor avatar who can’t keep his junk in his pants, or this gamer whose Cyberpunk 2077 world is covered in tiny trees.