10 Video Essays That Will Get You Addicted To Video Essays

From deep dives into pretty privilege, to incel culture, to why we love Meryl Streep- here are some of the best gateway video essays.


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Combining the format of the informative (and at times hilarious) essay with video media, video essays have exploded in popularity in the last few years. With 100s of video essayists on 100s of channels across Vimeo and youtube, getting into video essays can be overwhelming.

As a self-confessed video essay addict, I’ve picked ten great video essays to kick you down the rabbit hole. These are perfect for chucking on instead of aimlessly scrolling, or filling the time on your commute, while also learning a new point of view.

Woke Brands | hbomberguy

Hbomberguy explores the trend of ‘woke’ branding, asking whether a product can actually be progressive.

Incels | Contrapoints

Trans video essayist, Natalie Wynn takes a hypnotizing deep-dive into the dark twisted internet subculture of incels.

Pretty Privilege | Khadija Mbowe

Opera singer and vlogger, Khadija Mbowe discusses how social media has exaggerated the phenomena of people having privilege because they’re perceived as pretty.

How The Pandemic Distorted Time | Vox

Have you been feeling like time isn’t moving the same way since the pandemic? The folks over at Vox explain why.

What Is *Good* Queer Representation in 2020? | melinapendulum

Black Bisexual vlogger, Melina takes a deep-dive into what queer representation on film and television is in 2020 and how it’s changed over the last few decades.

Protest Music of the Bush Era | Lindsay Ellis

Lindsay Ellis has often been credited for popularising the video essay on youtube so her channel is full of excellent content, but this recent one touring the popular protest music of the noughties is an eye-opener.

Data | Philosophy Tube

Somewhere between a video essay and absurdist skit, Data by Philosophy Tube sees host Abigail Thorn act out the ethical considerations and concerns of data mining technology.

Tiger King: The Problem with True Crime | Broey Dachenel

broey deschanel uses Tiger King as a case study to demonstrate the issues at large in the mainstream true crime genre.

Why Do We Love Meryl Streep? | Be Kind Rewind

One of my all-time favourite essayists for her analysis of Hollywood culture, this video seeks to answer the age old question: why is Meryl Streep that good?

Jennifer’s Body & the Horror of Bad Marketing | Yhara Zayd

In this video, Yhara zayd takes you step by gruelling step through how and why cult classic Jennifer’s Body was so badly marketed.

Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian writer, critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club where she gushes about LGBT rep in media with her best friend. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.