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YouTube rewind 2020: Quarantine edition

Alexandra Ciufudean July 14, 2020
YouTube rewind 2020

I plumbed the depths of YouTube so you don’t have to.

If you’re anything like me, you’re well into your…fourth month of quarantine. Had to do some quick mental math for that one. You’ve probably run out of Netflix shows to binge, polished off the last hidden stash of snacks and tried (with mixed results) to stick to an intermittent workout routine. Maybe you even had a budding six pack by mid-May and then desolately watched it deflate, along with your hopes, dreams and bank account.

Let’s face it. You’ve passed peak productivity and are now trawling YouTube for something new and vaguely interesting to make you feel alive. Cooking shows and language videos are old hat.

You need novelty. You need suspense. You need someone to plumb the depths of YouTube for you and bring back those weird, rare pearls that make life in 2020 worth living.

I’ve got you. It’s time for a YouTube rewind 2020 quarantine edition.

Russian music

When was the last time you thought, “I wonder what’s going on in Russia? But, I mean, musically?”

Likely never. Me neither, until last Friday, when one errant search landed me in an as-yet-undiscovered land of bizarre musical delights.

Can I share some of them with you? Pretend we’re having a party and say yes out of an irrational fear of upsetting your guest.

Let’s just say that this fairy tale is not for the faint of heart. Don’t watch it alone at night unless you want to dream you’re on a crowded bus made of human flesh. And absolutely no one on board is wearing a face mask.

Russia’s very own Die Antwoord. Kind of. I don’t know, they’re great party music, leave me alone.

This is genuinely one of my favourite finds from recent Internet spelunking. Think late ‘90s Placebo mixed with post-punk and Russian New Wave.

Which reminds me.

Ok, so this is technically cheating, because they’re from Belarus. But “music from countries formerly part of the old Soviet block” just doesn’t have the same ring.

Cooking with dog

There are a lot of things you could say about this off-beat vintage-looking cooking show. You could comment on the inherent sexism of a show where the female host cooks silently while receiving instructions from a talking poodle. You could say something about Japan’s long and misunderstood tradition of oddball TV programming, at least to western eyes.

I’m not here to discuss any of that. I just want to point out how wonderfully decadent their Okonomiyaki looks. All those toppings. The mouth-watering umami fillings. I might even try to make this when I can safely leave my neighbourhood again.

Don’t look at the talking dog. Don’t try to understand what’s going on. Avert your eyes from the existential horrors implied.

There. Aren’t cooking shows soothing?

Mongolian metal

Do you know The HU? No, not The Who, the other one. Attila The HU. Oh, no? You should. They’re epic. Thank me later.

Throat singing

Right about now is where my deep dive derailed disastrously (don’t you love a good alliteration?). I must’ve blacked out around midnight. 

All I remember is waking up the next morning with a shame hangover, like when you know you’ve wasted four hours of your life you will never get back. 

I checked my YouTube watch history. Here are some of the highlights.

Looks like my flatmates are in for a fun week.

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Alexandra is Head of Entertainment at The Focus, managing a growing team of outstanding graduate and experienced writers. She has worked previously as an editor, writer and content specialist across web, video and social platforms and has a bachelor's in English Linguistics and a master's in Comparative Literature.