One of the best things about the internet has to be that there seems to be content available for every interest known to man. YouTube alone has countless channels devoted to what may seem like most esoteric topics out there, but there are still people who voraciously devour each new video. For every giant content provider like Machinima, Geek & Sundry, and others, there are folks out there sharing their passion for all to see. While these super-specific YouTube series below might not be on your radar, they’re oddly satisfying enough to keep you coming back for more.
JP the Bee Man
Down in Louisiana there’s a charmingly unkempt man with a passion for creatures that most of us actively avoid at best, and run away from screaming like a banshee at worst. JP the Bee Man is a bee removal expert who has no fear of the stinging insect. Without a bee suit, JP is armed only with his expertise, patience, southern drawl, and friendly demeanor as he safely removes established hives and sudden swarms of thousands of bees from homes, sheds, cars, and more. Sure, he gets “popped” (stung) now and again, but he just shrugs it off in his efforts to find the queen and relocate the hive to safety. The homegrown series is somewhat educational, and aside from the sheer amazement of a mere mortal casually scooping up handfuls of bees at a time, some of the best moments come from his interaction with homeowners who are in just as much disbelief at this bee-whisperer as the person watching the video.
Think you like mac & cheese? Nope, you’re wrong. Whatever your level of enjoyment or passion for the common man’s macaroni, it pales in comparison to the gentlemen from Red Cow Entertainment behind BoxMac. Yep, there’s a whole YouTube series devoted to cooking, comparing, and reviewing countless varieties of boxed macaroni and cheese from around the world. If Kraft Dinner is your only exposure to mac & cheese, then prepare to take the red pill and have your mind blown with unheard of regional delights, international delicacies, and surprisingly tasty generic store brands. Admittedly, it’s not just the cheesy topic that keeps me coming back, but rather the fun dynamic between the two hosts and the dedication they have to their Kraft. (Zing!)
Every Frame a Painting
Enjoying movies is pretty universal, so you may think having a YouTube channel devoted to movies on our list doesn’t fit with our super-specific theme. That said, although the topic of movies is pretty general, the hyper-focused content of each video from Every Frame a Painting is as specific as you can get. Each video takes an in-depth look at a particular element in filmmaking such as movement, silence, or even chairs, and heightens them to levels of artistry that you were previously oblivious to. In the short amount of time I’ve been exposed to this channel, I feel like I’ve taken a master class of filmmaking at a prestigious film school without paying tuition. In videos usually less than 10 minutes long, EFAP teaches you something to give you a greater appreciation for some of the most classic films of all time or introduces you to new master works all without being pretentious.
Proof that our day jobs don’t necessarily fulfill our passions, let me introduce you to Gabe Fonesca. A television writer by day, Fonesca’s real passion comes not from behind the camera, but from his years sitting in front on the TV, eating cereal. Even if you’re not a nostalgia junkie like me, you probably have some connection to a breakfast cereal from your youth. Cereal Time celebrates both modern cereals of today along with long forgotten cereals of yesteryear (Ice Cream Cones, anyone?). In addition to vintage TV commercials, highlights include a field trip to the General Mills vault and eating 30-year-old cereal, and opening vintage boxes to get the toy prizes inside.
Paul Sellers, Master Craftsman
Shows about craftsmen are nothing new. Heck, I grew up watching Bob Villa on PBS and Furniture on the Mend on TLC back when it was still The LEARNING Channel. What makes Paul Sellers’ YouTube channel so mesmerizing isn’t only watching something being created from scratch, but rather the attention to detail and the almost bare-bones way he does so. While we’ve grown accustomed to television crews constructing an entire house in less than 24 hours, I dare you to watch this 40-minute video of Mr. Sellers making a wooden spoon and not be captivated. From working with a saw from the 1700s that cuts like butter, shaving off paper-thin pieces of wood with a plane, to a 22-minute video about how to sharpen a chisel, your time won’t be wasted watching beautiful workmanship and you will certainly gain a fine appreciation for the time before IKEA.
Urban exploration has always fascinated me. Seeing things of former grandeur now in a spooky derelict state must be a driving force for people to go out of their way to document their decay. Dan Bell is one such explorer, but his muse isn’t old Victorian mansions or run-down industrial mills. No, he walks the hallways of capitalist America’s center of consumerism: the mall. In the ’80s and ’90s, it seemed as though the epicenter of American society was the shopping mall, but the ease of internet shopping comes at the expense of retail space. In his Dead Mall series, Bell documents slowly dying, dead, and absolutely destroyed abandoned former halls of commerce. Muzak never sounded so creepy until you hear it played in a vast shopping mall with no soul in sight. Who knew the calm serenity of a formerly bustling shopping mall can provide for hours of entertainment.
Got your own favorite weird and esoteric YouTube channel? List it in the comments section below or share it with me on Twitter.