Review: “The Mind of Jake Paul”
December 7, 2018
After the success of his first two documentary series, Shane Dawson sparked larger controversy when he announced his latest videos with Jake Paul who is the creator of the popular group Team 10 on YouTube. In this eight-part documentary called “The Mind of Jake Paul,” Dawson explored the reasons behind Jake Paul’s content: is he a sociopath? Although Jake Paul is one of the biggest YouTubers and is also highly disliked due to his past videos where he commits dangerous pranks or disturbs the public. But even deeper, Dawson wanted to uncover truths of the entirety of Youtube’s creators including himself. Similar to his past videos, he uncovered the truth to the last second and captivated people beyond his usual audience.
Dawson researches Jake Paul and talks to people who used to be in Team 10. It not only helps him understand Paul but also informs viewers. Paul isn’t painted as an innocent teen behind the cameras: harsh facts are brought forward by his former friend and girlfriend. It is what gives Dawson credibility because although the series is empathetic, he brings forth the whole story, not merely Jake Paul’s perspective. Dawson shows clips throughout the first couple videos to build up for the fifth video where he actually meets Jake Paul. It creates tension that keeps viewers intrigued. Creators always reveal parts of their life and show a consistent personality that subscribers are attracted to so these short documentaries Dawson filmed are incredibly unique. Each person he bases the series on who so far have been controversial YouTubers like Jeffree Star, and Tana Mongeau.
Dawson enters the world of Jake Paul: the Team 10 house, his girlfriend Erika Costello, his brother Logan Paul, and his bizarre everyday activities. Costello discloses both negative and positive information about her boyfriend in her interview. In the two hour finale, Dawson immediately accuses everybody of continuing unnecessary drama and elongating the situation, especially to Paul and Costello. He does not take sides as he films his ex-girlfriends story, his friend’s story, and his present girlfriend. Dawson asks about topics that made Paul uncomfortable as well, questions that media outlets and the public have asked: did he abuse Alissa Violet? Why does he post content that is offensive? Are his pranks fake? Why have so many people left Team 10? All questions are answered. But Paul does not seem to appear remorseful or understand the gravity of his offenses at times, Dawson calls him out on it. Dawson sympathizes with him but overall brings forth the truth behind Jake Paul’s mind, whatever the public may think he does not attempt to change Paul’s image but rather try to help someone grow.
Shane Dawson’s investigative documentary series about Jake Paul has stirred up drama across social media platforms in ways that countless numbers of other influencers and media outlets have attempted. And although it may be interesting to many viewers to watch, a lot of the information and topics covered in these videos are disappointing.
A lot of the series discusses the rumors that Paul, a Youtuber and social media story followed by millions, is a sociopath. Shortly after his (also famous) brother posted a video poking fun at a dead body in Japan’s Suicide Forest, TMZ posted a video where Paul is rapping, saying the N-word multiple times. Paul also faced harsh criticism from neighbors of his “Team 10” house, his neighbors frustrated with noise and reporting that Paul constantly is pulling stunts like burning a pile of furniture in his pool. However, the idea that this and Paul’s lack of concern for his “haters” making him a sociopath is really offensive and overdramatic.
As far as anyone is concerned, Paul might be a “sociopath” by Dawson’s terms (showing a lack of empathy). But being a sociopath is a more harmful version of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and using mental health as a platform to get more views and responses is really unprofessional for Dawson, whose normal videos are actually pretty entertaining. Also, Dawson uses a therapist undercover when visiting Paul’s house, which sets a really bad example for many of his younger viewers. People with serious health issues should not be tricked into a diagnosis, and if Dawson (or anyone) was really that concerned about Paul’s mental health, they would not have tried to uncover their secrets without Paul noticing.
Additionally, Dawson’s labeling of Paul as a sociopath before even meeting him shows the effects of the kind of rumors Dawson is perpetuating by releasing this series. That being said, Dawson’s editing style and interviews were very persuasive and almost had the effect of sympathy for this overprivileged man before Dawson again resorted to almost making excuses for him. Alleged Antisocial Personality Disorder should not excuse racism and being a bad influence on Paul’s followers, who are mostly in their younger teens. Although Dawson succeeded in obtaining tons of clicks, that by no means should imply that this series is a good idea or that the topics it covers are important or even relevant: so, unless you have four hours to kill, just stick to Dawson’s regular content, and avoid unnecessary drama.