By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
Netflix, it is about time you give Shane Dawson his own original series.
On Sept. 25th, YouTuber Shane Dawson shook the internet with the first episode of his eight-part docuseries following the life of controversial YouTuber Jake Paul. The episode, titled “The Mind of Jake Paul,” has over 20 million views and is taking YouTube by storm. Following his highly acclaimed documentary series revolving around different contentious YouTubers such as Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star, Dawson decided to take on the unimaginable: Jake Paul. In the series, Dawson sits down with various individuals to uncover Jake Paul’s real identity in hopes to answer the public’s most sinister question: Is Jake Paul a sociopath?
Throughout his YouTube career, Jake Paul has definitely leaned toward the sociopathic route. However, some people believe that he simply possesses sociopathic tendencies rather than being an actual sociopath. Overall, Shane Dawson does an exceptional job in creating a thrillingly raw docuseries that encapsulates who Jake Paul really is.
In the first installation, “The Mind of Jake Paul,” Dawson delves into the origins of Paul’s career. He conducts research alongside YouTuber iNabber via Skype, who helps Dawson understand Jake Paul’s atrocious persona. He addresses the different conspiracies between his company Team 10, Paul’s ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet, and other infamous scandals that highlight Paul’s worst moments from his wild extreme truth or dares to his demeaning diss tracks. Dawson sheds some light on the current, notorious Jake Paul and revisits some of the heinous stunts he has pulled in the past. The audience was generally able to see what kind of person Paul is and how he represents himself to his viewers.
In “The Dark Side of Jake Paul,” Dawson interviews therapist Kati Morton who gives him insight on the various sociopathic attributes Paul exhibits, including specific physicalities and facial features. In addition, she explains how sociopaths will logistically put on a mask to hide their true identities and ultimately try to “fake it till’ you make it,” so to speak. For example, sociopaths are generally caught off guard when others take pictures of them and do not have time to “put on their mask.” This results in the individual looking dead in the eyes, as well as exhibiting a creepy, disoriented smile. Morton’s chilling and alarming message channels the viewer’s adrenaline and boosts their anticipation for the next, upcoming part in the series.
Dawson’s research continues in part 3, “The Family of Jake Paul,” by investigating more into the Paul Family. Taking into account Paul’s lifestyle, Dawson goes on to learn more about his parents. He discovers how much influence Jake’s father, Greg Paul, has from the time his son was little and how it may have affected who he is today. For example, ever since he was a kid, along with older brother Logan Paul, Paul’s father always taught them to be the best at everything they did at all costs, resulting in their highly competitive spirits. Based on past vlogs, it ultimately seemed that Greg Paul was seen as more of a coach, than an actual father figure. The information that Dawson uncovers gives a startling portrayal of Jake’s life behind the cameras, as well as the truth of his questionable, infamous persona.
In part 4, “The Enemies of Jake Paul,” Dawson visits former Team-10 member Nick Crompton and gets the inside scoop on his ex-best friend in real life. Having been in Team 10 since it originated, Crompton spent years with the real Jake Paul. He opens up to Dawson on the so-called overboard pranks that stirred up controversies between many former Team 10 members, which he later admits were all staged. Crompton continues on to explain what really happened inside the Team 10 house and what eventually caused the others to leave. With this, viewers are left on the edge of their seats to find out more on what really made Jake Paul who he is today.
At the climax of the series, chills rise to the top as Dawson finally meets the subject one on one at the infamous Team 10 mansion. In “The World of Jake Paul” (Part 5), Dawson, along with therapist Kati Morton disguised as the series’ producer, get a glimpse of Paul’s typical everyday life. First, Dawson decides to simply bond with Paul to get a feel of his personality, and then later proceeds to the actual interview. At the cliffhanger of this episode, viewers are shocked to see the true reality of one of YouTube’s most contentious creators.
Nearing the end of the series, truths come out in part 6 titled “The Secrets of Jake Paul.” Shane Dawson spends the rest of the day at the Team 10 mansion and learns more about Paul behind the scenes. He speaks to Erika Costell, Paul’s girlfriend, in which she testifies about who she genuinely thinks Paul is. Viewers are stunned to find out who Paul is as a person and what they don’t see through their laptop screens. Costell accounts for how Paul’s true character is reflected differently then what the general audience may think, and is something that should be addressed. At the end of part 6, Dawson closes with a sneak peek of the finale (parts 7 and 8) including the long-awaited final interview with Jake Paul himself, which will premiere next week.
Despite the praise on Dawson’s series, he also received a numerous amount of backlash. Viewers were furious that Dawson was giving Jake Paul a “platform” in an attempt to “gain sympathy” for him. However, this is not the case since the main purpose of the docuseries was to interview the real side of Paul, which means raw footage. Dawson even mentions in one of his videos that Paul promised to say nothing but the truth, so there would be no controversy. In addition, the audience felt that Dawson was trying to diagnose Paul in to being a sociopath. After the series’ premiere, the public spoke out in regards to mental health and personality disorders. Viewers also demeaned the series due to Dawson’s “lack of sensitivity” in addressing the sociopathic topic, and over dramatized the matter with “scary effects and background music.” In the end, however, more people were behind Dawson and supported him respectively.
Overall, “The Mind of Jake Paul” was an incredibly produced docuseries combining both entertainment and reality. With the use of appropriate effects that complemented to the thrilling “edge of your seat” aspect to the genuine, in-depth psychological analysis, Shane Dawson utterly succeeds in discovering the true identity of one of YouTube’s most contentious influencers.
Anyone down to sign my petition for Shane’s Netflix series?