Ivy Allie

The Best Video Essays of 2021

Posted 24 Dec 2021

Possibly the most fascinating and vivid new art form of our time, nearly everyone I know under the age of 40 watches video essays on at least a semi-regular basis. The best of them are as well-made, sophisticated, interesting, and insightful as anything that might get nominated for established awards. Yet so far there’s been very little recognition of the form outside of the potent enthusiasm of its audience. So I thought it might be fun to compile a list of some of the video essays that I most enjoyed this year. This is not a ranking, nor is it an award, nor is it comprehensive. Consider it a list of recommendations.

I’ve also made a YouTube playlist for your convenience.

Internet culture

The Ballad of Doug Walker

There was a lot of good discussion this year about my favorite disgraced Internet celebrity, Doug “The Nostalgia Critic” Walker. Full playlist here.

Video games

Urban Planning

Film and Televison

The Sia Saga

The most fascinating and horrifying event in 2021 cinema was the release of the ill-advised autism film “Music”, created by ostensibly famous musician Sia. (Had you heard of her before this debacle? Because I hadn’t.) I can’t remember which of the many videos about it that I watched was best, so here are a couple different ones.

Computers and Programming