Ivy Allie

The Best Video Essays of 2022

Posted 17 Jan 2023

Drawing of Big Joel

Well, 2022 was not a banner year for the video essay. The medium seems to be in a sophomore slump of sorts, having matured enough to establish certain conventions but not quite comfortable enough to begin pushing its boundaries very often. Hopefully 2023 will be better, but in the meantime, I have once again gone back through my viewing history to find a few standout examples worthy of your time.

As before, this is by no means an objective or definitive thing. I can only speak for videos that I actually watched, which are themselves a subset of the videos that YouTube deigned to recommend to me. And this year brought an increasingly unreliable YouTube algorithm that often failed to highlight videos from creators who I explicitly follow, so I have no doubt there were many good videos that I never saw at all.

But here are some that I thought were good. I hope you enjoy them as well. As you can probably guess, those marked with a star are particular standouts. For convenience, here is a playlist with all of them, in no particular order because that would be a big pain.

Film and Television


Internet culture

Online masterclass grifting

One unexpected trend this year was a series of high-profile videos about the highly lucrative scam of selling online courses that promise to teach you to become a rich and famous Influencer.

Social Issues

Video games


That’s all, folks! And in case you missed it, here’s 2021’s list.