In case you didn’t know, YouTube Red is YouTube’s paid version, which has exclusive content that’s not available on, well, regular YouTube. When it first came out, I, like everyone else, scoffed. The charm of YouTube is that you don’t have to pay for it. YouTube is right up there with air and water on the list of the best things in life that are free. Besides, there’s plenty of great content already on the free site. Why look any further? That was before Wong Fu released Season 1 of ‘Single by 30’. (I realize the single apostrophes make it weird, but shush, this isn’t the time to dwell on that.)
Wong Fu Productions is a YouTube channel that has created some incredible digital series in the past. They’re mostly romantic dramas that develop as an arc and come to a conclusion in a few episodes. The pilot episode of ‘Single by 30’ was released in 2015, and the plot, while it isn’t terribly original, is still quite good. Here it is: Two best friends discover that getting out there is less terrifying when they have each other as backups. They make a pact. If both of them are still single at the age of 30, they’ll get married. Which is, y’know, preferable to dying alone with only your TV remote by your side.
The plot is more or less the same in the 2016 series, although minor details have been changed in the new first episode which is also free.
It was pretty entertaining. Kina Grannis plays Joanna, the female lead and Harry Shum Jr. (who plays Magnus Bane in Shadowhunters) plays Peter, the male lead. It’s inexplicably strange that Grannis is not the professional actor in this production, because her character is the only one that comes across as convincing. Shum Jr. is almost painful to watch as Peter. His acting seems entirely too stilted and forced. Joanna’s old friend Debbie is well portrayed. However, both Joanna’s roommate Chloe and Peter’s friend Mark are absurd imitations of human characters. Chloe is a ditzy millenial, and Mark is the overly groomed guy. Their characters are so two-dimensional that it’s difficult to tell who’s more at fault, the writers or the actors.
Despite that, I believe the plot could feature some interesting twists and turns.
So should you watch it? It depends on how much disposable income you have. If you have a lot of money and time on your hands, go for it. It’s no masterpiece, but I think it’s entertaining enough to be worth the while. After all, it does have a Ryan Higa cameo in it.
So would you get YouTube Red for Single by 30?
Image Credit: Wong Fu Productions on YouTube