2019 Rewind is the worst flashback video created by YouTube

The YouTube Rewind logo presented every flashback video YouTube creates. Logo from Wikimedia Commons, permission under fair use.

The YouTube Rewind logo presented every flashback video YouTube creates. Logo from Wikimedia Commons, permission under fair use.

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With the decade coming to an end, the YouTube Rewind for 2019 was anticipated to be better than last year’s train wreck. But this year’s YouTube Rewind, “For the Record,” was the worst yet, appearing as if no creative effort went into highlighting the trends of the past 12 months. 

Published Dec. 5, the video started with multiple reaction clips from 2018’s Rewind, ”Everyone Controls Rewind,” and acknowledging the fact that their video became the most disliked on the platform (and the irony of it). 

Already, the company displayed its passiveness for the reactions of their creation while displaying on a black screen, “In 2018 we made something you didn’t like. So in 2019 let’s see what you DID like. Because you’re better at this then we are.” At that moment I knew it would not be better. There would be no creativity incorporated because YouTube’s inability to take last year’s criticism implied they would not even bothering to put any effort. 

Gearing away from a typical annual Rewind by featuring various YouTubers to display skits of the yearly trends. YouTube decided to take clips from this year’s most popular videos and feature them in multiple “top ten” lists, such as “Top most liked creator videos,” “Top most liked music videos,” “top 5 most viewed video games” and etc. 

If I wanted to see the most popular YouTuber on the platform, I would go to their channel or watch an analytic video find out. The whole point of Rewind is not to do something the creators on the platform can easily do. Rewind is supposed to be a unique and creative way to highlight what was popular in that year, not something as mundane as a WatchMojo top 10 video.   

I was expecting the company to go back to what made the Rewinds so great and memorable: the creators personally appearing in the video to creatively showcase trends, the most popular songs of the year as the background and at the end of each trend the YouTubers hitting the Rewind button. 

For example, my favorite YouTube Rewind was “Now Watch me 2015.” Even the title has more creativity than 2019’s, incorporating the infamous “whip” and “nae nae” that was popular in 2015. The company’s creativity came through by including the creators dancing while adding in the trend of clothing throughout the era. Or when the horror game “Five Nights at Freddy’s” was brought to life, instead of lazily showing a clip of creators playing the game for a few seconds. The main trend about the 2015 Rewind that made it so memorable was famous YouTubers saying famous statements, like Shia LaBeouf’s “Just Do It.” 

However YouTube did not bother to make a creative video like that. The 2019 recap, while technically being a “Rewind” by looking back at what the audience viewed the most, it failed to make it nostalgic. 

At least 2018’s rewind tried to embody what Rewind was all about (be it very poorly). This is what makes 2019’s Rewind even worse and disappointing.

It is the end of the decade- an amazing time to include even flashbacks of all the trends of the past decade. This year was a pivotal comeback to make the audience be able to look back at what we made popular in a way we could never imagine. However we were only left with clips YouTube just put in and called their Rewind.

With over 6.7 million people who disliked the video, obviously this Rewind was not what the audience wanted. Although 2018 was not the best due to YouTube’s cringey attempts to just talk about the trends, at least such flashback was better than nothing like it at all. Rewind shouldn’t just explain the trends, but should showcase all of them in an interesting and unique way. 

by ALICIA CHO