There’s so much to watch on YouTube!
When YouTube Red first launched back in 2015, no one was sure whether YouTube’s answer to Netflix would sink or swim – but five years on and one rebrand later, YouTube Premium is still offering some pretty premium content. With YouTube recently making some of its Original shows free to stream as part of its #StayHome campaign, and with 2020 plans including making all Original series free to stream with ads, there’s never been a better time to binge.
Here are six YouTube Originals series that have received TenEighty’s stamp of approval.
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television (2017 – 2019)
Fans of cop comedies like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and meta-comedy like Community are sure to love Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television, a deliciously self-aware action-comedy series that endlessly pokes fun at everything – from the titular ‘celebrity consultant’ playing an exaggerated version of himself, to the LAPD, police procedurals or YouTube itself. All 16 episodes are currently available for free and feature a frankly staggering list of celebrity cameos, from Joel McHale to Kristen Bell.
It knows its platform and its audience well and has enormous fun satirising just about every stereotype of Hollywood you can think of.
Impulse (2018 – 2019)
Impulse is a must-see tense sci-fi thriller, based on the book of the same name by Steven Gould. One of YouTube Premium’s few flagship drama series, it follows Henrietta ‘Henry’ Coles, an isolated teenager who learns she has the ability to teleport when severely emotionally distressed after a traumatic event. A must-watch for fans of I Am Not Okay With This, both seasons are now available to watch for free.
The high production value and quality of the show make it a prime example of the premium content YouTube has to offer as a platform.
Step Up: High Water (2018 – Present)
Step Up: High Water is one of YouTube Premium’s most popular originals. A coming-of-age dance drama based on the Step Up film franchise, it showcases the “rich and diverse artistry” of Atlanta and follows the students of High Water, an intensely competitive performing arts school. The show has some absolutely jaw-dropping dance sequences packed in with gripping storylines you can’t tear yourself away from.
Step Up: High Water was sadly cancelled by YouTube after just two seasons, but has a new life on US TV network, Starz.
Instant Influencer (2020)
We couldn’t get this far down the list without giving a nod to all the great reality TV series that YouTube Premium has to offer – and we guarantee Instant Influencer will be your next big obsession. Hosted by James Charles, the four-episode series gives six young and promising influencers the chance to win $50,000 and the opportunity to star in a video collab with the makeup guru himself.
Instant Influencer is all about the potential to become the next big beauty superstar, and the show has that winning combination of incredible guest judges and super talented contestants you can’t help but root for.
We’ll be practising our contour as we wait for news on a second season!
Rhett and Link’s Buddy System (2016 – 2017)
No one does surrealist comedy better than Good Mythical Morning duo, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. Their YouTube Premium comedy series Rhett and Link’s Buddy System is yet more proof of the pair’s seemingly endless talent, as they created, wrote and starred in the whole thing.
Season one of Buddy System sees the pair trying to regain control of their show from their co-ex-girlfriend – sounds simple enough, right? At least until their clones get involved. The show was a massive success back in 2016 and is definitely worth revisiting now, especially as every episode from both seasons is free to watch on the Good Mythical Morning YouTube channel.
Cobra Kai (2018 -Present)
The one you’ve been waiting for – like we’d ever leave Cobra Kai off this list!
Cobra Kai is by far YouTube Premium’s most successful scripted show. Both season one and two are free to watch, the premieres have over 80 million views each and the comedy-drama won a Golden Tomato Award for Best TV Drama back in 2018. Marketed as a continuation of the Karate Kid saga, Cobra Kai sees Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprise their roles from the original film thirty-four years later as their rivalry is rekindled, and a new generation is trained at the Cobra Kai dojo.
The show is currently looking for a new streaming home as YouTube Premium steps back from original scripted programming, but, according to Deadline, the upcoming third season has a lot of interest from both Hulu and Netflix.
So there you have it!
Six of our favourite YouTube Original series, ranging all the way from absurd comedies to intense dramas. You can find a full list of all the series currently available for free here. There’s so many to choose from, so if we’re missing your favourite YouTube Premium show, be sure to tweet @TenEightyUK and let us know!
Want more YouTube fun? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
- 5 Newsletters You Need To Subscribe To
- 6 Top Festival Performances To Relive At Home
- 7 Tattoo-Centric Channels You Should Be Watching
- Our 8 Favourite Moments From James Charles’ Instant Influencer
- Our 8 Favourite Moments From Oliver Ormson’s Good Morning, World!