Ever since this summer’s premiere of his Tanacon series, Youtuber Shane Dawson has created addicting and disputed Youtube docuseries. Each time Dawson has created a new documentary, he’s tried to step it up with the controversy. From Tana Mongeau to Jeffree Star, Dawson has attempted to pick apart the minds of famous and controversial Youtubers.
In his latest string of internet documentaries, Dawson picked former Vine star and famed Youtuber Jake Paul. Paul is most noted for his crazy stunts and dangerous behavior ranging from setting a fire in a pool to allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend. Paul is also well known for co-founding Team 10 – a social media incubator and management company that, in layman’s terms, turns people into internet celebrities.
In the docuseries “The Mind of Jake Paul,” Dawson tries to answer the question of whether Paul is a sociopath. With help from licensed therapist and Youtuber Kati Morton, Dawson tries to analyze and pick apart the mind of Paul. He studies everything from Paul’s family life, including his famous and controversial brother Logan Paul, to former members of Team 10, like Nick Crompton and Alissa Violet who have claimed Paul has abused them in some form.
Dawson claimed, in the first part of the docuseries, that the series would cover whether or not Paul is a sociopath. However, this hypothesis quickly fell apart, and it became an uninspired profile of Paul. Although Dawson seemed determined to seek the truth of Paul at the beginning of his series, his determination grew weaker. In the last video of the series, titled “Inside the Mind of Jake Paul,” Dawson sat down with Paul for a feature-length interview, which was painful to sit through. Dawson fed Paul hard questions, but when Paul gave insufficient answers with as minimal detail as possible, Dawson continued on without further probing. Dawson also talked to Paul as if he already knew how Paul would answer. For many questions, Dawson would make assumptions based on his limited knowledge of Paul and ask for Paul’s response to that, as opposed to asking unbiased questions.
As for all of his Paul interviews in general, Dawson lacks the courage to ask a lot of the “nitty-gritty” questions, such as addressing Paul’s racism and abuse. When asking Paul and current girlfriend, Erika Costell, if they were a real couple or not, Dawson didn’t pressure Paul or Costell further or investigate the subject. He took Paul and Costell’s word for it being real without getting a great deal of information to back up this claim – other than a very weak answer from former Team 10 member, Nick Crompton. Dawson has stated in many of these videos that he doesn’t want to ruin the Paul family, which would lead to him skipping over a lot of these hard-to-ask questions. However, this created a bias in favor of the Pauls and ruined potentially important discussions.
There are also a lot of technical issues with the way Dawson created the docuseries. The biggest concern from viewers is that the series is eight parts long, with each part running around 45 minutes and the last part extending for around 105 minutes. This makes the entire series a whopping seven hours long. This length is not justified in content because there are multiple scenes, even full videos in the series, that don’t seem to add anything to Dawson’s quest for truth. Many critics have argued that Dawson wasn’t cutting anything in order to make more money off of the series.
The last video of the series was the longest and the video most in need to be cut down. Dawson stated in a tweet, “We’re having trouble cutting things out because it’s all so interesting and real.” Besides practically giving Paul the answers, Dawson covered a variety of topics that he had already mentioned in prior videos which didn’t need to be addressed by Paul again, like Paul’s family life. Dawson constantly discusses Paul’s father, Greg Paul, but never has it lead up to anything. The repetitive topics and lack of interesting material made the final video hard to get through because it was full of bland content.
Dawson is known for “spilling tea,” or uncovering internet celebrity gossip, in much of his docuseries. It’s what makes them addicting must-sees. However, “The Mind of Jake Paul” did not have any noteworthy “wow” moments. The most exciting video to watch was Dawson’s interview with Paul’s supposed ex-girlfriend, Violet. Violet provided information the viewers didn’t know about, such as the history behind the abuse allegations against Paul and her supposed cheating on Jake Paul with Logan Paul. Throughout the docuseries, Dawson clearly receives a great deal of information from all different sides, but it is always off camera. Dawson is clearly too terrified of potentially ruining the Pauls’ lives, so he doesn’t press on issues that need to pressed. If Dawson did this, it could’ve in fact made Paul look like a better person or humanized him in a better light. However, “The Mind of Jake Paul” doesn’t give a viewer the much needed addicting “tea” to satisfy their “thirst.”
As with past Shane Dawson docuseries, “The Mind of Jake Paul” has also spurred a multitude of controversies. Most of the controversies surround the second video of the series, “The Dark Side of Jake Paul.” In the video, Dawson gets Morton to talk about what a sociopath is and what tendencies Jake Paul seems to have that coincide with sociopathic behaviors. People have criticized Dawson for diagnosing a person without a degree. Within the video, Dawson also edits in content of Paul doing violent or dangerous things as Morton describes what a sociopath is. By doing this, he is subliminally telling audiences to assume Jake Paul is a sociopath, whether or not there is evidence, which there technically is.
Overall, Dawson delivers content that skips over very interesting topics while simultaneously humanizing Paul in a light that forgets, and seemingly forgives, his racism, abuse and past mistakes. Despite it being a very interesting and a must-see for audiences, the content and techniques used to create this docuseries caused it to be unnecessarily long, biased and dramatized. That’s why we give it a 5/10.