While Drunk in a Graveyard is stationed in the Great White North, you probably know by now that I’m hopelessly American. In other words, my hobbies include committing acts of road rage, protesting gun violence, and counting down the days until I lose my health insurance at 26. While I’ve been fortunate enough to live in some of the bright spots of the otherwise culturally desolate U S of A, I’m not completely blind to the fact that this nation would be exponentially better if it didn’t lock up human trafficking victims and parole men who like to ejaculate into women’s hair on the bus. Out of what can only be jealousy, Americans meet Canadians with the love that one would give a Build-a-Bear whilst also throwing in a few jabs as the pangs of resentment start kicking.
Perhaps the most notorious reputation that Canadians have amongst Americans is that they’re too nice for their own good. There is no better living embodiment of this god-given fact than YouTuber PhilipSoloTV. Out of what seems like virtually nowhere, this young man, from the comfort of his Falling in Reverse and MCR t-shirts, has been garnerning millions of views on reviews you probably didn’t see coming. With the Buzzfeed trend of “trying the most expensive fill-in-the blank” growing stale, Philip spices it up a bit, trying food and having stays at some of the worst-reviewed restaurants and motels in Alberta, respectively. A creative fellow, he’s allowed his content to grow naturally, even going as far as interviewing an escort who had a string of feedback on Google that was worthy of a closer look.
While an individual with less tact could easily make these reviews worthy of a serious discussion spearheaded by Philip DeFranco, Philip Solo’s sweet, genuine, and pared-down demeanor always seems to hit the appropriate tone on the head. A video titled “Homeless Shelter Food Review” could turn out one of two ways, but after revealing that this shelter is, indeed, a facility at which he volunteers, it’s clear that Philip saw that there was a story in need of telling, and this is a way of doing so that would get viewers’ attention. With the camera turned off, Philip speaks with a man in line who reveals some of the details of his path to homelessness, providing a voice to someone who would otherwise be invisible. But, without turning it into a Laura Lee-style PR stunt, Philip returns home with his meal stuffed bare into his coat pocket, revealing that his salad had melded with his cookie.
This is also a man who isn’t afraid to join the picket line when needed. After interviewing the escort, he makes a trip to a motel that had allegedly robbed her. Blown-up picture of her in hand, he approaches the front desk and brazenly states, “we’re seeking justice for her; this establishment allowed her to get robbed and we don’t appreciate it” before letting out an “anyhoo.” Miraculously, despite the element of comedy, he doesn’t come off like a smart-ass as he advocates for his newfound friend. Something about his soft, monotone voice against the backdrop of snowy rundown towns dodges the bullet that seems to have taken down the Paul brothers.
But perhaps most admirably of all, Philip is all killer, no filler. In a world where you have to watch a 30 minute video to see if clickbait is actually founded in reality, it’s refreshing to find content that gets to the point. When having a look around the property of one of the worst-rated motels, he inadvertently ends up getting detained by the police for matching the description of a robbery suspect. Cool and collected (and curiously allowed to keep filming b/c Canada), he abides by police orders until he’s eventually let go. Ending the night by purchasing McDonald’s for a homeless man, Philip wraps up the vlog without blowing any of the police action out of proportion, ultimately choosing to forgo the event in the video’s thumbnail. It’s valiant to bring back the element of surprise — an art that’s been lost as YouTube has become more of a mainstream entertainment platform.
So, here’s the scope: Philip Solo is a young man worthy of his quick come-up. Providing a taste of a YouTube long since lost, rogue, low-budget content seems to be the recipe for something a lot more highly-rated than corner store lobster. While so many new YouTubers prove to be good things that come to an end, Philip has the potential to stay certified fresh for a long while.
Tune in next week to Thirsty Thursday for more from Jenna.
Send us some shmeckles on our Patreon.
You can find our podcast on iTunes, be sure to leave us a review if you are so inclined.