Liam Payne is planning to post regularly on his YouTube channel in a new series, the first video for which was posted yesterday. This recurring series is currently untitled because as Liam says, “I don’t know what this is yet, but I’m just making it as we go.” I have a suggestion: I think it should be called “The Liam Payne Show starring Liam Payne with special guest Liam Payne” because the whole video is just Liam reacting to his week. For 12 minutes. WHO ASKED FOR THIS?
You know when you’re talking to your friends, but because we’re all quarantining, the most exciting thing you can talk about is that you had oatmeal instead of cereal for breakfast? That’s what Liam’s video feels like. There’s not much to react to because Liam is just self-isolating at home. And these are going to happen every week! So instead of any real content, it’s just Liam watching his Instagram or looking at memes of himself on Twitter. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a single scenario that would make me want to watch Liam watch himself.
I feel like Liam is the president of the Liam Payne Fan Club. At one point, he looks at a thread posted by a Zayn and Liam shipping account! Later, he just shows off TikToks that he finds funny. And the whole time, I’m sat here like:
Just use the retweet and share buttons, dude.
Unfortunately, Liam’s video just comes off a bit self-obsessed. It’s the same kind of image that has been ruffling feathers during the pandemic. Even though he highlights his local foodbank and the Trussell Trust, he also uses it as an opportunity to show pictures of himself volunteering. When talking about his performance on James Corden, he even says, “The hardest thing about quarantine life in my position and job is trying to make things look interesting.” Read the room Liam. That’s the kind of sh-t you shouldn’t be saying right now.
What’s probably even stranger (or funnier) is that Liam seems to have completely adopted the YouTuber persona. If you’re familiar with YouTube culture, you’ll recognize a lot of the tropes, ones that are often parodied and memed. Lots of jump cuts. Poor lighting. Unfiltered streams of consciousness. Weird noises that break up “segments”. It’s all there. This was one of the comments on the video:
The general trajectory for most creators is to move from YouTube towards traditional media, not the other way around. Lilly Singh got her own talk show. Troye Sivan became an artist. Lots of vloggers ended up writing a book of some kind. Why would Liam Payne, a member of one of the most popular boy bands, go the other way?
I’m not saying that Liam is becoming irrelevant. But perhaps he’s lost some of the popularity he enjoyed earlier. His latest album, LP1, flopped. And now, when people are talking about him, it’s because of the 1D reunion that’s on the horizon.
Are band reunions like high school reunions? Everyone parts ways more or less at the same level, and then they meet back again several years later to compare successes. Because even though it’s an anniversary celebration, it’s also a “how much have YOU done since One Direction?” There are always winners and losers. Zayn is obviously the one who doesn’t show up, but what about the others? How will they stack up?
You can watch the video here, although it’ll be 12 minutes you can’t get back.