As part of YouTube’s new “Single Slate” strategy, which seeks to create original content for the free, ad-based side of the platform, their newest Originals production was a 30 minute special hosted by Priyanka Chopra called “If I Could Just Tell You Just One Thing.” Chopra has wide, global appeal, and her 1 million subscriber fanbase is exactly the kind of ad generating audience YouTube is looking to tap into. 

“If I Could Tell You Just One Thing” is inspired by a book of the same name by Richard Reed, which features the best nuggets of advice from people like Judi Dench, Anthony Bourdain, Margaret Atwood, and Bill Clinton. Priyanka’s special follows the same premise but is presented through the personal narrative of her figuring out the next phase of her life after marriage. In the special, she meets with Simone Biles, Awkwafina, and fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg. 

I watched the whole thing on the train yesterday morning during a thirty-minute delay on my commute and I enjoyed it. The editing is a bit rough, especially because the transitions between different conversations are accomplished by throwing in jarring shots of Los Angeles that last just a little too long to the point where it feels like the city of LA sponsored the video. Nevertheless, Priyanka is a talented interviewer and host. She’s comfortable going for the big questions and navigating sensitive topics. This pays off because so many of the conversations between her and her guests are so quotable and insightful. At one point, she asks Diane Von Furstenberg if she comes from privilege, to which Diane replies, “That’s a good question. No one has asked me this question.” Priyanka also carefully weaves in her own struggles and challenges, which makes the special seem personal and real. In fact, the premise of the show is what held her back, because she always had to shoehorn in the unnecessarily wordy question of “if you could tell me just one piece of advice, for me, what would it be?” 

There are also some truly fun moments too which make you smile while watching: Awkwafina and Priyanka bonding over the status held by condensed milk in Asian families (Seriously, it’s in every Asian household’s pantry); Diane Von Furstenberg directing the entire crew to make sure that the shots, the lighting, and the set are perfect at all times, even taking a moment to fix her appearance in a mirror as someone holds it for her. The special is made by this great back and forth between introspective questioning and two interesting, successful women having a good time. I was disappointed to find out that this was a one-off, because I would definitely binge all of it in one night. Twice. @YouTube, if you’re reading this, make this a series please. Otherwise, @Amazon, make like Sundance and drop your dough on this project

The best part of the special was Priyanka’s choice in interviewees. The three guests chosen for “If I Could Tell You Just One Thing” span a variety of professions, come from many different backgrounds, in different phases of their lives. They’re also all women. This is intentional. Priyanka, as a woman of colour, understands the importance of diverse voices, especially in a show about giving advice. 

Priyanka Chopra is insanely successful, and one of the 100 Most Powerful Women. But, self-admittedly, now that she is married, she’s trying to figure out her future as Priyanka Chopra Jonas. (Sidenote: In an ideal, non-patriarchal world, Nick would take her last name instead of the other way around. Nick Jonas Chopra has a better ring to it don’t you think?) Priyanka will always have Bollywood movies, like Gangubai and Gustakhiyan, both slated to come out this year. As we’ve seen, she’s also continuing to build her North American profile. Now that the wedding dust has settled, Priyanka must decide what her next steps are going to be. Apart from allegedly being mad at Meghan Markle and annoying Joe Jonas, her work in this YouTube special is a solid start, and a showcase of what else she can do.  

Attached - Priyanka Chopra with Nick Jonas in Miami this week.