Review: Pls Like, BBC Three, YouTube, Episode Two

Being taken through the six episodes via six vlog-based challenges, episode two takes us before the bright lights of Fashion and Beauty. Liam Williams joins Millipede, and this time she’s brought along the smiling yet cutting Chloe Sass (played by brilliant character comedian Lolly Adefope), another beauty vlogger with nearly as many but also nowhere near as many followers of Millipede. Between them, and a chance encounter between Williams and a pharmaceutical rep, this week we learn that vlogging is more than skin-deep.

It is clear the show is written on the back of research which takes in every detail and the commonplace elements which come to define the vlogging genre. Williams wryly captures the unsettling truth to the gratuitous consumerism on display in videos in which stars merely go through a checklist (insert the ker-chinging sound of sponsorship here) of nondescript stuff they come to own.

But as the narrative of the series is necessitated by Williams completing each challenge, we are quickly led away from what feels like a ripe opportunity to dissect the potential problem of vlogging breeding narcissism, instead taking up an arguably equally important question of how advertising leeches off the young and chipper, on this new and unregulated platform. 

In returning for episode two of Pls Like, it becomes all the more clear how capable YouTube as a platform is in capturing and sustaining your attention – just as the newly evolved BBC Three wants to do. I’d prefer not to think about how YouTube might be harvesting my data as I watch, because I can’t wait to find out what the Music challenge will have in store for Williams. 

Watch here. Episodes are released on Saturdays. 
Review by guest critic Lily Dessau.


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