Escape the Night

Arts and Culture

Okay, a lot of people continue to slam YouTubers. Go ahead, be dismissive. Shane Dawson has more subscribers than the Big Bang Theory finale had viewers. Miranda Sings got a Netflix series, a comedy special, and is constantly touring. Lilly Singh has a late night talk show on NBC this fall. Joey Graceffa is, among other things, a New York Times best selling YA author. They all built these careers through YouTube, but sure, roll your eyes. Now that I’ve got that rant out of my system, we can talk a about the YouTube original series Escape the Night.

My scolding above is because the show stars a bunch of YouTubers you probably never heard of. It doesn’t matter. The show is brilliant. It’s part How to Host a Murder, part LARP, part reality show, part haunted house, and part escape room. Joey Graceffa gathers together a group of people to solve a supernatural mystery. Every season is a period piece. Season 1 had them magically transported to the 1920s. Season 2 was the Victorian Era, Season 3 the 1970s, and Season 4 the 1940s. There’s an overarching story, some evil they need to defeat, and to do so they need to overcome a series of challenges. In just about every episode, one or more of the participants “dies” some gruesome death. Those left standing ultimately solve the mystery, defeat the villain, and save the world.

Escape the Night

It’s just silly fun. The participants aren’t really trying to play anything other than themselves, but they play along. Their frustrations at not solving puzzles and seeing friends eliminated are real. The jump scares are definitely not faked. They’re surrounded by talented actors who will not break character for anything. Yes, sometimes it’s fun to roll your eyes when young people are being dumb. It’s also fun to watch people think of clever things on the fly.

Give it a try. The first episode of each series is free, but the rest are on YouTube Premium. There’s a free trial, and you can binge them all in the allotted time. There are worse ways to kill some time.

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