“The Mind of Jake Paul” draws on the controversial life of Youtube star

Henry Netherland

Viner-turned-YouTuber Jake Paul has stood out in the internet community as a controversial figure with a large group of people who dislike him. 

In the summer of 2017, Jake and his social media collective, Team 10, made national headlines due to a seemingly never-ending string of controversies, as well as the release of his posse cut, “It’s Everyday Bro,” the trap equivalent to Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Despite the controversies, he still was receiving massive online success rarely seen before.


The number of incidents involving Jake is staggering to a point where I can’t touch on all of them without flooding the article. However, some of his most heinous accusations include manipulating children, bullying his team members and having an astronomical ego.

“The Mind of Jake Paul” is now available to watch on Shane Dawson’s YouTube channel.

Like most people over the age of 12, I found him to be annoying and an overall jerk. My biggest issue with him was his extreme arrogance and portrayal of success, despite his audience literally lacking the mental capacity to tell how awful of a person he truly is.

Despite my disdain for him, I was ecstatic when I found out YouTube veteran Shane Dawson was going to make a documentary style series exploring Jake’s mindset. This is not Dawson’s first rodeo in the world of documentary-style filmmaking. Earlier this year, he produced similarly formatted videos with other controversial YouTubers, like Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star

Jake as a subject, however, intrigued me between the numerous controversies surrounding him. A lot of the content on YouTube is staged or at least exaggerated for entertainment, so it could be interesting to see a behind the scenes view.

What makes Dawson so appealing is how open he is with what is going on inside his head. Instead of acting like a veteran journalist who takes himself too seriously, he is really an average internet star. Throughout the eight-part series, Dawson does a good job of being open with his intentions by stating how he wants to expose another side to Jake, without making others pity him.

In the series, Dawson interviews several people who know or have known Jake personally, like his ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet, former collaborator Nick Crompton and current girlfriend Erika Costell. Of course, Dawson interviews the man himself a couple of times as well.

The second episode, “The Dark Side of Jake Paul,” is the most skippable in the series. In my opinion, no new information about Jake is really revealed, and the bulk of the episode features Dawson and his therapist friend, Kati Morton overdramatizing the definition of a sociopath.

The two most insightful episodes in the series are episodes three, “The Family of Jake Paul” and the last episode, “Inside The Mind of Jake Paul.” In “The Family of Jake Paul,” Dawson analyzes Jake’s childhood to see how he became what he is today. Through his research he discovered Jake’s father, Greg Paul was unhealthily involved in his children’s extracurricular activities to a point where Jake and his brother, Logan Paul, who is equally controversial, were trying to outdo each other in any way possible.

“I think that Jake doesn’t really have a dad,” Dawson said in the episode, “He just has a boss or a coworker.” This episode says a lot about Jake’s worldview and its origins.

On the last episode, Dawson has an almost two-hour conversation with Jake about his side of the controversies. The biggest revelation in this episode is Jake recounting his experience seeing Logan publicly admitting to sleeping with his ex-girlfriend online.


Score: 9/10

Looking back on the series as a whole, it was an astonishing success for Dawson. Despite the multiple flaws on the show, like Dawson’s dramatization of everything, he accomplished the goal of showing a different side of Jake while still holding him accountable for his actions. In addition, Dawson made the entire series engaging from beginning to end, despite its enormous runtime.

Dawson’s Jake Paul series is revolutionary, not just for the world of YouTube, but for the world of entertainment and media in general.  It is just another example of social media’s ability to compete with traditional media at a national level.

Henry Netherland can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NetherlandHenry.