Mining For Gold Content On YouTube

Mining For Gold On YouTube

Going on to YouTube can be a daunting experience. People get confused and sometimes don’t find the programming they seek. Others find, when they go on, that they are faced with offensive material and don’t go back. YouTube can be a deep and mysterious place, but I’ve been on the YouTube road and I can tell there is gold there, and the app itself is waiting to serve it to you on a golden platter.

Recently, due to an illness, I had to spend six months in a chair doing nothing. This was a rough time for me. I would get up, make breakfast, and sit until supper. I didn’t eat lunch because I wasn’t doing anything, so weight gain would be a problem. I would clean up the breakfast dishes and then make dinner and sit. I don’t have cable, so streaming channels is the way I have chosen to go. I subscribe and cancel channels as needed, and it works well for me. On a smart TV, YouTube is automatically present because it is a free app. I didn’t get involved with YouTube until I got a smart TV.

YouTube is available in two ways. The first is free, as I have mentioned, and the second is a paid subscription, which makes YouTube ads free. At the time of writing this article, the cost is $12.95 a month. I find the price to be worthwhile because of the programming I choose to watch on YouTube. We will get to that shortly. There are a few other perks with a paid subscription, like access to YouTube Music.

As I sat in that chair for six weeks, YouTube became my favorite go-to place for so much entertaining content. First, there was Max Miller’s Tasting History. Tasting History is a cooking show on par with anything The Food Network does. Max loves history so he combines a historic recipe with the history of the time, for instance. Max made the earliest known recipe for American Pumpkin Pie in a recent episode. He modernized the recipe so you can make it in your own kitchen, and then while the pie bakes give us the history of the pumpkin in the USA. Believe it or not, it was fascinating.

As YouTube gets to know you more and more programs it thinks you’ll enjoy show up in your feed. For instance, YouTube caught on to the fact that I liked situation comedies from the 1960s. To my delight, I got to watch what I would call the big three, these were shows produced by Paul Henning and they are The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. I was very young when these were on initially, but it was a great delight to watch them again and they are as funny and as fresh as they were 60 years ago.

There were many more shows and movies. Some I dug for, which means I used the YouTube search engine, and some surprisingly showed up in my feed. One that was a surprise was a film from the late 1950s called The Bat. I believe this may have been the third remake of the film. The original film was silent, and there have been claims that the silent film was one of Bob Kane’s and Bill Finger’s inspirations for Batman. I am not really into silent films so to see the story as a talking motion picture really appealed to me.

The Bat is the story of a mystery writer trapped in an old house with a murderer on the loose. The killer dresses like a bat. In many ways, it reminded me of an extended episode of Murder She Wrote. It was also a delightful film as it starred Agnes Moorehead and Vincent Price. As a murder mystery fan, this was a great find.

Speaking of murder mysteries, there is a treasure trove of programs free to watch on YouTube. Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective, and a program The BBC filmed for 25 years is complete on YouTube. It stars the English character actor David Suchet, and in that 25-year time period, every one of Poirot’s cases was filmed, not like Kenneth Branaugh who has completely changed the character from what Miss Christie wrote. If you want to watch some wonderful television, I highly recommend Poirot.

The mysteries keep on coming. Agatha Christ’s Miss Marple is also available to watch on YouTube. Miss Marple in an old lady who solves crimes by intimately knowing the people of her village Saint Mary Mead. A murderer has very little chance if Jane Marple is in town. Three actresses have played the character over the years. The first and my favorite is Joan Hickson. The other two are good but the writers decided to modernize the stories a little too much so the shows don’t work quite as well. There are even American-made Miss Marple movies on YouTube. These star the renowned actress Helen Hayes and are also very good.

Other mystery series on YouTube are The Nero Wolfe Mysteries with Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton, Ellery Queen starring Jim Hutton, and The Snoop Sisters starring Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick.

Disney has not been left off of YouTube. There are many Disney films available to watch for free, and some are very special treats. One of those treats is The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. This was a movie that was filmed for Walt Disney’s television program The World of Color. It aired over three episodes in 1964. The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is the story of an English Pastor named Dr Syn. It takes place on the coast of England in the later part of the 17th century King George the Third is on the throne and he is taxing his English subjects as much as he was taxing the American colonists. They didn’t have the advantage of being able to throw off the oppressor, and so the poor people struggled to pay. Dr Syn helps his poor congregation by smuggling goods in from other countries, giving them to the poor, and allowing them to sell them. He dresses as a scarecrow, disguises his voice, and rides on horseback with a maniacal laugh keeping all who would oppose him at bay.

This is Walt Disney at his best. Adventure, mystery, and intrigue all in a movie that runs a little more than two hours. Best of all, you can watch it as it was shown in 1964. All three parts are separate and contain the original introduction by Walt Disney himself. It’s rare to see the man who is only a name to many, and yet for those of us born in the 50s and early 60s, he was a television personality and when he passed in 1966, we felt we had lost a member of our family.

For holiday cheer there are some rare finds on YouTube. First, The Mouse on the Mayflower, a Thanksgiving animated special that only aired once in the 70s. It Happened One Christmas a remake of It’s A Wonderful Life starring Marlo Thomas and Chloris Leachman, and the 1970s version of Miracle on 34th Street. This made-for-TV film is my favorite version because it starred so many people from television in the 70s. I knew those celebrities much more than I knew the original film stars.

Three of Lucille Ball’s series are available on YouTube for comedy fans. The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy and the ill-fated Life with Lucy. Hazel, the popular comic strip maid brought to life by Shirley Booth. My Three Sons starring Fred MacMurray which aired for 12 years on prime-time television, is also there. Here Comes the Brides, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Episodes of All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, 227, and The Facts of Life all under the banner title The Norman Lear Effect. All of this is available for free and for fun.

There is of course, the serious side of YouTube. I bought a new used car recently, and there was a video on how all the extras worked. There are PBS documentaries on different subjects. When the A and E network was really The Arts and Entertainment Network, they had a documentary show called Biography and there are episodes of that program available. Documentaries about historical events and current celebrities are there on YouTube.

Being a shut-in for so long, I took advantage of the fact that my church has a YouTube channel, and I can watch my service live every week. There are Catholic priests like Father Mike Schmidt who create many inspirational videos. Pastors, Priests, and Rabbis can all be found on YouTube.

This is, of course, my own experience with YouTube. Yours may be completely different but the key thing to remember is that YouTube is an endless treasure trove of golden nuggets waiting to be discovered. YouTube also evolves what’s there this week, may not be there in a month and what’s not there may appear. It’s been said that whenever we are depressed or lonely the best cure is to learn something, to expand our minds. With YouTube, you can do this with a click from your remote. Happy Digging!