So it’s been a while, a long while actually since I’ve really said anything (publicly) about Jake Paul. In fact, it’s been over a year since that first post. But then, YouTuber Shane Dawson decides to make a mini docuseries on him. So here I am getting suckered into the drama all over again. But I didn’t want to say anything until after watching all seven of the episodes. Mostly because I didn’t want to assume or misjudge anything before I’d seen the entire thing. On that note, let’s dive in.
The Initial Backlash
There were a lot of people who didn’t think it was right that Shane was making this series. Many people didn’t think Jake deserved another platform. I mean, I get it but I think everyone deserves to tell their story, good or bad. There was also backlash about the scary background music he added. But as a moderate fan of his over the years, he always put that spooky music in the background. So it didn’t really bother me.
Controversy aside, I think Shane did an excellent job as essentially an investigator. He asks everyone hard-hitting questions without it feeling accusatory. Which is important because it ensures the answers aren’t skewed. Jake’s also been the center of a lot of scandals and controversies over the last few years. The same goes for his brother, Logan. But after the past year, it’s dissipated a bit.
What I found the most interesting about this entire series is the mental health angle. It also gets interesting when he dives into Jake’s family. The sociopath question didn’t really get anywhere by the end of it though, unfortunately. Neither Shane nor Kati Morton (YouTuber and licensed therapist) thought Jake was a sociopath. So it felt more dramatic than it needed to be. But it was intriguing that they even asked the question in the first place. When Shane talked to Jake one-on-one, it was clear to me that Jake isn’t a sociopath. He clearly feels things, deeply so, but has a hard time expressing them. It would’ve been more interesting if Shane asked Logan or even his dad, Greg, the sociopath question instead.
The only thing that came from it is the suspicion that Logan or their dad could be a sociopath. At least that’s how Shane’s docu-series made it look. Looking into Jake’s family was even more intriguing because it begged the question: why is Jake the way he is? He isn’t inherently reckless and competitive. Rather it’s a consequence of how he’s grown up and what his relationship with his family is like. I feel like Shane could’ve looked deeper when looking into his family. My takeaway was that his dad and brother are the roots of the problem. So to speak. His dad seems to perpetuate the “tough guy” stereotype while simultaneously trying too hard to be cool. And that encouraged the damaging competition between Jake and Logan. That then led to problems down the road. And the Alissa situation definitely didn’t help.
Jake kept saying that he was grown-up now or mature now that some time’s passed since all the controversy. But I disagree. He’s probably more mature than before but he still has a lot of growing up to do. Shane tried to explain why it was problematic for Jake to push his merch so much. But it didn’t seem like Jake got it. The same happened when Shane brought up the diss song against teachers. But the fact that Jake continually tried to defend himself bothered me. And Shane also points this out. Overall, it’s problematic because of how young Jake’s audience is. They may not realize the teacher song’s just a joke or how affected they really are by the constant promotion.
The racism towards the Martinez twins wasn’t addressed or at least punished the way that I think it should’ve. He called the twins “beaners”, a racial slur. I get that Jake’s in an environment where nothing’s off-limits. But it doesn’t excuse his behavior. But he says it as if it does so I don’t think he’s learned his lesson since. He doesn’t apologize or say anything about being more careful about what he says. Instead, he brushes it off as if the twins are at fault. I agree that the Martinez twins may have taken things too far. Especially since we learned the pranks were all fake, via Team 10’s ex-manager, Nick Crompton. But nothing excuses Jake making racist comments about the Martinez twins.
The Last Episode
The last episode where Shane is talking to Jake one-on-one is the episode everyone anticipated the most. The series was long, understandably so, but perhaps too long. Sometimes, it felt like it took too long to get to the main point. The first episode just introduces the series and was very surface-level, in my opinion. But in the last episode, there aren’t any more distractions. There’s even a section without background music. And I’m sure many people appreciated that.
But it was interesting seeing his side of things and seeing how many times he’s been screwed over. However, the way he talks about Alissa is extremely biased. Understandably so. He sees her as someone who’s vicious and vengeful. However, Alissa says they’re both to blame in the situation. To me, it seems Jake wasn’t mature enough to know how to be a good boyfriend. Or he wasn’t raised in an environment that taught him how to be one. And Alissa wasn’t strong enough to walk away from it. But they were young, infatuated, and working together. I don’t think I’d go as far as to say they were in love but the result was problematic nonetheless. But the way they handled it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Rather it just became very public for everyone involved.
What Happened Between Erika and Alissa?
Alissa said that Erika became her best friend during her time on Team 10. And she said she knew exactly what was going between her and Jake. More specifically, how terribly toxic it all was. So why is Erika dating Jake now knowing how bad it got?
What Happened After the Assault Situation?
People on Jake’s “side” said Faze Banks assaulted his assistant. They also said they had no reason to doubt or dismiss her. But then, Faze practically proved with 100% certainty that it never happened. So….what happened? Where did Jake’s assistant go? Is she still working for Jake? Or did they push her away entirely? I’m still left wondering if she ever got assaulted at all. But I am glad that Jake took down the video when Shane asked why it was still up at all.
What is Jake’s Next Step?
At the end of the docu-series, Jake said that he and Erika are going on vacation to take a break from social media. Then, they’ll figure out where they’ll go from there. Though, it may already be over now considering they probably filmed this a while ago. However, I don’t (nor do I think anyone should) expect him to have it all figured out just because he takes a break. Whether he wants it to or not, Jake’s image is going to change. Especially since people know his so-called pranks are fake. Through this series, he talked about his truth and how he’s grown up. But there’s definitely still some growing left to do for him.
What did you all think of Shane’s docu-series on Jake Paul? Do you think Shane should’ve been harder on Jake? Is your opinion of Jake different now after watching it? Let me know by commenting on this post or tweet me @mzsnguyenthai!