Chasing Cameron on Netflix – Who the Hell is Cameron Dallas?

Cameron Dallas

There comes a point and time where one realizes that some things need to be seen through the eyes of a child to make any sense.  Chasing Cameron, the new Netflix documentary following the rejuvenated MAGCON and Cameron Dallas, features a lot of people you have never heard of, unless you are under a certain age.

Meaning that unless you are a tween girl who dotes on this group of puerile young men whose only discernible talent is to display a certain amount of charm whilst doing amusing things (to a 12  or 13 year old) in front of the camera.

Vine, which Twitter have decided to change forever, has truly created a slew of monsters here.  The first episode of Chasing Cameron “With 1 Tweet” follows the rise and rise of Cameron Dallas. Viewers who stop by to watch the documentary will ask, “who the hell is he?”

To be fair, even the older crowd who are perfectly au fait with YouTube and Instagram will be somewhat befuddled by these cookie cutter replicants who look so much alike they could all be brothers, or at the very  least close cousins.

Dallas, the Cameron of the title, has millions of subscribers/followers on Vine, Instagram and YouTube. He has, in fact, more fans than personal favorite Nigahiga (Ryan Higa) who has been a thing on social media since 2007. Higa also, at one time, held the record for highest amount of followers on YouTube.

Dallas started out on Instagram and soon learned, after selling himself as a model, that comedy paid larger dividends than sultry good looks. He then discovered the six second treasure trove that was Vine. Comedy, good looks and a certain amount of vapidity made Cameron a star.

He is not alone. As Emma Thompson once famously said, these new kids are not stars and they cannot act [sic]. Yet these shallow and very focussed on the money stars are raking it in.

Entrepreneur Bart Bordelon started the original “MAGCON” (which stands for “meet and greet” and the concept took off like wildfire.  Sadly, for the young men who headlined the events, no one got paid for their personal appearances. With this somewhat avaricious oversight, the concept broke down.

Now, Cameron Dallas has teamed up with Bordelon, after initially causing the original to fold with his departure, to re-create the fan favorite. It is, a tween’s dream for a lot of young girls who take  selfies and meet their “crushes.”

(Apparently these 20 something heartthrobs are all blazingly “hetero” as the footage from both the old and new MAGCON shows thousands of young female fans and not one male.)

It is all too easy to be cynical about this Netflix documentary. The series appears to be all about MAGCON and Cameron Dallas’ part in the company.  Toward the end of episode one, Taylor Caniff (another lad you have never heard of) goes off on an assistant for not having the promised per diem ready for “the talent.”

(This is all too indicative of the mentality of these young lads. How talented is it to be attractive and do silly things for Vine? The phrase “The talent” generally applies to someone who has some. In other words, actors, musicians, singers, and so on.)

Dallas has taken steps to insure “the talent” is part of team MAGCON and therefore should not be yelling at hapless employees for not having his money ready.

Once again that cynicism creeps in when looking at this documentary series. It is, in essence, a 10 hour advertisement for Dallas, MAGCON and all the little social media celebrities who attend the show. The thing is a thinly veiled request for more money.

As PT Barnum is often quoted as saying, “There is a sucker born every minute.” This series seems to prove it. The first MAGCON in “Europe” – held in London, has a couple saying they are happy to pay for their little girls to attend.

(On a sidenote, Americans still call England and Great Britain Europe. Just to clarify; no it is not. It is Great Britain, full stop. For Europe, catch the ferry and head across the English channel. There you will find Europe.)

Dallas and Bart approach Caniff and tell him off for complaining about not getting his money to a member of staff. So much for keeping “the talent” happy. It was this issue (lack of recompense) that collapsed the first MAGCON money machine.

On one level this is impressive stuff. Who cannot help but admire someone smart enough to take advantage of this new “star” making application.  Bart Bordelon may have been the first to “exploit” these young celebs but it is clear that when it comes to social media in the 2000’s there is indeed gold in them thar hills.

Dallas is a “Johnny Come Lately” compared to a host of talented YouTube personalities who realized they could make money by posting videos. Ryan Higa, Ray William Johnson, Jenna Marbles and PewDeePie are just some of the mega famous, mega earners who blazed the trail before Dallas and his new chums.

One big difference is that unlike Dallas, who got fans with little to no talent compared to the YouTuber’s before him, the first group of social media “giants” had something to bring to the entertainment table.

Vine removed the “viral” mechanism  required on YouTube and shortened a newer generation’s attention span to six seconds. It also created stars that main stream media finally realized could be exploited for more money, box office receipts and audience numbers.

Catering to an ever younger demographic, television and Hollywood are recruiting from the talentless ranks of these new stars and counting on raking in some money.

A smart move if the crowds attending these MAGCON events are really as big as they seem.

Heading back to Chasing Cameron and away from the cynical breakdown of a money making machine for the vapid, the series is streaming on Netflix or can be downloaded on your flavor of smartphone or tablet.

In a day and age where an aging narcissistic reality TV personality can be elected president these new kids on the block may well be the next president elect in the not so near future.

(On a sidenote: This reviewer is a huge fan of Vine and the many people who can adequately make people laugh within a six second window. So much so that the news of Twitter changing the face of the app caused a certain amount of amazed disbelief.)

Those who have to ask just who the hell Cameron Dallas is, or indeed any of his little chums on the MAGCON, may want to give this one a miss.

Freakish: Brought to You by Vine and YouTube (Review)

Freakish Logo

Two time Oscar winner Emma Thompson will not like this one. Starring a number of Vine and YouTube “stars” Freakish has too many things wrong to make it right.  The premise is good; a Planet Terror sort of scenario where chemicals turn good kids bad, as in zombie bad. (On second thought that sounds more like a “Just Say No” campaign. Considering the show’s stars that may be more accurate as well.)

Freakish has a number of real actors in the cast. One of these was eaten by zombie teenagers in the first episode; the excellent  Chad L. Coleman.  This leaves a number of teen celebs who were cast because of Vine and YouTube followers.

To be fair, however, there are a quite a lot of younger actors in the cast. Leo Howard, Tyler Chase and Mary Mouser, for example, have an impressive number of credits under their belts.

Others, like Meghan Reinks were cast because of the amount of subscribers on their YouTube channel or Vine followers.  (Check out Meghan’s bio on IMDb, it states that she was “classically trained to be an actor.” Her performance is not that bad but it is not “classical.”)

The local chemical plant blows up and spreads zombie creating gas, helpfully colored brown so the kids can see it coming, traps a number of students in their high school.  A number of them chose to ignore the coach and leave the relative safety of the school after the plant explodes.

Ones that return have been infected by the gas and turn into zombies. The “smarter” students who opted to stay out of the gas worry about this development. The coach separates the sick kids from the rest of the group and becomes a midnight snack for his effort.

Initially this felt like it was going to be an annoying pale imitation of the superb 2009 Brit dramedy Misfits.  A small group of teens are in detention when the chemical plant blows. (In reality this felt more like The Breakfast Club on a meets any Roger Corman film.)

After a few moments into Freakish it was obvious that a pale ripoff of Misfits would be been better than this offering. It is not that the new Hulu series is bad, it is just not that good.

Part of the problem with Freakish, apart from its using non-actors to make up the cast, is the writing.  The “dead mom” gag at the beginning of the first episode is a good example. Meant to be funny, it is instead trite and unbelievable.

The kid with the knife, who is obviously a lad who could care less about another boy’s mother being dead, backs right off when Grover states his mom is deceased.  The gag is then repeated, this time from the girl that Grover is pursuing.


This could develop into something entertaining. Two episodes into the new series has not shown too much promise though. Not wanting to sit through all 10 episodes, means having to go back and see where all this ends up.

We will return, but not quickly and with little enthusiasm.  It is doubtful that the survivors get out of the building, although there is an episode titled “Saved” so who knows.

After watching two episodes of Freakish it feels like an American version of the Canadian teen thriller “Between” without Jennette McCurdy and with zombies instead of a  killer virus. (The set is considerably smaller as well, at least in Between they had an entire town to survive in.)

Hulu have a good track record thus far, Freakish may yet turn out to be something special despite the gimmicky Vine and YouTube cast members.

The series is streaming right now on Hulu in its entirety, in other words, all 10 episodes are up and running. Stop by and see what you think.

Selena Gomez: Jenner Unfollow on Instagram Ends Friendship?

Selena Gomez: Jenner Unfollow on Instagram Ends Friendship?

After hanging so tight with Kendall and Kylie Jenner that Selena Gomez earned the nickname of Jenner sister number three, the singer has unfollowed them on Instagram and presumably ended their friendship. Apparently something has happened between the three celebrity gal pals as they were as “thick as thieves” during the Coachella event. Now days after the festival has finished Selena has dropped the two Jenner girls and deleted the selfies of Kendall, Kylie and Gomez on the social networking app.


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