React (media franchise)

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React
Films and television
Television seriesReact to That (December 2014–January 2015)
Miscellaneous
Web series
YouTube channelReact (2014–present)
The Fine Brothers, creators of the React franchise

React (sometimes stylized in all caps as REACT) is a media franchise used by the Fine Brothers consisting of several online series centering on a group of individuals reacting to viral videos, trends, video games, film trailers, or music videos. React was also the first react channel on YouTube. The franchise was launched with the YouTube debut of Kids React in October 2010, and then grew to encompass four more series uploaded on the Fine Brothers' primary YouTube channel, a separate YouTube channel with various reaction-related content, as well as a television series titled React to That.

In 2016, the duo announced React World, a program and channel in which they would license the format of their React shows to creators, which led to widespread negative reception from viewers and fellow content creators, as well as confusion about what their format is. This eventually lead to the Fine Brothers to removing all videos related to React World, essentially pulling the plug on the React World program.[1]

YouTube series[edit]

Overview[edit]

Series Episodes Series Premiere Series Finale
Kids React 207 [2] October 16, 2010 TBA
Teens React 198 [3] November 17, 2011 TBA
Elders React 144 [4] May 24, 2012 TBA
YouTubers React 171 [5] December 9, 2012 TBA
Adults React 77 [6] July 28, 2015 TBA
Parents React 12 [7] August 6, 2015 TBA
College Kids React 61 [8] June 23, 2016 TBA
Generations React 4 [9] February 27, 2018 TBA
React:Gaming 212 [10] July 27, 2014 TBA
Bonus Reactions 181 July 29, 2014 October 26, 2016
People vs Food 121 [11] July 31, 2014 TBA
Advice 97 August 2, 2014 September 3, 2016
Lyric Breakdown 32 August 7, 2014 TBA
Opinions 13 August 14, 2014 September 25, 2015
Do They Know It? 123 [12] April 2, 2015 TBA
Staff Reacts 95 [13] April 9, 2016 TBA
Challenge Challice 62 [14] February 8, 2017 TBA
The 10s 29 [15] April 3, 2017 TBA
Elders Read Song Lyrics 13 [16] [17] June 2, 2017 TBA
Reverse Ratings 5[18] June 30, 2015 TBA
What Would My Kid Do? 5 [19] April 9, 2018 TBA

Kids React[edit]

Benny and Rafi Fine launched a series titled Kids React on October 16, 2010, the first video being "Kids React to Viral Videos (Double Rainbow, Obama Fail, Twin Rabbits, Snickers Halloween)".[20] The Kids React series features The Fine Brothers, off-camera, showing kids ages 4–14 (7-13 as of September 2016, 7-11 as of October 2016) several viral videos or popular YouTubers and having the kids react to the videos.[21][22][23][24]

The most popular Kids React episode to date is “Kids React to Gay Marriage", with over 40.2 million views as of September 2, 2018. The popularity of Kids React made it possible for the online series to win a special Emmy Award at the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards in 2012.[25] The Emmy Award, that was given in cooperation with AOL, was awarded to the Fine Brothers for "Best Viral Video Series".[26] After their Emmy win, the brothers stated, "Not a lot has changed [after winning the Emmy] other than realizing that there are shows on YouTube like React that can get similar if not better viewership than mainstream entertainment can."[20]

Videos and YouTube stars that have been reacted to by the kids include Smosh (who later reacted to the kids' reactions[27]), planking[28] and President Obama addressing the death of Osama bin Laden,[29][30] among several other topics.[31][32] Kids React has been compared to Kids Say the Darndest Things.[33][34] In October 2012, the kids of the show were shown videos of the 2012 U.S. Presidential debates.[35] Kids React won the Streamy Award for Best Non-Fiction or Reality Series in 2013.[36]

Teens React[edit]

Due to the popularity of Kids React, The Fine Brothers spawned a spin-off dubbed Teens React on November 17, 2011 with "TEENS REACT TO TWILIGHT".[37] The show has a similar premise to Kids React, however the younger stars are replaced with teens, some of whom have aged out of the Kids React series. Due to this, the Fine Brothers are able to show more mature and less "kid-friendly" videos such as videos on topics like Toddlers & Tiaras,[38] Rick Perry's Strong commercial,[39] Amanda Todd's death,[40] and the 2012 U.S. Presidential debates. Other viral videos and YouTube stars that have been reacted to include Salad Fingers, the Overly Attached Girlfriend, "Gangnam Style", The Hunger Games trailer,[41] Shane Dawson,[42] and One Direction,[43] among other topics. Later on The Fine Brothers launched a series named Teens React: Gaming consisting videos of teens reacting to popular games such as Mario Kart 64, Flappy Bird, and Rocket League.[44] Teens React launched the career of Lia Marie Johnson and also featured some "famous" 'reactors' as guest stars, including Lisa Cimorelli, Amy Cimorelli, Lucas Cruikshank (who later appears in Youtubers React), Alex Steele, Jake Short, and Maisie Williams.[45]

Elders React[edit]

The popularity of Kids React and Teens React spawned Elders React on May 24, 2012 with "ELDERS REACT TO NYAN CAT". The Elders React series replaces young children and teenagers with the elderly, including Benny and Rafi's father, Yehuda.[46] Initially starting with topics that have been discussed on the other React series, they currently discuss about topics that appeals to today's 21st century society such as violent video games and music videos.

YouTubers React[edit]

The first episode of YouTubers React premiered December 6, 2012. The first episode was "YouTubers React to Viral Videos Ep. #1". Several notable YouTubers have appeared on the series.[47] Tay Zonday, Rebecca Black and Liam Kyle Sullivan have each reacted to one of their own videos, "Chocolate Rain," "Friday" and "Shoes" respectively.[48]

Adults React[edit]

On May 30, 2015, the Fine Brothers announced Adults React, which premiered on July 16 later that year. It consists of people ages 20 to 55, including former stars of Teens React that have aged out of the series. Depending on the video or topic, Adults React will be specific of which type of adults are going to be reacting, such as parents or young adults.[49]

College Kids React[edit]

The first episode of College Kids React premiered on June 23, 2016 with "College Kids React to The 1975".[50] This series includes stars who have aged out of Teens React alongside new stars, as well as stars that have not yet aged out of Teens React but have begun college. The content of College Kids React is similar to the content found in Teens React.

One-off episodes[edit]

In April 2014, as an April Fool's joke, the Fine Brothers teamed up with Friskies and released Cats React, which went viral.[51] In July 2016 they released another part of Cats React.

In August 2014, they released Celebrities React to Viral Videos.

In April 2018, an another April Fools’s joke, they released ‘’Teens React to Nothing’’ where they showed teens a blank screen.

React YouTube channel[edit]

After creating four individual successful React series on their primary YouTube channel, the Fine Brothers launched a separate YouTube channel in 2014, for reaction-related content, simply dubbed "React".[52] With the intent of running programming five days a week,[52] the channel launched with five series: Games (a Let's Play style series with cast members from their primary React series), Advice (a series featuring cast members respond to questions from viewers), React Remix (musical remixes of past React footage), People Vs. Foods (a series featuring Reactors taste test "Weird" or international foods), and Lyric Breakdown (a series in which Reactors break down the meaning of various songs).[53] The channel launched with a teen-centered playthrough of Goat Simulator.[54] Similar to the teens, the elders also have played and reacted to video games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Kids and Adults also played and reacted to video games too.[55]

React to That[edit]

In early 2014, it was announced that the Fine Brothers made a deal with Ncredible Entertainment, a production studio founded by Nick Cannon to develop a television series for Nickelodeon.[56] The series, dubbed React to That, was "entirely re-envisioned for television," as the reactors "not only watch and respond to viral videos, but pop out of the reaction room and into showdowns where the clips come to life as each reactor is confronted with a challenge based on the video they just watched."[57] Following the announcement of the series, Benny Fine stated, "All these viewers now watching are also pioneering what it is to be a viewer of content. They follow us through all of our different endeavors, all our different series, and now will have the opportunity to follow us to another medium."[57] Nickelodeon ordered 13 episodes to be produced,[57] but only 12 were made and aired.[58]

React World[edit]

Background[edit]

In July 2015, the Fine Brothers filed for trademark protection on "React" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).[58] The trademark was filed for "Entertainment services, namely, providing an ongoing series of programs and webisodes via the internet in the field of observing and interviewing various groups of people."[59] The USPTO approved for a 30-day opposition period which was set to begin on February 2, 2016; if no parties filed an opposition to the Fines' trademark request, it would have proceeded through the process.[60] The brothers had previously filed for and been granted trademark registrations for "Elders React" and "Teens React" in 2013 as well as "Kids React" in 2012.[61]

Announcement details[edit]

On January 26, 2016, the Fines announced that they would be launching React World, a way to grant content creators the license to create their own versions of the React shows.[58][62] Specifically, the Fine Brothers stated they are licensing the format of their React shows.[63] A Variety report detailed that React World would "aggregate videos in a channel to launch later this year to promote, support and feature fan-produced programming based on their shows."[58] The brothers' company, Fine Brothers Entertainment (FBE) stated they would be working with YouTube and ChannelMeter on the launch of React World.[64] FBE also expressed they would be able to monetize React-style videos uploaded under their license.[58][62] On monetization, Digital Trends detailed "Although licenses are free, React World creators must agree to share 20 percent of AdSense revenue and 30 percent of premium brand deals with FBE."[64] Additionally, the Fines stated they will provide ongoing production guidance, creative guidelines, format bibles, and other resources, as well as promotional and technical support to those creators who participated with the brothers on React World.[64]

Reception[edit]

Although YouTube's VP on content partnerships, Kelly Merryman, originally proclaimed "This is brand-building in the YouTube age — rising media companies building their brands through collaborations with creators around the world,"[58] the Fine Brothers were met with overwhelmingly negative reception to their React World announcement.[63][64][65] BBC News reported that "critics of the Fine Brothers have expressed concern they may use the trademarks to stifle competition," and quoted one YouTuber who detailed "People don't trust them because a few years ago when Ellen DeGeneres did a similar video—not that similar, it didn't have the same format or branding—they claimed it was their format."[66] Viewers and fellow content creators alike condemned the Fines for their announcement, with The Daily Dot reporting, "Backlash poured in on Reddit and social media, and other YouTubers posted their own reactions and parodies of the enthusiastically corporate React World announcement video."[65] The backlash led to a dramatic drop in subscribers,[67] with upwards of 675,000[n 1] accounts collectively unsubscribing from the React and Fine Bros Entertainment channels as well as recent videos getting many dislikes in protest as of February 22, 2016.[68][69][70] Mashable described that one Reddit post "ignited a thread of haters, defenders and overall discussion about whether what Fine Brothers Entertainment is doing is fair."[63] Ryan Morrison, a gamer, lawyer and Reddit user, declared that he would file a legal challenge to the Fine Brothers' trademark request on "React", writing "These guys didn’t come up with the idea of filming funny reactions from kids. And they certainly don’t own an entire genre of YouTube videos. It wasn’t their idea, and it’s not theirs to own or police."[71]

Though there was an overwhelmingly negative response to the React World announcement, other personalities expressed milder opinions; Internet personality Hank Green wrote "this could actually be a very cool project if it could be divorced from the idea of two very powerful creators attempting to control a very popular YouTube video format. Franchising one of YouTube's biggest shows? Yeah, I’d love to see how that goes."[71] New York reporter Jay Hathaway wrote "The trademark and React World are dead. And that's a shame, because it was an interesting idea that suffered from tone-deaf execution."[71]

Responses and discontinuation by the Fine Brothers[edit]

After seeing the initial backlash from their announcement, The Fine Brothers posted comments on various social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and the comment section of their YouTube announcement video.[63] On Facebook the Fines wrote, "We do not own the idea or copyright for reaction videos overall, nor did we ever say we did. You don’t need anyone’s permission to make these kinds of videos, and we’re not coming after anyone," adding "We are in no way claiming reaction content in general is our intellectual property. This is purely a voluntary program for people wanting direct support from us, and we continue to be so excited to work with all of you who may want to participate."[65][62] They additionally tweeted "We're not saying we hold a copyright on reaction videos overall, no one can. We're licensing our specific shows, like TV has done for years."[63] The brothers also stated they would "not be trying to take revenue from other types of reaction videos, and will not be copyright-striking."[63] However, other YouTubers have reported multiple copyright related video takedowns.[72][73] The Guardian also reported that unrelated channels featuring other groups of people reacting to videos were also removed after takedown requests from the Fine Brothers; the "Seniors React" video was noted to be released prior to the Fines launching their Elders React series.[59] The Fines also posted an update video in response to what they described as "confusion and negative response" to React World, in which they try to clear up confusion on what their format encompasses, as well as inviting viewers to e-mail them about any further questions.[65]

Ultimately, the Fine Brothers removed all React World videos,[74] and posted a statement on Medium, declaring they have filed the paperwork to rescind all their "React" trademarks and applications, will discontinue the React World program, and will release all past Content ID claims.[75] In their post, the brothers expressed "It makes perfect sense for people to distrust our motives here, but we are confident that our actions will speak louder than these words moving forward."[76] Reaction to this Medium post was negative on Reddit, where users were reported commenting they would not forgive the Fine Brothers.[76]

Accolades[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Award-Giving Body Result Ref.
2012 Kids React Best Viral Video Series 39th Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Won [26]
Best Variety Web Series Inaugural IAWTV Awards Won [24]
2013 Best Variety Series 2013 IAWTV Awards Nominated [77]
Best Non-Fiction or Reality Series 3rd Streamy Awards Won [36]
2014 Best Directing (Non-Fiction) 2014 IAWTV Awards Nominated [78]
Best Variety Web Series Won [78]
Kids and Family 4th Streamy Awards Won [79]
Editing Won [79]
Audience Choice for Show of the Year Nominated [79]
2015 Best Children's Series 2015 IAWTV Awards Nominated [80]
Best Variety Series Nominated [80]
Best Directing (Non-Fiction) Nominated [80]
Best Writing (Non-Fiction) Nominated [80]
Non-Fiction 5th Streamy Awards Nominated [81]
Kids and Family Nominated [81]
Teens React Audience Choice for Show of the Year Nominated [81]
2017 REACT Audience Choice for Show Of The Year 7th Annual Streamy Awards Nominated [82]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/43sjmj/the_fine_brothers_announce_cancellation_of_react/
  2. ^ As of April 14, 2018
  3. ^ As of April 8, 2018
  4. ^ As of April 13, 2018
  5. ^ As of April 15, 2018
  6. ^ As of April 12, 2018
  7. ^ As of April 6, 2018
  8. ^ As of April 6, 2018
  9. ^ As of April 6, 2018
  10. ^ As of April 10, 2018
  11. ^ As of April 12, 2018
  12. ^ As of April 15, 2018
  13. ^ As of April 14, 2018
  14. ^ As of April 11, 2018
  15. ^ As of April 6, 2018
  16. ^ As of April 6
  17. ^ This show was a spin-off for Lyric Breakdown
  18. ^ As of April 16, 2018
  19. ^ As of June 11, 2018
  20. ^ a b Jaworski 2013.
  21. ^ Hallam 2010.
  22. ^ O'Neill 2010.
  23. ^ "Kids React to Epic Meal Time" 2011.
  24. ^ a b Whitney 2012.
  25. ^ Hernandez 2012.
  26. ^ a b Paredes 2012.
  27. ^ "Smosh Reacts" 2011.
  28. ^ Chansanchai 2011.
  29. ^ Choi 2011.
  30. ^ Hustvedt 2011.
  31. ^ Johnson 2011.
  32. ^ Idolator Staff 2011.
  33. ^ Brustein 2014.
  34. ^ Sullivan 2011.
  35. ^ Von Baldegg 2012.
  36. ^ a b "Pre-Live Streamy Winners Announced" 2013.
  37. ^ O'Neill 2011.
  38. ^ Chansanchai 2012.
  39. ^ Frauenfelder 2011.
  40. ^ Lum 2012.
  41. ^ Johnson 2012.
  42. ^ "Shane Dawson: Watch Teens Reacting" 2012.
  43. ^ Orenstein 2012.
  44. ^ Hilliard 2015.
  45. ^ Moran 2015.
  46. ^ "Elders React To Skrillex" 2012.
  47. ^ Gutelle 2012.
  48. ^ Dreier 2013.
  49. ^ Fine Brothers 2015.
  50. ^ "College Kids React to The 1975". YouTube. Fine Brothers Entertainment. June 23, 2016.
  51. ^ Cohen 2014.
  52. ^ a b Spangler 2014.
  53. ^ Gutelle 2014.
  54. ^ Van Winkle 2014.
  55. ^ Farokhmanesh 2015.
  56. ^ Patel 2014.
  57. ^ a b c Block 2014.
  58. ^ a b c d e f Spangler 2016.
  59. ^ a b Hern 2016.
  60. ^ Machkovech 2016.
  61. ^ "A Fine mess: how not to assert your copyright in the YouTube age". The Verge. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  62. ^ a b c Fine Brothers 2016a.
  63. ^ a b c d e f Hamedy 2016.
  64. ^ a b c d Shah 2016.
  65. ^ a b c d Baker-Whitelaw 2016.
  66. ^ Foxx 2016.
  67. ^ Mooney 2016.
  68. ^ "Fine Brothers Entertainment 30 days". Social Blade. Maker Studio. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  69. ^ "React Channel 30 Days". Social Blade. Makers Studio. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  70. ^ "Fine Brothers Entertainment" n.d.
  71. ^ a b c Hathaway 2016.
  72. ^ 8-Bit Eric 2016.
  73. ^ LeKevPlays 2016.
  74. ^ Yin-Poole 2016.
  75. ^ Fine Brothers 2016b.
  76. ^ a b Rundle 2016.
  77. ^ "Break Out The Award Polish" 2012.
  78. ^ a b "2014 IAWTV Awards" 2014.
  79. ^ a b c "4th Annual Winners & Nominees" 2014.
  80. ^ a b c d "2015 IAWTV Awards" 2015.
  81. ^ a b c "5th Annual Winners & Nominees" 2015.
  82. ^ ”7th Annual Winners & Nominees”.

Sources[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ As of February 22, 2016. Not including positive subs counts.