Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jawline peers down the rabbit hole of livestream stardom

Illustration for article titled iJawline /ipeers down the rabbit hole of livestream stardom
Photo: Hulu

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Jawline (Hulu, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete second season): Austyn Tester wanted to be a star, but he didn’t pack his bags and set off for Hollywood or the Great White Way. He just set up a camera.

Director Liza Mandelup started filming her feature debut before Tester’s livestreaming star began to rise, so she was able to capture his journey from the beginning (or close to it). Here’s Shannon Miller on Jawline:

There is a surprisingly humbling element to Liza Mandelup’s documentary Jawline, a bristling look at social media fame from the perspective of 16-year-old Austyn Tester. At first, Tester’s plan to use the power of positivity to become famous (a goal that he repeats often without ever really getting specific) rings like naiveté. Even as he cycles through a number of popular social media livestreams that offer little more than vague support and charming quips, one might feel the visceral desire to talk some sense into him, to help him understand that the fame he seeks might require something tangible, like talent or a product. But then Mandelup cuts to a theater packed with emotional fans of Julian and Jovani Jara, a set of perfectly affable twins who take the stage to spray silly string, enthusiastically hop around, and dole out hugs.

We never see them tell a joke, sing a note, recite a monologue, or sell a product. They are the product, and the parade of testimonies from girls swearing that the Jara twins’ no-frills videos have alleviated their intense sadness suggest that maybe Tester’s plan isn’t so foolhardy.


It’s well worth a look.

Regular coverage

Wild card

Love Alarm (Netflix):

Based on a webtoon by Kye-young Chon, Love Alarm is a South Korean drama about Jojo (So-Hyun Kim) a young, upbeat girl who has survived (or, at least, actively represses) an immense amount of family trauma. While dealing with her own personal adversity, Jojo must deal with a disruptive bit of technology in the form of an app that alerts the user when someone within 10 meters has feelings for them (sweet!) without offering any further details regarding the admirer (oh god). Before long, Jojo finds herself at the apex of a love triangle. Who will she choose: her best friend, Hye-yeong (Ga-ram Jung), or literal model Sun-oh (Kang Song)? Romance fans can expect an awesome execution of the genre’s greatest hits: pining, intense stares, and some old-fashioned miscommunication. Love Alarm arrived on Thursday, August 22, and awaits you now. [Shannon Miller]

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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