Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
Imagine the following quotes in a stuck-up, 22-year-old boy’s voice.
“Living life online is exciting, especially with fans like mine!”
“When I was a kid, I didn’t know what I was chasing. But, I started chasing my dreams, and now, I’m just chasing life. Along the way, you make friends, and start chasing something bigger.”
“But this life is more complicated than it seems. And while you think you know what it is you’re chasing, the truth is, you never know what you’re gonna find.”
A minute and 15 seconds into the first episode of “Chasing Cameron,” I already regretted my choice. The month-old Netflix original series follows social media influencer Cameron Dallas. It focuses on the Internet personality’s rise to fame through social media, leading him to life as a stuck-up celebrity.
At first, laughing at “Chasing Cameron” felt like laughing at the Kardashians. It even seemed like the show was meant to be a joke because it was so bad. But not even two episodes into the 10-episode series, I realized that the constant complaints about how hard life is as a celebrity were no joke. I found myself dreading watching what new “drama” the 22-year-old would face.
The show also follows his journey with MagCon, or Meet and Greet Convention, a tour for Internet-famous teenage boys following in Cameron’s teeny bopper footsteps. Bart Bordelon, CEO of MagCon, first approached Cameron when he realized the tour could be successful by putting more fake teenage heartthrobs like Cameron on display to thousands of pre-teen girls. Together, they found a group of boys to set off on its American, European and Australian Tours.
We chase Cameron through these tours, showing us insights to the boys’ lives on and off tour. Most of the boys come from “hard backgrounds.” For instance, when asked about his home life, Aaron Carpenter choked back tears when he mentioned how his parents got divorced in third grade. Aaaand cue the forced sobs. I’m not saying it wasn’t a rough time in his life — divorce isn’t something to joke about — but it all felt like he was begging for pity.
Speaking of pitiful – at least once an episode, Cameron would say to the camera something along the lines of “Keep in mind, I still have to come up with video ideas, film them, edit them and post them. All while being on tour.” Dude. We get it. You signed yourself up for this, though, so stop trying to make us feel bad for how busy you may be. And honestly, it seems like he spends more time complaining about what he has to do than he does actually doing it. In the grand scheme of things, his touring lifestyle doesn’t seem that rough compared to my chem homework.
Most of the show makes me cringe. The boys make me realize why the world thinks all Americans are idiots. The guys are constantly coming across as uncultured, like when Cameron said “au revoir” to his fans in Milan, leaving me struck by his stupidity of saying “goodbye” in French to his Italian fans.
Taylor Caniff, one of the MagCon boys, has the biggest ego of them all. I try to stray away from this word, but he’s just an all-around tool. He literally said “Girls on the internet find me very attractive. That’s why I’ve got a lot of followers.” I assumed girls had higher standards than someone who blatantly said something like that, but I was proven wrong after watching hundreds scream his name while singing along to his crappy original songs.
The guys are constantly trying to one-up each other. In one episode they were all sitting around a table eating lunch, and the boys talked about how hard it was for them to hear girls constantly telling them how their videos saved the girls’ lives. How they kept them from self-harm or suicide after reading one of Cameron’s cheesy Instagram posts. Even worse, they’re almost bragging about these girls, treating it like a competition as to who has the most depressed girls obsessed with them.
About halfway through the tour, Cameron started having panic attacks. He mentioned how his anxiety had increased through touring. I’m definitely not diminishing his anxiety – I believe that is a very real thing. What he did about his anxiety, however, is what bothered me.
It didn’t take Cameron more than two seconds to shout out from the stage about how he’s been dealing with anxiety while on tour. The way he talked about this condition made it seem like he was eager to broadcast another thing he’s dealing with, to add onto his list of things he has to do. The way his fans at the show responded made it even worse – they continued to scream the same way they did when he was singing or entering the stage. Anxiety isn’t something to fangirl about.
Overall, everyone involved with MagCon is extremely underwhelming. I can’t believe that they have millions of girls paying to meet them and hear them “perform.” Sure, the guys make an occasional funny Vine, and some of them are above-average looking, but I wouldn’t spend money to meet these guys – especially after watching “Chasing Cameron.”