Critically Engaging With Natalie Tran – Baby I Know

For those not in the know, Natalie Tran, or communitychannel, is an Australian vlogger who creates short, funny videos usually based on things she notices in life. They usually feature split-screen, where Nat portrays different characters, usually signified by different clothing and hairstyle. Throughout the years, fans of Tran have developed certain tropes in her videos, such as the ‘Porno-music-slash-comment-time’, where she reviews and replies to some of the comments to her previous video, and catchphrases like “Baby I Know” and “Unbohlievable”.

Here is a video she made recently:

In this video, Tran explores the types of people at the movie theater, specifically people with whom she watches movies. She lists why each type is annoying, such as the “I don’t understand” friend, who constantly asks questions about the plot line, or the “IMDb friend”, who always needs to check the names of actors in the film.

The video is very simply structured, with a main point and many little gags in between (“Ah, this is gonna kill me.” “I’m going to kill you.”) Tran’s quick speaking style is used well with the split video effect, and she utilizes timing very effectively, meaning characters rarely talk over each other, and stick to optimum comedic timing. These comedic aesthetics are done well in most of Tran’s videos, and her use of different outfits for different characters mean there is rarely any confusion as to who is whom.

Finally, Tran uses segues to shift into a gag which would otherwise be a non-sequitur (the makeup tutorial gag), however there are times when her cutaway gags don’t have the effect and take away from the overall main point too much. These issues mostly stem from a writing point of view, rather than technical abilities.

Because of her unique style of split-screen dialogue, Tran can create stories with two or more characters without having to do constant camera scene changing. It also creates a comedic situation where the audience is treated to Tran making fun of Tran, and identifying with one Tran over another.

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