When watching this, I could easily see how McIntosh could have written this essay about toxic masculinity in popular culture on paper; however, the power of visual images makes this topic very compelling on the screen, since his example, Biff from Back to the Future, is from a movie itself. Here we can see what makes visual essays so great: when our example is from the screen or very visual, it works really well to talk about it visually versus in writing since it matches in essence. I believe employing this tactic sets up McIntosh for the best argument possible.
That being said, his video comes across a bit lecture-y. We see his face on half the screen most of the time talking to us, but not in a way that seems like we’re figuring this out together in real time, but like he’s already prepared everything and he’s simply informing his audience. He goes through defining the words “toxic” and “masculinity” within culture, and then what it means when the two words are put together: “As a shorthand to describe behaviors linked to domination, humiliation, and control”. Then he talks over his examples of Biff exemplifying all of his definitions within the movie. Overall, the video essay is pretty simple in its structure: explanation by Jonathan, clear formula for toxic masculinity, example shown on screen. It’s not very creative or visually striking, but he gets his point across.
It’s definitely a video essay, but more in the literal sense than a lot of the video essays we’ve been watching and commenting on in class. It’s literally an essay in video format about a cultural topic that can be explained through a movie example. I learned something, I just wasn’t super enthralled by the approach.