[Editor’s Note: As usual, spoilers. Just see it cause you should support all things Channel 5]
I remember the first time I had heard the name Andrew Callaghan. A few years back I was having a discussion with someone about how stupid flat earthers are, and they were like “Oh yeah, did you see the video this guy did of their conference.” Thats all I had to go on. So, after some googling, I found it.
What sets Mr. Callaghan’s work apart (which has been well documented) is his lack of needing to convince the people he is interviewing that they are wrong. He lets their words linger in the air. I think this is substantially stronger than what Klepper does, for example.
The other effect of his technique is that I feel like you have a much better understanding of what the hell is going on in a time and place.
Like, it is one thing to hear reporting about antivax protests cropping up everywhere. It’s another thing to fucking see it.
I walk away from a Channel 5 video with a much richer understanding than I can get from an Atlantic or ProPublica detailed piece. I feel like I have a taste for who is on the ground and what is actually going on.
So, I have been hooked on Channel 5 ever since. I watch every video. I’m on the patreon. I will support whatever comes along. Being on the patreon, Andrew had mentioned that he was working on a movie for a while coming from A24, Tim & Eric’s backing company, and Jonah Hill. And that it was a completely insulated project, separate from the All Gas No Brakes fallout.
Out of no where, heading into this holiday season, came this:
I was overjoyed. I had heard a rumor that Channel 5 covered the insurrection, but this was the first confirmation. I watched it the second it hit streaming.
What we got is kinda what I expected, kinda something else.
Lets get this out of the way. Its good. Its basically Channel 5, but with more polish. More time with the editing and pacing. Feels like just a glossy Channel 5.
In a way, this is both good and bad. It makes for a really easy hour and a half to consume, but you lose some of that grit. The texture that gives the videos its binding. It’s sort of like a Channel 5 for everyone. A beginners guide to Channel 5.
Another thing I find fascinating about this project, I think this is the most Andrew has ever shown his hand. A shocking amount of people on the right love his content, because…I think they don’t realize he is documenting their stupidity.
Well, if they watch this and they can’t figure that out, no one can help them. He actually speaks his thesis out straight forward. That the only people who benefit from this right wing crazy are the people making money off the backs of the poor and disenfranchised. But, I think there is one fatal flaw to his argument….
He got COVID in late December 2020. He missed Jan 6th in its entirety. I think in a way, that completely weakens the denouement of the movie. Like its clear he is making the point that the grift went to far, but I think missing his usual insight from the people on the ground that day really weakens the project.
Like he confronts both a character established at the beginning and Alex Jones about their wrongs that lead to this (as much as he confronts anyone) and its clear their respective dodges are halfassed. His point is made it just doesn’t. Hit home.
The success of this project is still like the rest of Channel 5. The individual characters. Seeing these people in the wild is extremely insightful, but we are left in a place where I think the parts are greater than the whole.
Overall, I think we have something good here. Just not great. It could have been great if circumstances hadn’t weakened the result.
3/4 – I think his biggest achievement is still The People’s Convoy. Following it from beginning to end really makes it a success. This Place Rules just doesn’t hit that height.