Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2020 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Show: Defunctland
Where You Can Stream It: YouTube
The Pitch: What begins as a fairly standard YouTube channel about theme park history (focusing on closed attractions and experiences) eventually evolves into something richer, deeper, and more complex. Defunctland isn’t just a series about the history of closed theme parks and rides – it’s a series about societal change, how those changes influence leisure, and the politics that power the ways we enjoy ourselves. It’s also really freaking funny.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: YouTube is littered with channels dedicated to theme parks and I’m subscribed to an unhealthy number of them. For regular vlogs about what it’s like to actually experience a park, I enjoy The Tim Tracker and Ordinary Adventures (the latter of which is the work of /Film’s own Peter Sciretta). For straightforward theme park history, I never miss an episode of Expedition Theme Park. For basic news and rumor reporting, I subscribe to Theme Park Stop. However, no one is doing things quite like Defunctland, the rare theme park series that really wants to dig beneath the surface to discover what makes this unlikely industry tick. It’s the kind of channel made by someone who clearly loves theme parks but is also knowledgeable enough about them to be brutally honest.