I know what you’re thinking: what the hell is “unhhhh?” It’s both a versatile vocalization — perfect for finding moldy food in the fridge and greeting a crush — and a versatile YouTube show perfect for any physical or mental state. UNHhhh stars RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova, and its new season premieres on January 22.
Ahead of the season premiere, I took a look back at some of the episodes viewed by millions over the past four years to highlight some scenarios where a little UNHhhh is just what you might need.
In a slump
There are some YouTube rabbit holes that are all-consuming. One winter day I was truly digested by the weather, and as I let autoplay whisk me away a strange video popped up. Two glamourous queens introduced a show against a white backdrop where they “talk about whatever we want, because it’s our show, and not yours.”
Each episode has a set theme, including the topics of shame, online dating, and finances. However, part of the fun is watching Mattel and Zamolodchikova barrel from one tangent to the next, until the pre-set theme is altogether forgotten.
An episode entitled “Roommates” features visceral descriptions of the hosts’ harrowing encounters with rodents and pests. Zamolodchikova described finding a trapped rat that had been left to mulch into green goo over the holidays: “It was something other than this world,” she said as studio lights darkened and drums began to beat. Mattel went on to describe a refrigerator full of raw meat that spoiled on a hot summer day and caused an infestation. “If something has maggots in it, it’s gotta go,” she exclaimed.
As I devoured UNHhhh episodes well into the night, rolling in laughter at the contrast between the hosts’ glamour while discussing very unglamorous topics, coupled with immaculate editing, my winter blues temporarily lifted.
On a date
When I’m at the stage in a new relationship where watching Netflix is on the table, the quandary of what to watch weighs heavy on me. Now, however, I look no further than the more than 100 episodes of UNHhhh.
Each episode is short — around 12 minutes long — so if you decide to make an early exit you won’t be bound by the endless conflict between Starks and Lannisters.
In addition, Mattel’s dry but hilarious jokes and Zamolodchikova’s weird and wacky humour cover the full spectrum of comedy. UNHhhh can be used as a humour litmus test. If your crush remains straight-faced, it’s probably best to leave while you can.
At a pregame
Among the many topics UNHhhh touches on is drugs and drinking. Spattered amongst the wild tales are nuggets of real wisdom. For example, the show touches on the stress of dealing with anxiety once one is sober in situations you’ve gotten yourself into while in a drunken stupor, and on the importance of not looking in the mirror if you ever decide to try acid.
In addition to some practical partying advice, you now have the opportunity to watch your friends experience the beauty of UNHhhh for the first time, which is far more joyful than watching your friends experience Narcos!
UNHhhh is the Swiss Army knife of YouTube shows, perfect for almost any occasion. Mattel and Zamolodchikova have developed a chemistry that the most renowned comic duos of history would be desperate to have.
Speculating as to why the show garnered so much success, Mattel explained on the podcast Whimsically Volatile that her boyfriend had told her to “think of what young people see when they’re young and gay and weird and they see young, gay, weird people excelling. You accidently inspire people.”