Promising "subjects that young adults can rarely find on TV" in one's press kit is foolhardy; advertising that the channel "will blow your mind," as one on-air host does, is downright lunacy.From the Houston Chronicle:
All the new-media spiel that chairman Al Gore and other Current hype-meisters have been spinning of late sounds like some fairy tale from the dot-com boom. Given the hyperbolic pronouncements about how it would change the face of television and the Internet and the culture, blah blah blah, Current's first 36 hours were particularly disappointing.
There wasn't a whole lot of viewer-created content on the channel on Monday and through midday Tuesday (and Current's Web site appeared to be having difficulties posting the majority of viewer submissions), but it's interesting to examine the professionally produced segments that Current did choose to air in these early hours of its existence.
For a channel that is supposed to be aimed squarely at 18 to 34 year olds and reflect their views and concerns, Current's remarkably clueless and elitist. And a fair amount of the content could be found just about anywhere else.
We meet a couple of newlyweds who drive a Lexus and fight over whether to get a $1,200 icemaker (the expensive ones, you see, make clear ice, not cloudy ice). Young couples in New York City -- news flash! -- find the real-estate market daunting. We meet a couple who's just had a baby. Baby poop is, apparently, very smelly.
Thanks, Current, for blowing my mind.
Borrowing a term from Apple's iPod, the channel's clean-cut hosts call the segments (all eight minutes or less) "pods." Pods are shuffled as viewer requests pop up on the Web site....Is it wrong to make so much fun of them them the minute they launch? Maybe the techy methodology needs some time to kick in and work properly, so it might be unfair to judge them the way we would an ordinary TV show, where great effort would be put into making the debut show very strong. But they made the decision to draw attention to themselves before they started and they got the publicity they sought. They could have started small and built up their reputation slowly, but they wheeled out Al Gore, so they asked for it.
Every half-hour Google Current looks at the most popular hits for certain topics or words such as "current," "dark" or "create." It sounds like a cool way to inject some freshness, but even those are repeated.
And where is the sense of humor? On the first day of broadcasting, Current TV seemed a lot like a grown-up version of Sesame Street — without the Muppets.