My CURRENT love affair on television…

June 16, 2009

Since my move from 10th to 14th Street, I have been surprisingly reliant on the plasma to fulfill my evening entertainment. Instead of the usual late-night movie watching ritual that I had formerly found myself performing (a good murder mystery goes a long way for my sleeping schedule), I now find myself tuned into the digital cable that I had entirely neglected previously. I turn it on while reading emails. I watch/listen as I cook dinner. I set the volume to near-maximum when I am in the shower. It is truly getting to be my at-home obsession.

What are you watching, one may ask. Well, it is not a specific show (who has the time or the regularity that requires), but an entire network of vignettes perfectly programmed to match my irregular attention span needs. Yes, I have discovered CURRENT TV.

current TV

current TV

What is it, you ask. To be honest, I did not know myself for a time. Let me describe it as I encountered it before I tell you about the online research I did. In between the MTV channels (MTV original, MTV U., MTV 2, VH1) on my cable, I found channel 22 and this strange station called CURRENT. With miniature documentaries, seeming to range from about 3 to 7 minutes, and including every subject imaginable (submitted by viewers), this channel immediately had my attention. I was learning about different subjects (Catholic-Protestant battles in Belfast, DC Drag Race, South African fashion), but was never burdened by a full-length feature, which, if partially missed, was not worth the watching. I suppose that could be a con, too: if I really like something, I want it to last longer than 5 minutes! But if I am not interested in something, it’s over in 5 minutes anyway and a new one is presented. Watching CURRENT, I feel informed and trendy at the same time, which really motivates the I’m-20-and-my-generation-needs-to-save-the-world voice in my head.

Al Gore, creator of CURRENT

Al Gore, creator of CURRENT

A little internet research provides some intriguing nuggets about this channel. Apparently, CURRENT was launched in 2005 by former Vice President (and American posterboy for responsible energy) Al Gore. In these four years it has existed, CURRENT has the distinct title of being the fasting growing network of all time! Wow, that is quite impressive. With content that appeals to the highly-coveted 18-34 demographic that is both inter and proactive, the channel is meant to offer a imperfect combination of CNN and MTV, all the better for the imperfection of the combination. As Mr. Gore put it, the station is for young people “who want to learn about the world in a voice they recognize and a view they recognize as their own.”

Does that imply some liberal ideals? Obviously. AND IT SHOULD: after all, we know that each generation becomes a little more liberal than the last…THANK GOODNESS! And with a home state of California, this station had little chance of being provincial with its views. As someone who agrees with many of their viewpoints, it is hard to separate myself and say this is responsible journalism. It may not be, but it is never forcing anything upon you. I believe it encourages an open mind: no judgments, no hate, just a different side of things. I enjoy that. I may have not wanted to know about it, but it is great that I have that option.

Favorite Things to Watch:

Max, left, and Jason, right

Max and Jason

Max & Jason. They usually run an hour long series concerning a particular topic, which is always very enjoyable. With good commraderie between them and a stack of knowledge larger than the disk space of CURRENT’s lengthiest video, the show is a delight. And with their Style-specific edition, they show that documentaries can be sexy.

The Rotten Tomatoes Show

The Rotten Tomatoes Show

These two provide some of the most enjoyable commercials in the history of television. Well, mildly amusing at the very least. Ignoring that, this show (based on the movie-rating website) is great. Using viewer-created podcast reviews of movies, they intertwine relevant video feeds to the websites greater conclusions about a movie to create the final Rotten/Fresh rating.

InfoMania

InfoMania

An enjoyable look-alike of mock news programs, such as The Soup and The Daily Show. But the best part of this show are the lengthier segments where heavier topics are discussed in longer 3 minute pods. AND THEY ARE HYSTERICAL! I will attach a recent favorite of mine below [the GBF]. Thanks to Ilona for posting that on my wall!

Vanguard

Vanguard

After watching fifteen mini-docs at once and thinking my head is so full from forty-five minutes of varied factoids, Vanguard is what satisfies my craving for longer segments and real information. They tackle the harder subjects and give time to relfect on them. Think of a more active form of 60 minutes for the 18-34 demographic. With ebbs and flows like a real documentary, it is wonderful. Wikipedia says: “Current’s in-house journalism department, consisting of a team of young producers and correspondents who specialize in enterprising reporting on global issues. In addition to contributing original pods to Current’s daily shuffle, Vanguard airs a weekly half-hour program of longer and more in depth pieces.”

Need I say more?

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