Monday, February 05, 2007


A while ago a daytime TV show came on called iVillage Live. It's, like, flipped media: a TV version of a website. The premise (IMHO) is idiotic: have a team of unknown nobodies do an onstage variety show somewhere in the middle of Universal Orlando resort, and have the audience vote electronically on stupid subjects no one cares about, such as "if you knew a co-worker was playing hooky, would you rat on him/her?" They have this guy-at-large who roams the park to pull practical jokes on park visitors, and he goes out to dare them to perform some silly action, such as put on swim flippers and a snorkel mask and go up to people with a megaphone and ask them a question. Gee, clever.

But worse. Add to that the idea that "viewers at home" are encouraged to log on to the iVillage website and "interact" with the show. They're supposed to give opinions by texting or sending email. So let me get this right: people at home are supposed to sit at their computers and "converse" with the tv show. They're sitting at home at their computers, watching their tvs, which show a girl sitting at two computers capturing and reporting the messages on tv. Also, snippets of the viewers' text is piped to the bottom of the tv screen.

This is meta-media gone wild. It's pretty much not mad skilz.

I'm sorry, maybe I'm just a dinosaur. I'm not electronically challenged, but I think the idea of "interacting" with a tv show is dumb. I don't really care how the viewers answer the "poll" questions. I don't want to see a "show" that comes from a stage in Florida. I don't want anything from Florida but seashells and grapefruit. I'm even the sort of person who kind of prefers occasional snail mail. I like when I open an envelope and the contents don't go all alive and animated on me. It's somehow comforting that I can choose to invite snail mail in or not and be in control of it; I can put it down on a table or in the trash can and darnit, I can count on it to just stay there. I don't want computing on my tv.

This happened all of a sudden: One day there was a Megan Mullally talk show (admittedly not very good but at least she was upbeat and sorta funny), and the next day Megan was simply kicked out and this other unwanted thing took over. Not like I mourn Megan or anything, but the replacement is a mistake.

And the other day I was computing separately from my tv, which is normal for me, and I was separately watching the tv which I was letting simply be a tv, and changed the channel and the end of this show came on, and one of the unknown "fun outdoor announcer" people said,
We'll see you here again tomorrow on iVillage Live.
Why, no. That doesn't even make sense. You did not see me there today. I wasn't there earlier, and I'm not there now. Not even one of my text comments was there. The live studio audience is who you saw today, and you'll see a live studio audience tomorrow. Even if I watched your tv show, you still wouldn't see me or any other television viewers. You're not looking through the box. You're not really in the box. Even little kids know that!

Grrrrrr. I need a media holiday.

Not in Orlando.



At 2/06/2007 4:40 PM, Blogger Nance said...

sputnik, here is a spot of irony for you: remember my raving about how horrid cleveland newscasts/newscasters are? one of them left cleveland to become a hostess of..."iVillage Live!" i think she changed her name to Sissy for that show. Yes, dear blondie Sissy (Stephanie)Schaefer is a former Cleveland news anchor.

And thanks for stopping by and commenting at The Dept.!


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