Alessandra Stanley likes Current TV, kind of. She thinks the network manages to be youth-relevant without being tawdry:
MTV and VH1 have their share of serious-minded features about H.I.V. in Africa or teenage pregnancy, but those public service appeals are wrapped around sexploitation music videos that send an entirely different message. Current has less cognitive dissonance.
There are no reality shows where housemates sit around and egg one another on to hook up. Current is not all images of hip-hop musicians preening like pashas over undulating, underdressed dancers. Girls don’t go wild on Current and neither do Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan.
Current is an earnest 4-H Club of a network dressed up to look cool and contemporary, but it still seems fresher and less crass than “American Idol” and other shows that try to harness viewer participation.
But isn’t that a sad proposition, that the only alternative to MTV-ish salaciousness for youth-oriented television is neo-hip 4-H earnestness? And in any case, I think that Stanley overstates the level of salacious videos on MYV. All I ever see is teenage emo bands (blog synchronicity!) in sweaters. Take out the hip-hop videos, add a bunch of low-production-value PSAs and MTV would actually look a lot like Current.