Current TV: if it’s too short, you’re too old

Current TV: if it's too short, you're too old

I spent some quality time over the weekend with Current TV, Al Gore’s new LA and SF-based cable network, the programming of which consists entirely of ‘pods’ no longer than seven minutes, introduced by trendily-dressed Gen-Y hosts. In other words, it’s like MTV, without the music, or the sex, or the glamour. Some random impressions:

– Current is really into sports– mostly of the extreme, X-Gamesy variety. I saw segments on: a handicapped surfer, an unusually attractive surfer/model (“I don’t really think of myself as hot”), a guy who jumps off cliffs, a motorcross racer, guys who collect skateboards, and another guy who collects Air Jordans.

– The commercial for the new CD by the band Hot Hot Heat, which airs every-twenty minutes or so, has a home-made self-referential quality which makes it hard to distinguish from the actual Current programming. Pretty sneaky!

– Imagine an early-twenties version of Al Gore, but with better hair, annoying shirts, and a penchant for saying things like “Sweet! Let’s do some research!” The person you are imagining is Current host Max Lugavere. Lugavere was hired after Current execs saw a short film he created with best bud Jason Silva called ‘Textures of Selfhood’ which I’m hoping isn’t as onanistic as it sounds.

– My favorite quote from Silva (also a host): “[Current] is gonna do for passionate storytellers what airplanes did for travellers.”

In sum, Current manages to be trashy and earnest at the same time. No small feat!