I’m a huge fan of Boing Boing, the gadgets and wonderful things blog, so I was as excited as anyone at the thought of Boing Boing TV. So I must admit to being slightly disappointed int eh first episode to say the least.
Despite the mild and in some places sycophantic praise being bandied around, in my opinion the first episode royally sucked.
For me, Rocketboom has long been the Boing Boing of Internet TV/Web Video/call it what you will. And Rocketboom has perfected the format, fine tuning it to a veritable art form.
In comparison, Boing Boing TV feels like a weak latecomer to the game. It’s a shame the partnership between the two never came off.
Soulless First Episode
Everything about the first episode felt utterly wrong. From the utterly wooden, soulless, pseudo-spunky delivery of Mark Frauenfelder and Xeni Jardin, down to the nauseating red swirling cloud background straight out of After Effects 101.
What works so well on the “pages” of Boing Boing felt for me like something being read off the pages in the video version. Boing Boing the blog manages to walk that trashy, irony-fueled perhaps somewhat nineties path with gusto, and pulls it off.
On video it simply comes across as smug, heartless, cynically knocked together, predictable, and… Ok, I just didn’t enjoy it.
Great Blogger = Great Presenter?… No
But as Boing Boing is totally personality driven, it never should have been like this.
Still, if you’ve ever seen a film directed by Stephen King, or witnessed Iggy Pop trying to act it becomes apparent that what utterly rocks in one medium doesn’t translate so well to another. At least not with the same person or people behind it.
It Could Improve
I haven’t written the show off yet – Cory Doctorow could well save the day, and once Xeni and Mark take the ventriloquist’s hand out of their asses, relax and get comfortable with being talking heads it might just work.
I wanted to like this, I really did. But it’s a competitive game this web trivia business, and if Boing Boing TV wants to compete with the hordes of video savvy websters they need to up their game.
With that said, as they are Technorati’s number two blog they will doubtless get a huge following anyway, and I will be branded a heretic by the three people that read my blog. So there you go.
Go on, treat yourself:
Oh, and if you’d like to see some creative use of retro stock footage, rather than this sub-Mystery Science Theater 3000 drivel, check out the excellent mashup artistry that is Next To Heaven.It could have been so beautiful. *Sigh*
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