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October 6, 2015

It's not TV. It's VBS.

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 18th 2007 7:09PM
VBS playerThe best television programming out there isn't on TV. It's on VBS. Alright, that's a bit of an overstatement, but Vice Magazine's VBS broadband channel, which is currently in beta, is into overstatements. With director Spike Jonze as its creative director, VBS has set out to "rescue you from television's deathlike grip" and "exploit every Utopian vision the internet has thus far failed to live up to." Big words from a little network, but so far, they're kicking broadband ass and taking names.

The network is a heady, hipster mix of politics, fun and music. Some of the best programming so far - Heavy Metal in Baghdad, a five-part series in which the filmmakers search for Baghdad's only heavy metal band Acrassicauda. The short series presents a unique take on civilian life in Iraq. Soft Focus - former Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius interviews musicians like Chan Marshall, Will Oldham and Ian Mackaye. Dos and Don'ts and Friends - alternative comics and other off-kilter folks hold forth on still images of sexy, sexy people doing sexy, sexy things.

While broadband channels are a far way off from being able to tell and sustain stories as well as network television, outlets like SuperDeluxe, VBS, Motherload and the online component of Current are figuring out how to make programming that provides a real alternative to both the old school boob tube and lo-fi viral videos. And, that's great because, you know, the five hundred plus channels of programming on my television just weren't feeling like enough.

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Yeah, show us something we have not already seen from Current, Fuse, and Ripe TV. Also don't forget in the US, Comcast/Time Warner et al still control the landscape of which networks and channels get carried for broadcast.

February 19 2007 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Been tried before... but who knows, maybe they might pull it off this time.

February 18 2007 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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