ABC premiered its new show iCaught tonight (hope iCaught Data Management Services doesn't sue). It's their YouTube clip show, in a sea of upcoming YouTube clip shows that seek to cheaply license popular clips owned by people who have no idea of their actual worth. The show's reason for watching it instead of, say, just checking out YouTube's most popular videos directly? They give "the story behind the videos," which apparently means having a couple of talking heads say how cool it is and the creators say how they didn't expect it to become this popular.
And isn't that worth sitting through all those commercials?
Here's a roundup of the videos they showed for their premiere:
- Battle at Kruger (Wikipedia entry). OMG. Animals get into fight! Film at 11! Don't we see this stuff all the time on the National Geographic Channel? Oh wait, we do! It's already been licensed to them.
- A bunch of videos about dancing at weddings. Clips from 13 going on 30, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Footloose and So You Think You Can Dance. This is an ABC News story about dancing at weddings, with the same level of silliness. Congratulations ABC, you went a whole 10 minutes before figuring out this show's concept is stupid and abandoning it in favour of a newsmagazine-style format. The one (non-professional) video that gets more than a couple of seconds is the Wedding Thriller video, which has already been talked about to death.
- Venetian Princess ... wait, no. She's just thrown in as a completely unrelated intro to...
- The Obama crush video, which was created by an advertising executive, which is about as counter-culture as you can get, right? Sigh.
- Lee Paige, the DEA agent who shot himself in the foot while teaching kids about gun safety. Does agreeing to appear on this program mean he'll be dropping his lawsuit against the government for allowing the tape to be disseminated? (The lawsuit, of course, was not mentioned on the show)
- The Merry Miller / Holly Hunter interview disaster. Kudos for ABC for pointing out its own failures, but it still seems fake and silly. No mention of what actually went on (she's horribly unqualified, but Joel Siegel thought she was hot, I guess), and just some footage of her giggling about how she couldn't interview someone without a prompter running.
- The Women in Art morphing video. No interview with its creator or anything silly like that.
- A bunch of uninteresting crime-related/surveillance camera/MySpace video news segments that sound a lot more like World News Tonight than a new primetime TV show.
- David Elsewhere at Kollaboration. Shots of his dad. That's about all I remember.
In case it's not clear enough how little money they put into this show, it's hosted by a nobody standing in front of a white screen. It has no sets, and its stories are setup like back-to-back two-minute TV news reports, which just serves to remind us that the networks aren't spending their budgets reporting on, you know, news.
- The show seems to be about running YouTube videos, but only shows clips from those videos. Not once did it show the entire thing in one sitting.
- The show claims to tell the stories behind the videos, but there's plenty of important facts that are left out, as you can see above. A quick check on Wikipedia will, for the most part, find you more information than you'll find on this show. (The fact that Wikipedia considers many of these videos to have insufficient notability says something.)
- The show tries to think of itself as cool, with its green-screen usage and "click" sounds matched to the host's hand jabs, but the interviews are setup old-school, complete with blur filters to make everyone look younger.
- The show tries to be new and current, but the videos are months or even years old.
- The show tries to plug its website (well, actually, it plugs ABCNews.com), but the website provides no easy way to, you know, look at the videos featured in the show which you couldn't actually watch because of all the fuzzy interviews going on.
In other words, it's a complete and utter joke. Any guesses on how long it'll keep going?