Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ONE more today

So while I'm in a writing mood, I might as well pop off another one of these...

Okay, so the Trio network is one of those lonely, higher up digital cable channels. They are a pop culture obsessed channel much like an E! or VH1. Just like the others, they produce endless, pseudo-documentry style specials about such topics with the main difference being that Trio is SMARTER and not as soulless as either of the aforementioned. They are a kind, welcomed voice in the cold, dark realm of boob-tubia. They suggest that mayhaps pop culture need not be so stupid, vapid and evil. Not that Trio's all that great, mind you, they're still owned by NBC-Universal.

Anyway, the channel's main thrust is that they champion overlooked and under-appreciated shows(gee, why would that type of thing appeal to me?). Their ongoing "Brilliant But Cancelled" spotlight focuses attention on many, many great shows that died far too young. Also, they have good to great music specials that are often times culled from band DVD releases(Ramones, MC5, Wilco, Pixies, etc.) Hell, once they even played some GUITAR WOLF live footage. Also, I've seen the Undertones and Jam live clips on there as well. Additionally, they've aired "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" several times and have even funded a new series("Parking Lot") based on that much loved cult classic.

They also really push the line with TV censorship, having aired many specials about such things that all but throw those self imposed regulations to the wayside. Specifically, they'll bleep out any occurances of "fuck" on the channel, but "shit"s are let pass. Generally, nudity is blurred, but I think asses are okay. I dunno, it's a fuzzy line, but it's definetly a step in the right direction.

Also much like Adult Swim or VH1 Classic, they air far fewer commercials per hour than your average channel. This often times leaves them with three or four extra minutes at the end of shows which they fill with music videos that appeal the to indie crowd. What can I say, Trio knows their demo. and they do a pretty damn good job of producing programming that appeals to them.

But all is not well in Trio-land. First of all, they have a limited AMOUNT of the aforementioned programming and with a good DVR or Tivo-ing, within two months you can see pretty much ALL of the worthy product they have to offer. Also, perhaps BECAUSE of their slightly rebellious stance(and more importantly, low ratings) Trio just keeps on getting dropped by more and more cable and satellite companies. Less than two years ago the channel was available in approx. 20 million american homes, but now that number has dropped to somewhere in the 6 to 8 million range, with Time Warner Cable being their only major supporter left.

Sadly, at this point, it looks like Trio will end up just like all the neglected shows they champion:"Brilliant But Cancelled".....