ControlTV and @tristancouvares

This is going to seem pretty strange, but as I write today, I’m also watching a total stranger wander around a house in LA, text messaging and using the computer.

ControlTV is Seth Green‘s experimental reality Internet TV project, where a person named Tristan Couvares will live for six weeks at the mercy of the viewers. How does that work? Easy. We get to vote on what he does.  🙂

Today’s the first day, and it’s just like any other reality TV… boring but oddly relaxing and fun, if you like that kind of thing — which I do. I can’t explain why things like this entertain me. This show is easy to have on in the background without being too distracting, and it provides a completely ridiculous bit of fun to my day.

It’s also fascinating to watch it come together. Today has been buggy and confusing — the site got overloaded at one point and went down –, and that’s part of the excitement. Will they be able to pull it off? If they do, will this create a new genre of web shows where people simply stream live from their own homes all day long? What will that mean for the future of web television?

As an indie, transmedia storyteller, I’m interested in where we get our entertainment. Things like this remind me of what we do with our ARGs: we often strive to make them feel both genuine and fake at the same time. Tristan’s show is not real. His inability to go to lunch until someone tells him what to do, or his restriction against saying name brands out loud proves that. But it’s also much more real than we’re used to seeing on normal or Internet television. Nothing is scripted. Most of the time he’s just wandering around, wondering what to do.

Is it an exercise in sociology? Is it stretching our storytelling boundaries? Is it really pointless and dull? Let’s keep watching to see where it goes.  🙂

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