What is Slow TV?

On Monday, October 8, IFC will launch Sloth, calling it a free “slow TV channel.”

But just what is “slow TV”? Is it an antidote for a fast-paced digital world or simply the ultimate time-killer?

The term refers to a marathon viewing of an ordinary event. It’s not quite watching paint dry but comes close.

The concept itself is not new. In 2009, for example, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation showed a seven-hour train ride in its entirety. It also seems an apt description for all those live webcams of kitties, hummingbirds and other assorted wildlife.

Filming the quotidian goes all the way back to the 1800s. Short movies called actualities involved such plots as planting a camera in front of a firehouse and waiting for firefighters to respond to an alarm. Actualities were quite popular when they first appeared. For one thing, no one had seen pictures move before. For another, they typically lasted 90 seconds.

Well, enough of the history lesson.

Sloth will unveil “topical, curated content” every month. October will feature “Black Cats Watching Scary Movies.” “November: Midterm Madness” will serve up “real and rare” campaign moments. “December: Santa’s Wish List” will show children reacting to Santa Claus. Then in January, Sloth will kick off the new year with “Resolutions,” featuring “retro work-out videos.”

You can catch Sloth exclusively on Amazon Fire TV October 8. It will then come to Apple TV, Xbox, Roku and other platforms on Monday, October 22.

For more information, visit Sloth.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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