Sunday, August 10, 2014

Atheist TV is a premature concept

AtheistTV is a premature concept. Am I supposed to say that? Watching episodes of The Atheist Experience and recycled documentaries is not entertaining, informative or even worthy of my time. I'm not the only one to notice.

Via Daniel D’Addario of Salon I spent a day watching AtheistTV — and it was horrifying

“If you know why your God is so stupid,” he said, “feel free and call us.”

The show did field one call, from a young man whose thoughts were so muddled (he was introduced as devout, then explained he was questioning his faith, then said he’d been dead for a week, then said he often thought the world would be better off after he died) that it’s not really fair to criticize. But it’s worth noting that Dillahunty repeatedly suggested he was dealing with a prank caller but refused to disengage and make time for a caller who might have done a better job of representing himself; it was more important to score rhetorical points off someone clearly not equipped to play.

I have a hard time listening to the Atheist Experience as a podcast. It makes me uncomfortable. Watching it as a TV show seems odd since it consists of a couple of talking heads. Although, I have done so simply to put a face with a name. From a professional production look alone, the show is marginal. It looks like what it is, an amateur production on a local public access TV channel. I am sure that with better funding, the show would look better. If this show is intended to anchor the AtheistTV brand, we are well on the way to becoming the industry laughing stock. Hitting bottom may be hard with Sarah Palin TV in the mix, but we are competing for the bottom by launching with marginal content. 

We only get one chance to make a good first impression with the target demographic. Why use recycled marginal content? Why start without at least one good show in the can already? Why start in a weak position. 

I’m looking for content made for AtheistTV that has an appeal outside of the confrontational niche that the Atheist Experience prospers in. I would also like to see content like the Atheist Experience, but with higher production standards. I hope that is the direction AtheistTV takes.