Here at Tube Top, we are big fans of premium cable. Most of the shows we love – Girls, Game of Thrones, our love-h8 relaysh with Homeland – are brought to us by the HBoos and Showtimez of the world. That’s because the other guys are lettin’ us down. Dramedies that fall flat, comedies that aren’t funny, and just general blah that we have no interest in. And PS, I really hate reality TV.
TV is hard. We get it. The stupid speaks to America, and the nuance gets overlooked. Which is why only the channels with the most MOST money get to make the good stuff. But really guys, I see some change a-sproutin’ all over the place – from smart people making webseries to SNL being actually funny and more. And also – and here’s where I arrive at my point – I am lucky enough to work for Participant Media, which just launched our new cable channel Pivot, and let me tell you – cow-tow to mediocrity it does not.
Pivot is a channel for MILLENNIALS (which is way harder to spell than Gen-Y, but also way better). It has original as well as acquired series, and plays movies, documentaries, and shorts. Watching Pivot, I’m refreshed that it does not assume I’m stupid. It does not assume I don’t care about the world. But it does assume I want to be entertained – and well.
To get Pivot, you can find it in your area here. If you don’t get Pivot, request it from your cable provider also here. Need more reasons to plunge into new TV waters? Well, here are 6 really good reasons to watch Pivot.
1) Because we, as a generation, have accepted the term “millennial” as our descriptor, because it makes us want to reach for the STARRRSSSSS!
This is OUR channel. But seriously, in a non-cheesy way, Pivot shows look at things like sexual orientation, relationships, religion, etc. in much less didactic ways – we promise, there are no “token [insert marginalized group here]” characters here. And oh ya, fuck off, Lucy.
2) Because you know you wanna get fred Friendly with George Clooney on the regular.
Everyone knows George Clooney is an actor-vist. This puts him nicely in bed with Pivot’s parent company, Participant Media, which uses MOOOVIES to inspire and educate social change. What this also means is that movies like Good Night, and Good Luck and Syriana play on Pivot, because, like, movie rights and stuff.
3) Because Meghan McCain is actually kind of a badass.
Meghan McCain, the daughter of John McCain is a Republican from Arizona and has her own “docu-talk” series Raising McCain. On it, Meghan interviews pros and regular folks around “THE ISSUES OF OUR DAY” with special guest hosts. She actually got some pretty rad people like Reza Aslan and Michael Ian Black. So here’s the deal – MMC can’t win, really. She’s a socially liberal Republican, which means that Republicans hate her because they think she’s deserting the party, and liberals hate her because, well, she’s a Republican. On the whole other end, women liberals double down on the hatred because when she talks about things like feminism and sex, it kind of sounds like we’ve moved the dial back in time. “Can I still wear makeup and be a feminist?” This is a question that to us liberal ladies is a forehead smacker, but let’s be real, maybe to the people SHE’s speaking to – teenage middle Americans, conservative young women – they haven’t heard these issues discussed openly like Meghan tries to on Raising McCain. I’m on #TeamMeghan – watch Raising McCain and see for yourself.
4) Because JGL.
This January, Joseph Gordon Levitt is going to unleash his baby on Pivot – don’t you want to be there to see him deliver?
HitRecord on TV will be a crowd-sourced variety show based on HitRecord.org, JGL’s online artist community that uses user submission to create short films, songs, and general revelry. Aside from the JGL being really adorable, the show itself is important – could this change how we think about user generated content, artist compensation, and the closed nature of TV production? Maybe. All I know is I want to be a part of it.
5) Because really – lots of weird and awesome original and acquired content.
Pivot is showing stuff no one else is. That gem above is from a HENSON sci-fi show called Farscape, patently one of the most hilariously weird shows I’ve ever seen. We’ve also got Friday Night Lights (swoon), Please Like Me which has gotten more critical acclaim than most other shows period, a nightly comedy news hour called TakePart LIVE that is honestly refreshingly candid and transparent, not to mention acquired films and docs like Lars and the Real Girl and Food, Inc.
6) Because you are an informed citizen of the world, and Pivot is trying to do some good in the world.
Pivot’s shows each come with an accompanying social action campaign, tackling issues like education or gay rights, and giving you tools to make a difference. The network, as a whole, is trying to increase digital media literacy as well as spur civic engagement, and they do this with interactive online tools as well as short videos in between shows.
Here is an example of some digital media literacy content you’ll get when you turn on Pivot.
It is honestly so refreshing to see this type of stuff on TV. When other channels try to raise awareness for issues, what comes to mind is some montage of Rob Lowe-esque characters (not that I don’t love me some Rob Lowe) telling you to Care about Alzheimer’s. Pivot’s awesome team of editors, animators, and more tackle issues that don’t normally get talked about in interesting language and with compelling visual accompaniment. Additionally – and I think this is one of the coolest things ever – whenever an issue is talked about on a show, there is a pop-up on the bottom of the screen giving you a link where you can actually TAKE ACTION on the issue.
Now that is connecting content to action, and that is awesome.
Pivot is awesome. I am so proud to work for this company, and genuinely believe in the content and the mission. Plus, you know, more TV, more better. So see if you get Pivot from your cable provider here, and if you don’t, request it from your cable provider also here. Go on, be a part of it.