Obsessed With: YouToo TV, The Public Access Future TV Channel of Your Dreams

YouToo TV tries to marry YouTube and television with predictably schadenfreudey results.

Nov 21, 2011 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

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You know, as a Twitter Celebrity™ , I get asked a lot about the future of technology.

Usually I have some clever answer about how soon, we will be able to actually go inside MYST, or how the next iteration of social media is "tying tiny notes to cats."

But YouToo TV has done me one better. It's a new channel that may or may not be included in your cable packages. It's -- ready guys? -- THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION.

I only know about it because they're showing "The X-Files" in sequence, and they're hosted by my high school crush, Dean "Langley from the Lone Gunmen" Haglund. Would you like to see a picture of me with Dean Haglund when I was 21 years old? Of course you would.

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Right? Look how he's aaaaaaaaalmost touching my boob.

OK: back to The Future. YouToo operates under the impression that you care what strange people have to say about television shows and life in general, and that having a video of yourself on the Internet renders you famous. (I do! It does!)

At the beginning of a syndicated show (like "The X-Files," "Green Hornet" and classic episodes of "Batman"), a host will give the people watching at home a topic for a "fame spot." A fame spot is a15-second video of a viewer talking into a webcam via YouToo's site, which are then shown at intervals throughout the show. So it sort of marries Twitter and YouTube and television, which is something that I'm guessing a ton of you were clamoring for.

Since I watch "The X-Files," the topics are always like, "Do you believe in aliens?" or "What if YOU had a secret twin attached to your body that sometimes detached and murdered people?"

Oh, and gee golly, guys, are the fame spots ever great.

Because literally nobody is watching "The X-Files" late on a weeknight aside from me and 17 other people, it's always the same four people who upload videos. There's a chick with a crazy weave, a balding Marty-type who is clearly recording his fame spots from his mom's basement, and a guy who I am pretty sure is drunk in the insurance call center where he works the swing shift.


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They're all grainily lit and fish-eyed by laptop cameras, and they mostly go along the lines of, "Uhhhh, if I met a alien, I would punch it." It's better when they DON'T have a strong opinion, but they are still compelled to run to their computers to record something so that they can be seen on TV by me and a dozen-ish other people. It's basically the schadenfreude channel.

Every once in awhile, YouToo tries to mix it up by doing man-on-the-street interviews and passing them off as "fame spots," and it's always like some kid standing outside a Panera being like, "What would I do I saw a ghost? Uh, if I guess if I saw a ghost I would axe it to say hi to my cousin, who died in a county fair Tilt-a-Whirl accident."

In YouToo's other successful effort to marry social media and TV, there's also a Not Annoying at All Twitter ticker at the bottom of the screen that aggregates tweets hashtagged #YouToo, but because nobody is tweeting about YouToo, they're out of sync and totally non sequitur. During "The X-Files" somebody will be like "POW! KERSPLAT! Take that, penguin! #youtoo."

Anyhow, it's delightful. Please don't tell anybody else about it because I want it to stay the public-access-esque miracle it is. Check your local listings.