I heard about Everything but the News on NPR. Public radio pushing public television; if they’re going for meta, they’re finding it. I don’t even know how to categorize this show, and to me, that’s always a good thing.
The pilot episode opens with a news anchor telling us that we’re going to hear a report from inside the world of online video, before flashing back 72 hours. A reporter, Steve Goldbloom, stands outside LAX, getting reamed over the phone by his producer. My first thought is, “Man, that producer’s a real dick.” He promises that if Steve and camera man, Noah, prove themselves at VidCon, PBS will offer him steady work. (My second thought is, “Why did they fly into LAX for a convention in Anaheim? SNA would have been closer.”)
Basically, Steve is dragging his feet, getting b-roll of planes taking off, before heading to the aforementioned conference. It’s already hard to tell fact from fiction. VidCon is a thing. Steve Goldbloom is Steve Goldbloom’s real name. But it’s clearly mockumentary, otherwise, would that producer be that much of a dick? But we’ve seen mockumentaries… and seen them, and seen them, and this feels fresh.
Steve has a Michael Scott streak for sure, but he’s more man-on-the-street. There’s a dash of Leslie Knope and a little Stephen Colbert. When you Google him, you get his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts ahead of anything like, say, an IMDb page. (He is on there; there’s just not much to read.) He, or I guess I’ll say, his character, shows equal penchant for procrastination (“Do you wanna grab take-out first”?) and niave determination (“This could be my ‘nam.”)
When Steve and Noah finally make it to VidCon, it’s just a mass of screaming young adults and strange props. We’re as dazed and confused as he looks. “I feel like I’m in a bad version of DeGrassi Junior High,” he says. Is that a PBS joke? A Canadian joke? (He’s Canadian.) It’s certainly a little wink to the audience PBS is trying to reach with this thing.
The meat of the episode is Steve and Noah trying to emulate the super-fast, hyper-edited video style of the kids attending the con. The gag totally works. It’s only a five minute investment, so see if it works for you. It’s a fitting intro to what’s shaping up to be a hilarious series.