JV’s World is hosted by veteran radio personality “JV” (Jeff Vandergrift to his parents) and is a biweekly ten-minute rant on a topic of the host’s choice. I used to listen to JV’s morning show, The Dog House, on San Francisco’s Wild 94.9 when I was in middle school. I loved it! Prank calls, sophomoric stunts, and stuff that no seventh grader would – nor should – understand. It was wonderful and made even better by the fact that my parents definitely didn’t want me listening.
Watching JV’s World was my first exposure to JV since those adolescent days, and while I’ve done some growing up, JV hasn’t.
Let’s dissect the first episode. JV proclaims that “America is in a vulnerable position” and proceeds to declare war on MTV. Why? For airing episodes of Cribs – the show in which rich folk show off their palatial abodes – during a time when people are losing their homes. Fair enough. But five whole minutes to make a relatively simple point? Granted, talk show hosts aren’t known for being the tersest. They’re trained to ramble to cover dead air. However, telling MTV to “eat sh–[fart noise] and die” just once is sufficient, no?
I could just let Revision3’s audience commenters write the rest of this post. “In short, I have no idea what is the point behind this show. It fails to deliver on both humor and any kind of informative discussion about a worthwhile topic,” said commenter chriscannon in a post titled “End this Show.”
One commenter, eminemdrdre00, borrowing JV’s style, asked, “Are you high? Are you smoking dope? Dude that runs Revision3?! You let Martin [Sargent] and Sarah [Lane] go so you can bring in shows like this? JV…eat shit and die.”
There are 451 other comments for that episode, many expressing a similar sentiment.
In the series’ third episode “State of the Union,” JV addresses the show’s reception and divides his audience into a few categories: those who like the show, those who dislike it, those who are undecided, and the haters (or, “the turd”). JV defines “the turd” as a group who never gave the show a fair shake. I am no turd.
A show like JV’s World could certainly be good. In fact, JV’s World reminds me of one of the most consistently solid shows on the web, Jay Smooth’s magnificent Ill Doctrine. But while one show featuring a radio jock ranting to his webcam provides insightful and clever commentary on meaningful issues, the other is a shock jock who makes caustic claims and fart noises.
As eminemdrdre00 mentioned, Revision3 made some programming and personnel changes in late 2008, citing a need to concentrate on tech-centric programming, the stuff they know best. That’s why their addition of a show like JV’s World baffles me.
I understand the desire to expand Revison3’s reach and start shows targeted towards different audiences, and a derisive, divisive personality is good to have on any network’s roster. But if I learned anything from Private Parts, it’s that in order for the Howard Sterns out there to thrive, there needs to be a core, rabid fanbase to battle the haters. In the past, Revision3 has been swift to react to underperforming shows. Unless JV can quickly rally more support and create compelling content, I don’t expect him to live in Revision3’s world for long.