Almost one year after the announcement of the first 100 YouTube Original Channels, most networks funded by the initiative are up and running. However, at least one of those channels is just now beginning to show itself. This week, production company Participant Media launched TakePart TV, a YouTube Original Channel dedicated to shining light on issues of social and cultural importance.
TakePart posted its first video series a month ago, when it featured the story of blind judo-ka Jordan Mouton, which received over 200,000 views. The channel is now firing up in earnest with five new shows, each on centered on an issue that ‘matters’.
The channel’s flagship program is Brain Food Daily, which offers a slightly humorous look on topics like reality TV racism and the Presidential debates. The style reminds me of the PBS Idea Channel, if only that program’s focus was a socially-liberal analysis of modern day society instead of a dissection of Internet philosophy. Also, there aren’t any memes in BFD, so I guess there’s that difference as well.
TakePart is also the spot for several hosted shows, two of which have already debuted. The first, Capitalism, follows host Henry Rollins, former frontman of the punk band Black Flag, as he tours all 50 state capitals while dishing out his unflinching take on American politics and media. The other show already up and running is Story of Pines, an animated project by musician Alison Sudol (aka A Fine Frenzy), who has set her Lo-Fi indie rock to life behind paper-cutout, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer-esque visuals that depict the story of a pine tree named (you guessed it) Pine. It’s a touching take on environmental awareness, a common theme in TakePart’s work; the network also helped present the recent EMA Digital Content Award that we discussed here on Tubefilter.
Two more shows will debut shortly. In American Savage, noted sex-ed and LGBT rights columnist Dan Savage will present his views on whatever crosses his mind (or so it seems). Savage’s ‘dinner table debate’ with National Organization for Marriage head Brian Brown gives us a good idea of what he’ll be like as a full-time web series host. The other upcoming premiere is Mission, where Kobe Bryant will go to the street to spread the word about homelessness. If Kobe wants his show to be a success, he’ll have to make sure he passes his views instead of shooting them.
TakePart TV took its sweet time coming together, but it’s good to see another Original Channel up and running. In a few weeks time, TakePart could become a prime source for people who feel deceived by the mainstream media.