I’m always amazed when television networks with deep pockets and years of observing active innovation manage to screw up an online series, but it happens almost invariably.  It’s amazing!  At least Bravo has the semblance of a digital media strategy, albeit slightly flawed.  Last week, the cable network announced The Week Without Pity, an internet-only video series made especially for one of Bravos’ many homes on the web, TelevisionWithoutPity.com.  The others include BravoTV.com, BrilliantButCancelled.com (Tilzy Page), OUTzoneTV.com (Tilzy Page) and getTRIO.com

The Week Without Pity actually rests on pretty smart idea that’s ostensibly easily executed: a snarky voice offers a quick tour of TV highlights from the week under the banner of “the week’s best, worst and addictive guilty pleasures.”

The show itself is relatively well done — if you like that sort of cautious, corporate wannabe irreverence — but, at the end of the day, it fails to engage.

Mildly witty banter accented by re-purposed Google Images feels a bit stale.  (Plus, nobody does that shtick better than Wallstrip Why not just show clips from the shows themselves?

What bothers me most is the usual ridiculousness of senseless hoarding, effectively limiting exposure for the sake of, uh, I don’t know what.  I can’t embed the video.  It doesn’t appear to be available anywhere but on its own website… god forbid you’d watch it here.

Also, the full-screen toggle only fills the browser window, not the full-screen, and the 15-second pre-roll is annoying if not completely off-putting.  The show website is nothing more than a blank canvas for videos when Bravo has so many tools available to engage users.  How bout a wiki?  How about a social network for lovers of guilty pleasures?  A game?  C’mon guys.

Your average video blogger could create a better experience in about a half hour using simple desktop software, Blip.tv and Ning.  What value do you bring to the table, Bravo?

The network plans to also air topical specials throughout the year tied to major events in television, and will introduce additional broadband series in the coming months, says Multichannel, so we’ll make sure to update with interesting show developments…if we remember the URL.

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