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Real World<i> at SXSW</i>

Real World at SXSW

OK, it would be waaaay too simple to bag on the finale of MTV’s Real World Austin—especially because this season had to be the worst Real World yet—so instead I’ll write about why I even bothered to watch it at all. This season the kids made a documentary of the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. If you were smart enough not to subject yourself to endless Tuesday nights of Wes the sociopath’s drunken house assaults, Johanna and Nehemiah’s stints in the pokey, Danny and Melinda’s dysfunctional love-fest, Rachel’s belligerent soldier-girl attitude, or Lacey’s catty soliloquies just to see some obscured shots of a music festival, then you were smarter than me. If I’d known I could view the kids’ documentary on the Web with minimal dramedy to accompany it—I would have gone straight for the punch line. (See it for yourself at: www.mtv.com/overdrive.) It’s not bad, if you can get over the Sharpie ads and the dorky housemates pretending they’re on their best behavior interspersed with shots of bands HelloGoodBye and Halifax.

For more Austin music without the crappy MTV attitude slathered all over it, stick with PBS’ Austin City Limits, now in it’s 30th year. Back in the day this show featured country, but nowadays all genres are game. Check out this Saturday’s show for an entire hour of The Pixies (Saturday, Nov. 26, 11 p.m.). Other upcoming shows feature such acts as The Polyphonic Spree and Ozomatli, Modest Mouse and Guided By Voices, and encore performances of The Killers and Austin’s own Spoon, as well as Franz Ferdinand. See the whole schedule at: www.pbs.org/klru/austin/tvschedule.

While the “MTV-Generation” may describe those of us with short attention spans, Al Gore’s network has MTV beat. Current TV is broadcasting short and semi-random bits of video content reflecting real people and pop culture these days. Featuring independent content produced by viewers, this San Francisco-based network’s programming is varied and rigidly scheduled. For example, see super-heroes get unmasked in Rick Klotz’s seven-minute long “Superfamous” at 8:35 p.m., or the three minute “Google’s Top Searched News” by Janie’s Got an Atlatl at 9 p.m. Watch on DirecTV channel 366, and Comcast channel 125. Or, if you don’t have either, you can check it out online and find out how to make your own show: www.current.tv.

As the sands fall through the hourglass, so do the last few episodes of FOX’s best show, Arrested Development. Word is FOX will let it somewhat gracefully wind up its third and final season so viewers won’t be left with the sudden shock and bewilderment felt by those who experienced series-interruptus during the abrupt cancellation of other FOX shows like Freaks and Geeks and Dark Angel. This is your final chance to catch the show. It’s supposed to be on Monday nights at 8 p.m. but check your TV Guide. Speaking of “The Guide,” did you notice it’s now full-size? Wow … (yawn) …

Parting shot: Mention of “party school” Chico State on American Dad.