Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blipverts & Then Some

Max Headroom - 20 Minutes into the future, was one of the GREATEST TV SHOWS ever.

"In 1997, life imitated art as predicted by Max Headroom. In the original story, reporter Edison Carter exposed the TV network's efforts to create "Blipverts," a new high-intensity subliminal television commercial which had the unfortunate side-effect of overloading the nervous system of certain viewers to such a degree that they exploded. In a bizarre parallel in 1997, Japan's popular Pocket Monsters (Pok√©mon) television series included a sequence of flashing imagery which unintentionally triggered seizures in hundreds of viewers susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy — though without fatalities."

Max, the CG replicant of Edison residing in the intestines of Network 23, gives out hyper kinetic riffs about the world in ways wildly familiar to what kids experience today on the web. "Max existed in a ubiquitous worldwide computer network with access to virtually every type of information via multimedia interfaces. The show aired several years before the invention of the worldwide web. The internet of today looks remarkably similar to what was represented in the show."

Max Headroom (His name comes from a sign delineating the maximum headroom of an overpass on a highway) lasted but a season (1987-88) but the impact of same was immense.

Newsmap, a 20 second overview of the news, would warm the cockles of Max's digital heart as it confirms the notion that Instant Gratification isn't fast enough.
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