We have reality competitions for everything else in the world, why not viral videos? Last night, Syfy premiered "Viral Video Showdown," in which two teams compete to make the best "viral" video with a certain theme, a few limited parameters, and very little time. You know the drill. Last night's episode focused on fake movie trailers, and judges picked an overall winner that appears to be "controversial." But anyway, shouldn't the most views or engagement end up winning such a battle? I guess there's a time factor, but seems like that could be easily remedied. Anyway, let's take a look.
Syfy's Viral Video Showdown TV Reality Show
First off, here's a trailer for the show:
Episode 1's "Viral" Results
The best video in the estimation of the judges was Half Day Today's "Winky Face ;) - Official Movie Trailer:"
The best video in the estimation of almost everyone else you see commenting on Facebook and YouTube is Final Cut King's "Going Postal Trailer:"
So, How "Viral" Were the Results?
According to the watch pages on YouTube, Half Day Today's "Winky Face" video has a grand total currently of 758 views and Final Cut King's "Going Postal Trailer" has a total of 6501.
The results page has a view count of over 5,000 for "Postal" and still a little over 300 for "Winky Face."
I'm not sure what a show like this does for video in general, but it continues TV's fascination with it, considering all the viral video shows like "Tosh.0" and "Ridiculousness" going strong. Making it a competition reality show is one of those things I don't like. I don't think you can make a true viral video with no time and limited parameters. This is something I talked about in this article, in which ABC's "Nightline" tried to force the issue, likely facing a lot of deadlines and a narrow set of rules in making the video.
But you know, hey, we're Americans and we love these "vs." shows no matter what. And we like watching people with limited means somehow "MacGyver" their way into something special. So this is a silly show with a ridiculous premise that is wildly inaccurate in its portrayal of what makes a video go viral, but I guess we can't fault TV for trying to capitalize on video's popularity right now. And if there's another positive, it's that promising video makers get a national spotlight on them and their other, more fleshed-out stuff can get watched by association.
QUESTION: Did you guys catch the show and what do you think about the idea?