Friend: “What’d you do on the weekend Pete?”
Me: “Watched a train journey through Australia for 6 hours. How about you?”
Friend: “I beg your pardon?”
Oh yes, you read correctly. 6 hours onboard the mighty Ghan. My toe has officially been dipped into the clear waters of Slow TV. And at this point, there’s no going back.
Here amidst the chaos of life, social media and our waning attention spans lies a completely contrarian approach to entertainment. A ‘disruptor’ if you will.
Tucked away from reality tv, infotainment and the constant bombardment of people and brands vying for your attention, you’ll find Slow TV.
It’s the exact opposite of any TV show you’ve ever watched, and it’s completely and utterly transfixing.
Don’t believe me? Just take a sneak peek at this train ride to Oslo… It only goes for 7 hours. Go on, I’ll wait.
You done already? Sheesh, okay, but you don’t know what you’re missing. And 7 hours is short compared to the “episode” (if you can call it that) on The Ghan. This badboy was 16 hours long. SIXTEEN.
It followed the journey from the south of Australia to the north of Australia (approx 3,000km). There were a series of camera angles, the gentle sound of the train engines humming and occasionally a fun fact would pop up regarding the surrounding scenery.
And I couldn’t look away. For 6 hours I sat and I watched.
In fact, I found myself commenting on things as they passed by as if I were a passenger on the train:
- “Ohh, did you see that big tree back there?”
- “WOAH – A kangaroo!”
- “We must be approaching Alice Springs soon”
The worst part? I was home alone.
It was peaceful, calming and meditative. And there were no ads.
I’ve since discovered – much to my elation – that Slow TV is an entire genre, not just limited to train rides.
I KNOW, RIGHT?!
There are a 9+ hour episodes of log fires burning, 10+hour episodes of people knitting and 11+hour boat cruises to look forward to.
It’s around this point that I’m utterly convinced that I’m a 100-year-old man trapped in a 28-year-old body.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to watch 7 hours of salmon fishing.