• Slow TV returns with The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness. (SBS)Source: SBS
After an agonizing 12 month break, slow TV is back baby! And fans are understandably PUMPED for this boat ride!
Rob Hunter

19 Dec 2018 - 10:14 AM  UPDATED 19 Dec 2018 - 3:43 PM

One year ago Australia was gripped by a slowly moving train. Viewers were transfixed as they followed the mesmerizing twists and turns of The Ghan as it traveled in a heart-stopping straight line for several hours. Now, under the strain of presumably overwhelming public demand, the world of slow telly has gloriously expanded to include the journey of a boat! Fans, strap yourselves in and get ready for slow spectacular The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness.

For those unfamiliar with the exhilarating Norwegian-borne slow TV phenomenon, programs involve watching prolonged, monotonous activities ranging from train trips to knitting evenings. Making an absolute mockery of TV producers who have wasted time including writers, actors and plots in their inferior shows, slow TV has been a resounding global success. To help explain the appeal to anyone who lacks the imagination to appreciate true genius, just look at this highlight from The Ghan and feel the electricity!

Though the idea of someone not being completely awestruck by a moving train seems almost incomprehensible, some viewers have had the temerity to suggest slow TV is ‘boring’ because ‘nothing happens’. What the heck are these fools talking about!? From the moment that train disembarked on its massively uneventful journey,The Ghan was a thrill-ride requiring fans to lash ourselves to our seats lest we punch a hole in the wall with adrenalin-fuelled passion. Still don’t understand?

Perhaps vision of that same train travelling by some slightly different bushes will help explain the appeal:

Oh man! Finally a modern TV show that makes sense! Current popular hits like The Handmaid’s Tale and Homeland are not without their charm but for people whose attention spans have been irrevocably damaged by constant clickbait media and braindead content, shows with multiple characters and twisting plots can be downright confusing. In contrast, the plot of The Kimberley Cruise is that a boat goes somewhere. The twist? It takes a very long time. Everyone can understand and enjoy that! (Apologies for the spoilers.)

Already building hype by sounding like Tom Cruise’s even more action-packed sister, The Kimberley Cruise follows a boat on its breathtaking journey from Broome to Darwin. Featuring stunning landscape, wildlife and Aboriginal landmarks, it includes more interesting stuff than a true slow TV fan might like. But the fact remains, this is aggressively soothing television. And boring!? Running at a tight 3 hours on SBS with a 17 hour special on VICELAND, this is television in which every second is more thrilling than the last!

Some may find the idea of a plot-less 17 hour show wildly baffling but far from being dull, The Kimberley Cruise presents all manner of intrigue. Apart from the unadulterated drama of watching a boat that could explode at any moment (but doesn’t), the show presents numerous engaging challenges. For example, thinking of the funniest, snidest remark to post on Twitter has proved a constant slow TV battle. If watching with other people, there is also the tantalizing quest to avoid being the first person to say “Is this really the whole show?” Meanwhile, having the courage to watch the whole broadcast alone without interruption remains the ultimate thrilling test of human fortitude.

Admittedly, for most viewers the whole point of slow TV is to mentally switch off and relax, staring at the rhythmic images while descending into a calm, meditative state. Featuring a boat moving along at a leisurely pace amidst some of Australia’s most spectacular wilderness, The Kimberley Cruise presents this opportunity. But for those understandably stimulated by the prospect of watching a boat do hardly anything while even less happens around it, there is simply no time to relax!

Staring at anything for up to 17 hours may not appeal to everyone but to those fools who would suggest slow TV is dull, the question must be asked: Is the Mona Lisa dull!? Is Michelangelo’s David dull!? In comparison to The Kimberley Cruise, yes they are! So strap me down and hold my calls, I’m ready to watch a mother-flippin’ boat ride.

Slow Summer; four marathon slow TV events, 3 mere hours each in primetime on SBS, but whole day events on SBS VICELAND. Oh, and streaming live on SBS On Demand. Starts 6 January 2019. 

Join the conversation on social #SlowSummer

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