Norway, a quiet, peaceful Scandinavian country that has decriminalized the possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana for “personal use,” is currently enamored with “Slow TV,” a phenomenon that began when government-owned TV channel NRK decided to broadcast a seven-hour and 40-minute train ride in its entirety. That broadcast pulled in 1.2 million viewers in a country of 5 million, and the next event, a live, 134-hour real-time cruise, was watched by 70 percent of Norwegians. Since then, NRK has produced massively popular TV events consisting of nothing but 14 hours of bird watching, 18 hours of salmon fishing, and something called National Knitting Evening, a show that was probably still more entertaining than Celebrity Game Night.
Now the Travel Channel is trying to bring the phenomenon to America with what it calls Slow Road Live, a 12-hour road trip that will be broadcast live on November 27, a.k.a. Black Friday, a.k.a. National Unfollow A Hippie Complaining About Black Friday On Facebook Day. Travel Channel SVP of programming and development Ross Babbit says it’ll be relaxing: “While everyone else is out hustling and bustling to get the latest deals on Black Friday, we’re giving our viewers a chance to unwind with 12 hours of reality in real time,” he says. “This live programming event will get everyone together to simply enjoy the stunning, beautiful scenery and realize the only big character in this show is the world around us.” (Spoken like a real Norwegian, if you know what we mean.)
The Travel Channel has yet to announce the route of the trip, something it says it will do before the broadcast. This could go a couple of ways: On the one hand, most Americans probably would watch TV for 12 hours on the off chance they might see themselves waving by the side of the road. But on the other, Americans are also the kind of people who would have trouble resisting the urge to wave their genitals at the camera, because that’s the kind of thing we find hilarious. Regardless, there will be social media stuff, so you can tweet about all the nice, waving strangers and their nice, waving genitals in real time.