Watch It! @ Zoo
The opening of Watch It! is fantastic – jarring, stunning and visually arresting. Dramatic lighting, primary colours and a chronic armchair potato hero are used to great effect by Room 2 Manoeuvre in this well composed modern day portrait.
The only challenge for the protagonist is to find a programme worthy of viewing. As he slumps and fidgets, physical theatre and audio visual elements blend perfectly, wonderfully. The mood is sinister and threatening, and this is most appropriate. However the entire piece, perhaps a little more like the TV output it calls into question, doesn't always deliver the goods consistently. Some channels are more interesting than others. While there are lots of good ideas, feats and fun, such as the TV replacing the head and brain of the performer, some, such as the running sequence, are perhaps allowed to play out a little too long and risk becoming as tedious and aesthetically limited as the output of the medium they are considering.
The relationship between the viewer and his box is treated in a playful way but in the end it is too superficial. There is a lack of progression and resolution, an absorption in special effects for their own sake, rather than their use to really explore and probe the way TV controls so many and so much of our lives.