Nothing to See HereThe allure of slow TV.

Nothing to See HereThe allure of slow TV.

  • Words Asher Ross
  • Photograph Denis Boulze

The idle, plotless meandering of slow TV flies in the face of every entertainment maxim. And yet, while programs in the genre offer no story to speak of, they manage to captivate us—whether we’re watching newly hatched ducklings milling in a pond or the prow of a ship splitting placid waters.

Slow television is largely credited as a Scandinavian phenomenon. Its big moment came in 2009 with the premiere of the Norwegian Bergensbanen Minute by Minute—a recording of the seven-hour train journey from the coastal city of Bergen to Oslo, filmed in real time with minimal adornment. Almost all the footage is near-silent, save for station announcements and a steady rumble of train on track. As the hours tick by we see the countryside evolve from pine-trimmed fjords to snowy highlands, and ...

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