Bailey Kipper's P.O.V

CBS (ended 1997)


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Bailey Kipper's P.O.V

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Little Brother is Watching You! Yes Mr. 347, that's him, Bailey Kipper (played by Michael Galeota). The weird kid who has turned his life into a video diary by putting spyballs into every room, every nook and cranny, from the fridge to his big sister's bedroom. Oooer. But contrary to what you might be thinking, Bailey gets his kicks not from voyeurism per se but from being in control, recording life's little dramas and then spin doctoring them with slick editing and video effects to fit in with his own view of events. Sitting up in an attic crammed with eavesdropping electronics, the spider at the centre of a web of cams, he's obviously heading for a career as a government spook. This destiny might also explain his 24 hour surveillance of Robin: Bailey's interest may not be incestuous after all, but rather that he views his sister as a political dissident whose actions should be monitored. A promising TV series that went nowhere With its major usage of video art-Paintbox graphics and warped animations-POV feels like a natural successor to Mitchell Kriegman's Clarissa Explains It All, so much so that I looked for his name in the credits; but it wasn't there. But this is what Clarissa might have been had Nickelodeon given Kriegman a bigger budget, or perhaps had the bright idea of using the motif of a video diary as an excuse to blend more storytelling video effects into the narrative. Having said that, POV is also very weak. The series falls apart before your eyes; the script writers clearly had no canonical character biographies. Each episode contradicts the last. Bailey's sister, Robin, is (like Daria) a freethinking Joan of Arc who, to her dad's despair, is always on some righteous mission, with the result that the two have been arguing since she was old enough to talk ("I counted seven door slams-a personal best for Robin!" observes Bailey in the Art Competition episode). But what's this? Turn the page to next week and Robin is the apple of her dad's eye who always gets her own way. It just doesn't add up. At least Clarissa was consistent, even if it pulled its punches on a regular basis in the name of light entertainment. Despite its obvious charms, I think it was inevitable that POV was never going to go beyond one series, as the lack of narrative continuity deprived the show of a foundation on which to build an audience following. In fact it acts as a disincentive to people becoming loyal fans, as the more you watch the show, the less sense it makes! All in all this is the one that got away. (But then I hear they never caught up with Emmanuel Goldstein either, so maybe there's a message of hope there in this tale of modern times in which everyone is always on camera.)moreless