Review: SUSU TV Presents SUSU Elections 2012

Chris Baker found himself drinking more and more glasses of whiskey in order to cope with SUSU TV’s results night coverage.

Unlike my far more important comrades, I spent the SUSU elections locked in my room with a bottle of Jack Daniels and so experienced the entire affair through the eyes of SUSU TV, our ever notable student TV station. Allegedly there were around four thousand other viewers treated to a spectacle that can only be described as “lacking”.

The election coverage took off in style by starting around 20 minutes late. A promising start by any measure, quickly followed by two words from the presenter and then an eternal buffering screen. One page-reload later, and the action continued almost immediately with a lipdub video to “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” (which I must confess I appeared in briefly; breathing fire) which had such a disappointing frame rate it was almost impossible to actually make out the lip-dubbing. The first five minutes were nicely rounded off by a grinning presenter in the ‘exclusive VIP area’ explaining how accessible the elections were, just in case anyone was worried about hypocrisy.

In the interest of fairness, I must commend SUSU TV on a few aspects. The first is their camerawork, which was largely superb and smoothly cut; and we were only very occasionally treated to an accidental half-second shot of a floor or wall. Mike Fisher comes across as overwhelmingly professional (with weatherman-like precision in his delivery) in his job as stats-man, as does presenter Chris Pate who slipped up on his lines only very occasionally. Some of the technical content is commendable too, although in a lot of places they seem to have overreached their abilities.

This segues me neatly into my next criticism. An ambitious series of mini “Fact Files” for the various candidates went wrong repeatedly, with presenter Chris confidently narrating and gesturing towards an empty white box. The interviews themselves were blighted with bad sound quality: Rob Leane (VP Student Engagement candidate) had notably loud socks which contrasted jarringly with the terribly muted audio. Results graphs occasionally stopped working too; missing off entire sections of the votes. At this stage my impression was of an outfit running as smoothly as a river of bricks.

Every so often the action would cut to a shot of some of the campaign teams in the cube yelling at presenter Lydie who would promptly yell back, and continually remind us how “LITERALLY AMAZING” everything was. The usual SUSU staples of repeated flashback montages and numerous falling coloured balls (even over the adverts) were also in abundance.

Other highlights in brief included an unintentionally hilarious advert for SUSU TV’s upcoming ‘period drama’, a left-wing wet dream in the form of a detailed Alternative-Vote plug which included the use of the word “fair” more times than anything else (elections sponsored by the Lib Dems?), the Darth Vader march ‘hilariously’ accompanying every entrance of the utterly emotionless and bland returning officer Jon Walsh, and an occasional twitter feed which covered a decent portion of the screen.

After the first hour of coverage, everything notable had already happened. The rest was more of the same: more silly questions, more attempts at humour, more broken graphics, and more results (complete with virtual confetti). To sum up as fairly as possible: interesting results, ‘interesting’ coverage.