Documentary Review: TV Party (2005)

Release Date: February 1st, 2005
Directed by: Danny Vinik
Music by: various artists featured in the film

Brink Films, 91 Minutes


I love Amazon Video with my Prime account because I have access to a bunch of documentaries I probably wouldn’t even know about otherwise. I stumbled across this one and was glad I did, as I have known about the old New York City public access show Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party for a long time but have never been able to see more than just a few clips.

For those who don’t know, TV host, fashion expert and writer Glenn O’Brien with Blondie’s Chris Stein formed TV Party as an outlet for the young people of New York City’s urban scene. It featured punk, hip-hop and a multitude of other music styles, as well as art, comedy and pretty much whatever else they wanted to throw at the public.

Others who contributed to the show were Fab 5 Freddy, Debbie Harry from Blondie, Walter Steding and Amos Poe. Guests ranged from Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Byrne, Mick Jones, James Chance and others from the music and art scene.

The TV Party documentary shows how the show came to be, how it was orchestrated once on the air and how it ultimately came to its end. It gives us a glimpse into an incredible cultural era in the biggest city in America.

The documentary is well-produced, well-executed and covers more than I thought it could in its 90 minute running time.

The interviews with O’Brien, Fab 5 Freddy, Debbie Harry, Walter Steding and others were eye-opening and engaging. It made me appreciate what this all was even more so than I did already, even not having seen a full episode.

TV Party was a special show while it lasted and it opened the door for a lot of people and helped shape pop culture after it. It most likely had a big influence on what MTV became and it helped give careers to many of the people involved.

Rating: 8/10

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