Dartmouth TV makes a comeback

by Chris Mah | 1/12/05 6:00am

Got a talent? Journalistic savvy? A pretty face? Or just like to hear yourself talk? Dartmouth Television invites you to flaunt whatever you've got for whoever you know. The campus television network is quickly gaining a cult audience by broadcasting an eclectic myriad of student-produced programs ranging from independent arthouse flicks to animated shorts to hilarious "MTV Cribs" spoofs.

"We produced "Apollo Idol" [a take-off of Fox's "American Idol" with Dartmouth students as contestants] with pretty modest expectations," recalled Alice Mathias '07, DTV's programming director. "We were completely but pleasantly surprised when some 300 students actually blitzed in their votes for their favorite singer."

Mathias, Darya Fuks '07 and Ian Sarr '05 have spearheaded the revival of DTV and the potential for future growth is limited only by the imagination of its student contributors. Fuks describes the network as "an amazing resource for the Dartmouth community with the potential to be a medium of information as well as a comprehensive forum of imaginative and creative entertainment."

In addition to student-produced programs, DTV also airs an equally eclectic range of major motion pictures from classic favorites like "Airplane!" and "Top Gun" to more recent masterpieces including "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "White Chicks."

"Even the commercials are witty and entertaining," said Alisha Levine '07, a faithful viewer. "DTV allows you to see a dramatic side of your friends that you might not otherwise get to see."

The station's growing popularity is evident in the steady stream of ideas pitched to the trio.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," Mathias said. "We've had groups of people approach us saying they want to do a sports show, improv shows, cartoons, dating shows and reality shows."

Other groups have expressed interest in producing a faux-news show similar to "The Daily Show with John Stewart" and a "Dartmouth Iron Chef Challenge."

For Jeremy Rohrlich '07, an appearance on DTV's parody of "Cribs" has led to campus notoriety while catching the eye of media bigwigs and previously unattainable females.

"Doing 'DTV Cribs' was the best thing that has happened in my acting career since I played Yente in my middle school's production of 'Fiddler on the Roof.' I'm expecting a call from the president of NBC, who wants me to play Uncle Joey in the made-for-TV movie, 'Full House: The Teenage Years.' Plus, I am totally way more popular now and even landed my first girlfriend ever -- hey Anna!" Rohrlich said.

The mounting interest has meant greater responsibility for Mathias, Fuks and Sarr, who hope to form a faculty board of advisors to provide assistance.

"It's a great feeling to know that there are so many students who want to be involved with DTV now," said Fuks. The station's rapid growth from modest beginnings has come as a welcome surprise.

"I remember initially meeting with Ian when I first got involved with DTV," said Mathias. "He was literally the only person in the office; he was DTV. Darya and I told him we wanted to help, and the three of us took DTV and ran with it."

Since then, DTV has evolved and expanded to accommodate the demands of its viewers.

"We're very flexible and open-minded about our programs. We want DTV to be an outlet of free expression for student filmmakers and entertainers," Mathias said.

"In addition to widening the variety of material obtained from Dartmouth students, we hope to expand in the next few years to include programming from other colleges as well as have them show what we produce," Sarr said.

The station's founders expressed great optimism about their organization's future.

"There are very few limitations to what we can accomplish through DTV," Sarr said. "Anything is possible."

DTV programming runs on channel 13 on campus cable.