There are a lot of awesome TV alternatives out there right now, and one of the weirdest trends has to be slow TV, during which networks opt to air things like live road trips and deer migrations. This holiday season, Destination America is also jumping into this trend, and will be airing a 5-hour train ride over Thanksgiving, catering to those who find football and the Macy’s Day Parade to be a tad bit too exciting. Or as a Discovery executive recently put it:
It’s for the person who finds the Yule Log too exciting.
That blunt, hilarious and ridiculous comment to TV Insider totally has me sold. I’ve never been one to really tune in for the slow TV events that have aired in the past, although the deer migration would have been tempting, had I lived in Norway at the time it aired. (I did, however get sucked in to the Great Llama Debacle of 2015). And while I’m not sure Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride will be the event of a lifetime, it does promise to be relaxing, and certainly less kitchsy than the TV Yule log.
Destination America seems to be using the stunt to promote its Railroad Alaska reality series, which has been airing on the channel since 2013. The best news? If you watch for five hours and dig the slow TV event, Destination America will reward you with an encore performance of the train ride, which will cover parts of Alaska’s 500 mile-long railway.
Parent company Discovery is really selling the big event as something that will be appropriately dull, noting the channel is trying to do the opposite of fast, frenzied, exciting television, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Most networks compete to produce the most exciting show. We also want to own the other end of the spectrum, providing viewers with the single most boring program ever to appear on television during Thanksgiving ... even more boring than the Detroit Lions football game.
However, these slow TV events can do big business in parts of the world. In 2011, nearly half of the people living in Norway caught at least part of a life ship voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes. And while the trend hasn’t caught up with Americans to such a high extent, it’s certainly still a nice TV alternative.
You can tune in for Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride on November 26 at 9 a.m. ET.