Streaming Your Problems Live Over the Internet

Perhaps one of the oldest forms of entertainment is that of witnessing other people's problems. The Greek playwright, Aeschylus, may have given us the tragedy as a parable, but radio and TV have given us first-hand insights into people's real-life, self-destructive behavior from the likes of the Lovline call-in radio show to the Dr. Phil TV talk show. Now airing your love problems for the world to see is about to invade the most ubiquitous medium of them all--the Internet--with the Webcam-centric, live, "call-in" show, LuvChat.

LuvChat will launch just two days after Valentine's Day, on Monday, February 16. The show will stream live, Mondays through Fridays, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST. Listeners will be encouraged to "call in" to discuss their "love, sex, and drug problems" with a revolving panel of celebrity "Luv Doctors," Dr. Gabrielle Davis, M.D., and the show's producer and host, Jim "Poorman" Trenton. It's no coincidence that LuvChat shares a lot in common with Loveline, as Trenton used to co-host that show as well.

The LuvChat site currently just displays a countdown until the
show's scheduled launch.

The hosts and guest "Luv Doctors" will all stream their respective contributions to the show live via "hi-def web cams." Callers--or "guests with 'Luv Problems'" as the show calls them--will call in using their webcams to discuss their woes. Callers will be encouraged to appear on screen; callers who don't want to show their faces can have their webcam images silhouetted. Additionally, viewers will be encouraged to connect live to the show's site with their webcams as well, where they can provide commentary.

Based on the description of the show from the press release, it is highly doubtful that LuvChat is meant to be taken seriously or provide any significant advice to those with real problems:

"Picture Jay Leno meets Loveline meets Wayne's World with the look of a CNN roundtable forum of contributors via web cams. That's 'LuvChat' 'LuvChat' premieres February 16th and will be the first 'live' interactive online variety show."

Variety shows typically include singing, dancing, and sketch comedy. It is unlikely that LuvChat will include any of these, but the "Variety Show" moniker is probably being used so as to not provide any false impressions that it is a true self-help show; and invoking Wayne's World implies prurient and irreverent humor. It is deeply uncertain if anyone seeking real help will actually "call in," and even if they do, if they will receive actual help, or simply become fodder for everyone else's amusement. We guess we'll have to logon in a few weeks to find out.