OverView was a magazine on VHS about home video published by Nez. The first and only issue was released in January 1987.
OverView was not meant to be watched in one sitting, but flicked through to pieces of interest just like in a print magazine. An innovative feature of the magazine was its contents marking system: a number in the top right corner gave the number of minutes which had passed, like a page number, that viewers could keep track of while fast forwarding or rewinding. Another innovative feature was the price -- OverView sold for the cost of a blank tape, so it was practical to buy the tape and then reuse it. As publisher, Nez records a publisher's note and other supplementary information, but the feature stories are hosted by critics, etc. and the letters to the editor are created by viewers just like in a print magazine. The care with which it was approached makes it a fascinating project. I'm so happy these clips have been posted!
This is my favorite project Nez did outside music. I love how it is a continuation of his career through combining media forms: book + record, record + film, magazine + film. All of these mediums were greater than the sum of their parts, and the same is true of OverView. This isn't just a TV show on VHS... it is a magazine that chronicles its articles through video, released on VHS. NBC wanted to play OverView for the premiere but Nez said no, because it was not suited to television. And I believe his decision was true to his product -- you can't flick through a television show like you would a magazine, unless people taped the program to watch later. It would not have been a true representation of OverView, even if it might have gained some exposure; something important would have been lost -- OverView's purpose.
What struck me the first time I watched it was how funny it is. I suppose I should anticipate everything Nez does to be humorous, but OverView is mean funny. The reviews are satirical, cynical, and sarcastic... to the point that the quality of the reviews somewhat suffers but the viewer definitely doesn't (unless laughing pains you). There are positive reviews but they're forgettable next to awful films described with lines like these -- "And if you think that's exciting, well, you might consider medication." And my personal favorite and life motto: "Crude trash is preferable to slick junk."
Warning: There is a reasonable chance you might not enjoy this if you're not a hipster.