Arts News 



Photo of Rob signing CBS contract courtesy of

Those following Rob Potylo and his Quiet Desperation team on social media may have seen the breaking news earlier:

What a day!!!! This is me signing the contract with CBS to run a season of Quiet Desperation on myTV38 premiering Sunday afternoon April 13th at 12:30pm!!!!! After Phantom Gourmet and right before Seinfeld … Thanks again to everyone who made this dream possible … AGAIN

If anyone would like to help sponsor our little reality series out of Boston that could you can hit me up by PM. We would love to run your beautiful ad or even make one for you too …

At that, we reached out to the architects behind Boston’s long-running reality and documentary series, and asked about their return to television glory, as it’s not the first time Potylo has exposed himself to boob tube audiences–he came of age popping pimples on cable access on the North Shore, and briefly aired Quiet D on the late MYTV network. The following is an exchange the Dig had with Rob and the show’s directors, Erik Angra and Steve Onderick, earlier today …


You guys used to have the show on television. What happened with that? Something with the owner of the station being a giant asshole?

Rob: When Quiet Desperation was on MYTV back in 2011 we had a great relationship with their Program Director Doug Finck. We were showing up on the Nielsen ratings, getting on NPR, Chronicle. We were gaining resources and trying to make Boston an independent television market free to express our art and culture. Then Bill Binnie a former Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire bought the station, changed the call letters to his last name, imposed morality issues on our show, pulled our show from its Friday night slot for a tooth whitening commercial … And crushed my dreams … For a few years ;)

How much material have you shot since?

Rob: Since May of 2011 we have shot three more seasons on YouTube (Type Quiet Desperation on Youtube Kids!!!) We have partied with Occupiers at The Democratic National Convention, been down to Hurricane Sandy Relief in New Jersey, covered the Boston Bombings, and everywhere in between Boston. We have footage/interviews from some of the most magical movers and shakers in the creative arts scene.

Everybody seems to be wanting to migrate the other way–from TV to in-demand and online. What do you still think it’s such an important medium to be in?

Rob: TV is important because it’s a fucking MAJOR Medium … If you ask me I think we’re being herded into SIMERATH and are fighting it all out on the nets instead of fighting to get these major mediums back to the people where they belong in real life. Plus TV encourages attention span. On youtubes people be watching our documentary on a phone with ten apps opened. TV you sit down with your Makers Mark and family and donate attention span.

Whose dicks did you have to suck and vaginas did you have to lick to get this opportunity?

Rob: Well it’s funny you ask … One night I was at Great Scott … and I met this gentleman who smelt of Karate Cologne and was sweating heavily at the bar… He said he noticed my guitar was slightly out of tune during my set … Most of been 55-59yrs old … br hair … cold blue eyes … but gentle animal features … We walked down Harvard Ave. and he said he could get that shit right. We were at the corner of Commonwealth and Harvard and he’s just standing there tuning my guitar and shit … Then BOOM!! The next day I’m in the CBS office signing my name on the line.

Your show can be pretty damn ruthless at times. How is that going to jibe with CBS? How will the shows be edited – length and content-wise?
Rob, Erik, Steve: I don’t think the show is ruthless at this point … It’s more honest, and perhaps raw. We’re trying to showcase Boston as the arts community it is. We’re really feeling we’re on the cusp of a renaissance here. More so than previous seasons because we found our genre. Our pulse. It’s like a band with a bunch of different albums and we feel we finally found our sound. We always wanted it to be for Television and it was always shot in a manner that when the time came we would be able to do this. We’re blessed to have so many creatives working hard on this project now to create something Boston can be proud of.

Tell us about upcoming show stuff, promo events, and how people can get involved and hang with the Quiet D community?

Rob: March 18th we’re having a party at TT’s where we’re showing the newest episodes of Quiet Desperation, dancing to The New Highway Hymnal, and hanging with the people who have gotten it to this point. You can help by sharing Quiet Desperation, watching Quiet Desperation, and supporting local arts in general. Viva la renaissance.