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A New Hulu Original Series: Let Speed Levitch Get You “Up To Speed” on Your City and/or Inner-Self

August 9th, 2012 by Ben Collins Editor

The day I first met Timothy “Speed” Levitch, he was on stage in front of a set of grizzled TV reporters who had just spent the last two weeks eating the same meal twice a day in a hotel together at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. A lot of these critics had just gotten off the bus from spinning the wheel at “The Price is Right” and were hearing of this guy—wearing an electric blue blazer—for the first time.

Right then, under these nuclear circumstances, these critics could ask Speed anything they wanted to.

“What is the most overlooked monument in America?”

This is the first question he’s asked.

“Kindness,” he says.

Because everyone in that room has a functioning human heart, this charmed the hell out of everybody immediately.

Now Speed has a show of his own in which he goes from city to city to uncover America’s “monumentally ignored monuments.” Because we also have functioning human hearts, we’re proud to say that “Up to Speed” will air exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus every Thursday for the next six weeks, starting today.

Look, there’s so much “monumentally ignored monument” in Speed’s soul that we’d feel like a textbook if we tried to spell it out for you. In the very first episode, he talks about a house of falling furniture in San Francisco that is “radically self-expressing” just by being there.

That is, in fact, Speed Levitch in a nutshell.

Richard Linklater, the director of “Waking Life” and “School of Rock” among many others, met Speed at a screening of “The Cruise,” a documentary about Levitch’s life and his famous New York City bus tours. He wanted to make a show with Speed ever since.

It’s because you realize very quickly that none of Speed Levitch is put on. He is, in fact, a tour guide filled with a whole lot of love and famous proverbs nobody’s said yet.

Hulu’s Social Media Manager Blake Lown had a couple of conversations with him and realized just that. She’s been collecting every adage ever since—jotting them down, receiving them in emails from Speed. She’s calling them “Speedisms,” because they deserve their own names.

Here are a few. They don’t do Speed and life’s profound weirdness justice the way “Up to Speed” does, but, really, what does?

To truly travel is to find bliss in long lines.

If San Francisco were a nation, banks would be closed on Halloween.

Cleveland, you are beautiful music being played before a nation of lazy musicologists.

Last comment: Sep 22nd 2012 5 Comments
  • Alex says:

    The new web design is horrible. It seems no one really tests anything anymore from a user’s perspactive. Trying to browse movies by when they were added seems impossible and and each movie is shown by a “poster” which is absurdly large. I used to browse movies by “recently added” and only full movies. This seems impossible now. I found a lot of movies I never heard of before in the past. A real shame. Who thought this would be a good idea?

  • Serina says:

    I completely agree with these comments. I to stop buying cable, my husband lost his job 2 years ago now and cable was one of the first things to go. Someone told me about hulu and we love it… but not really sure about this update, not very user friendly. Also, I just tried to watch a show and I keep getting an error message, “The page you were looking for doesn’t exist (404 error)” PLEASE FIX.

  • Christy says:

    I quit buying standard cable over a year ago and switched completely to using the internet for all my tv watching, mainly using my PS3. I am a BIG fan of hulu and have almost exclusively used it for all my tv watching outlets. Part of the reason I grew to love hulu was their interface was vastly better and more user friendly than Netflix. It was simple, clean and didn’t try to over advertise itself.

    That said, I’m really unimpressed with this “update.” I know you’re calling it “new and improved” but to me it just looks are works more like the really badly designed Netflix interface on the PS3. I have no idea where to look any more, and the hierarchy of the information is so different that the previous version that I’m really confused how it is suppose to be better. You had something so simple and clean that worked really well, and now it’s noisy and confusing. I’m a professional web and graphic designer so I really appreciate a simple well executed UI. This update feels like it was designed by an advertising committee rather than someone who really had the users interaction with the product in mind.

    Oh, and the number one thing that upsets me is that the PLAY, STOP, PAUSE buttons on a PS3 remote no longer work with the new interface. I thought my remote was broken before realizing it was only programed for the controller buttons. PLASE fix this asap!

  • John Cheng says:

    Hi, I’m a frequent hulu user and I really like the new display of the front page of hulu site and its search method.
    However, I also find it quite difficult to use when it comes to adding shows to my queue. There used to be a bottom underneath the show page that allows us to add the entire season/show to our queues, but after the updates, I couldn’t find that option any more and have to add it one episode at a time, which is a bit annoying.

    Meanwhile, I also would recommend hulu to resume the option of viewing the list of all the episodes underneath the show page like before, because right now when you click into a show page, it only directs you to the very first 5 episodes or the very last 5 episodes, for the rest of them you’ll have to click the “next page” button over and over again till you find it, which is quite inconvenient, to be honest.

    …anyway, these are just my opinions, I hope they’ll help improving the site.

  • Armin says:

    I pay for hulu+ solely for the Criterion Collection. Before the update – beautiful as it is, admittedly – I could browse by director, as it should be (go to the Criterion website). I am certain that should the Criterion Collection become available elsewhere streaming with the ability to browse directors (writers, cinematographers, actors), all users like me (basically every Cinephile that doesn’t give a damn about the myriad TV shows here) will go to the next provider.

    Also, if I search for something, stop providing every link imaginable. Anyone that values their time isn’t going to sift thru the garbage and clips to find what they are interested in.