Bravo, the premier film and arts network, is widely recognized for its award-winning quality programming. Reaching more than 40 million members of America's most influential audience, Bravo features the best independent U.S. and international film, theater, … see full wiki
"Bravo" was introduced some years back in Canada[*] as the "New Style Arts Channel," a product of the same person responsible for the MuchMusic channel and a few other less laudable endeavours. "New Style Arts Channel" is so broad as to be meaningless, which I think is one of the central problems behind the channel: they are still trying to find their footing. Almost anything falls under the auspices of "New Style Arts," and as much as I like the channel, it has a confused identity to be expected of a pre-teen -- how many people watch "Sleeping Beauty on Ice" and ballet and "Ishtar" and Michael Moore?
Please note that, yes, this review is heavily biased: any channel showing Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth" has my endorsement.
That there is so much variety and yet somehow so little is a bit unsettling. Why do I have to hit up PBS for my silly "Flanders and Swann" specials? I have faintly suspected "New Style" as translating to "trying not to aim for the low or even middle brow."
It is worth noting that I frequently get their little programming guide. This is good, but also somehow mildly pretentious -- you can bet "Sleeping Beauty on Ice" never made it to the cover. The Bravo magazine-pamphlet-programming guide is the sort of thing you leave out on your coffee table to show others how dreadfully clever you are, though it's debatable whether or not it's actually been read anywhere.
Bravo is very hard not to like, but I do wish it would find its footing. The programming guide is almost a necessary concession to the fact that you're never quite sure what's going to turn up on it next. The rate at which the shows repeat is also trying, but I suppose there is only so much Michael Moore and taped ballet in existance.
Not being much of a film enthusiast, I will have to take it at face value from the other Epinions that Bravo has film censorship issues; this is quite sad, and probably worth writing them about.
[*] No, really. See http://www.bravo.ca/. I don't know what the relation between the original and the American franchise is, though.