Thursday, January 26, 2006


Return to TV

I may have mentioned that, after more than a year without TV reception (cancelled cable service, and nothing through the old antenna), my household re-subscribed to cable service so that I could watch my favorite football team, the Redskins, lose their playoff game in agonizing fashion.

But now, of course, having a couple of hundred cable channels is itself an inexorable magnet to sit in front of the TV and surf through one menu guide screen after another in a neverending quest to find something decent to watch. Even for just a half hour -- just something decent.

And, of course, I'm once again astonished at the marvel of TV programming -- a couple of hundred channels, and not one thing I'm the list bit interested in watching.

There literally have been times when the best available program was "Classic Bowling" on ESPN Classic. This is a re-broadcast of a 1970s series called "Pro Bowlers Tour," something I used to watch as a kid. It's just pro bowlers in a sequence of four head-to-head games. And since they're pro bowlers, virtually everything they throw is a strike. It was boring then, but at least it was more or less live.

Yes, I realize there are good things on TV. But the notion that, at 9:30 on a weeknight, the best thing could well be "Classic Bowling" -- it's an incredible achievement, really.

Or is my astonishment the most astonishing thing here?

you need to add a DVR into your video mix. That way, your programs are pre-recorded and you can watch them at your leisure.

Wednesdays have become a wasteland for TV viewing ever since they moved the West Wing to Sunday nights. Which is fine by me, because there's this watercolor class that is held on Wednesdays...
Two things: if you want to feel that you are getting your money's worth out of cable, keep admiring the reception (no more fuzzies!). And if you must watch, bypass bowling in favor of the food channel. It reminds me of a DVD I saw on State Street and almost purchased this December: you put it in and it basically shows a fireplace, with burning logs, crackling sounds -- the whole bit for those of us who do not have a fireplace. So, too, if you have grown lazy in the kitchen, keeping the food channel going makes you think that someone in your space is chopping garlic, stirring mushrooms and herbs, etc etc.It's quite evocative.
hello... AMERICAN IDOL was on last night! That show, alone, is worth the $60 for cable. It actually made FOX beat out CBS for the first time in the ratings last week. Although, right now it's just the try-outs. Some people can't stand those shows. Wait about another 2 weeks and the actual competition starts.
Two words:

Iron Chef

(the food network; really, it's just your style)
what about the constant Law & Order reruns? Those don't do it for you? I've shown up to work bleary-eyed many-a-day thanks to those ubiquitous L&Os.
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