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Subtitle: And the networks wonder why people are watching less and less TV

I don’t really “watch” TV much anymore. Oh, sure, the TV’s on, and within view, for hours and hours on end, but I use it mostly as a kind of audio-visual “white noise” while I’m working/playing on the computer. It’s a bit of a bad habit, but not one I’m likely to break. It seems to help me break out of mental ruts. If I’m stuck on some niggling problem, I lean back in my office chair (notably, I spent twice as much on that office chair as I’ve ever spent on a TV – which should give you an idea of my priorities), turn slightly to the right, and look distractedly at the TV for a moment.

In a way, it’s kinda like having the audio-visual distraction and sense of community I would have if I was still a cubicle dweller. I never really cared what my fellow office workers were up to, back in the day, but it could be a pleasant diversion from the monitor to lean back in my chair, look out the side of the cubie, and see other people milling about.

Anyhow, that’s all kinda not the point of the post.

The point is, I have basic cable, 60 channels of programming, and most of the time, there’s really nothing all that interesting on TV. What’s more, there’s the same, not much interesting show, on a lot.

Example? I was just flipping through the channels, and of the 60 channels, 10 of them were taken up by three shows that I hate.

4 channels were showing different episodes of Seinfeld. I found Seinfeld loathsome when it was new. Now it’s stale and loathsome.

3 channels of Dr. Phil, 2 channels showing the same episode. When I was single I used to have a rule. Never date a girl with more than one self help book on her book shelf. One might have been a gift from a well meaning but misguided friend or relative. Any more than one is a pattern. Either she believed in that crap, or enough people around her believed she needed changing. Either way, her head was going to be too messy for anything more that a week’s worth of …

Anyway…

3 channels of Star Trek Voyager. I’ll admit it. I still get a kick out of Star Trek every now and then. The original series. But TNG, Voyager, Deep Soap Nine, Enterprise…? What made the original Trek fun was how lousy it was. The acting was lousy. The sets and costumes were cheesy. The special effects were pathetic. Put together – that’s some good viewing. All the spin-off series… Well, they actually took themselves seriously. The acting was still lousy, but they put some serious production dollars behind those shows. And that completely ruined any hope of those shows being enjoyable.

And that’s just so typical of what’s going on with TV lately. Take one show, play it to death. Then spin it off into multiple clones, and play them to death. If I was actually into CSI, I could almost watch it 24/7, with 3 versions in syndication on multiple channels, it seems like it’s always playing on some channel or another.

If there was something interesting on TV, I might actually watch it more often. But there isn’t. There’s just the same, overbudget claptrap playing on too many channels. So there it sits, mildly distracting white noise at the side of my consciousness. More likely to annoy me than entertain me.

Kinda like my former cubicle mates from back in the day when I used to punch in at an office day after day.

One Response to “57 Channels and nothing on…”

    OH YES….

    Of course, the original Star Trek has only one peer – the original Buck Rogers (but YOU are FAR too young to remember it).

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