Television Watchin’.

So, I lost my cable channels. I mean, I’ve not been paying for cable for years, but for some reason instead of getting the basic channels one is supposed to get, I was getting an eclectic mix of networks with no rhyme or reason.

I was getting TVTropolis, which was good for getting sitcom reruns, something everybody should enjoy at least now and then. I was getting A&E, and though it was no longer the A&E I remembered from my youth with documentaries and stuff, I watched the occasional crime show or really censored episodes of the Sopranos on occasion. I had Spike, which is a monstrously stupid channel from what I could see, but they had Star Wars on, pretty much nonstop. PBS had some science programs worth watching, but mostly I just watched kids shows like Effing Super Why. Also, there was an informercial channel which could amuse if you were in the right mood and maybe one or two sports channels that I pretty much never watched.

Basically, I was getting enough channels to flip around a little bit before I realized how much television sucked and would move on to something else. But now I only get the three basic Canadian channels or whatever. Now realizing that there is nothing on happens faster than ever before.

I may not watch all that much television, but unlike some I don’t lambast the entire medium. There are things I appreciate about it. In a way even watching it alone seems more like a social activity than watching DVDs or downloading episodes of things. It seems less canned on television somehow. I suppose that is, in part, because of the unfortunate presence of commercials which, though annoying, are at least a sign of companies trying to keep you up to date on their activities. Also, much more positive than commercials, is the fact that you can get breaking news interruptions. If I’m watching a rented movie and the Queen sets herself on fire and then declares war on the Vatican and then has a swordfight with the Pope, I’m gonna miss the whole thing, but if I’m watching most television networks you’d think they’d interrupt programming to say “Holy Shit, check this out!”

When I watch programs online, such as the Daily Show and Colbert, I guess I get the ads (the annoying one of the connections to the outside world) but even then I lack the other thing I like about the medium of television. Sometimes I am definitely in the mood to say “Okay, TV, let’s see what you’ve got for me.” Sometimes I might find something worth watching. An episode of some show I didn’t know existed, or an old one I had forgotten or some movie from the eighties, who knows? As far as I am aware there is no way for me to just “flip around” on the Internet.

I mean, YouTube comes close to that level of flip-aroundedness, but… It has also somehow succeeded in having more garbage than television. Go figure.

  1. Five. We had five sports channels. One whole quarter of the channels we had for “free” were sports. If only the powers that be knew how much of a waste that was to us.

  2. Far be it from me to dispute Kip’s erudite argument. I am in no way saying I don’t love the Internet, I’m just saying that there are at least those two things that the Internet hasn’t replicated for me yet. I’m sure it will in the future, though. The future will be awesome.

    Also, why are there five sports channels but I bet that even if I paid for I wouldn’t be getting five channels on which I could watch historical documentaries or news about space exploration.

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