Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?


January 23, 2016 by phicks2012

TV-Head Gorilla-SWhy is it that on Saturdays, when a viewer — even one not pathetically lacking any semblance of a social life — might actually be loitering at home with nothing better to do, they have nothing on television to watch?

During football season — assuming that you’re a college fan because the pros generally play on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays — there are games on during the day, and sometimes at night, on Saturdays. Otherwise though, Saturdays often seem to be vast programming wastelands featuring an endless series of reruns — often reruns of shows that shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day to begin with, let alone found their dubious way into syndication, dominating the airways.
Okay, well maybe you’ll chance across a good show, but it’s the 359th replay of an episode that you’ve seen so many times you could probably quote the dialog verbatim. Right?

The other week, after returning from a rental unit maintenance run, I sat working on newsletters, comics, and other assorted projects with the TV running in the background. While I was putting together the agenda for our next Shire meeting, and answering emails (and deleting several hundred bits of persistent SPAM), I kept hoping that something on the tube would catch my attention and divert me, even momentarily. I channel-surfed more than a few times, hoping to find something not guaranteed either to bore me, depress me or jellify my brains, and scrolling through about 900 channels each time, but without appreciable luck.

There are some good shows on TV — most of them not comedies, but we do have Life in Pieces, Blackish, The Big Bang Theory, and several others to redeem the comedic airways, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is just quirky enough to appeal, but so many just aren’t funny.  Last year I was addicted to Galavant (too bad that this year it isn’t quite measuring up to my expectations so far). But too often there’s just…NOTHING.

We have a few good dramas, like The Good Wife, Madam Secretary and others to do the trick. I love watching shows like Bones, Castle, NCIS and Grimm because, frankly, they’re entertaining, well-leavened with humor, and have talented ensemble casts, but many of the Dramas on the tube are just Melodrama — proliferating rather like Melanoma.

I love Sci-Fi, but gave up on The Expanse after half an episode, because if I want dark and depressing I can watch the news, and I stopped watching Defiance after only about half a season because if I want to watch non-stop back-stabbing and treachery I can watch any one of a hundred bad reality programs to get that. Yep! Can we have a semi-positive vision of the future, or has real life so tainted our expectations that all we can envision is more of the same?

But NONE of the shows I want to watch (except Saturday Night Live, which currently has a great cast) are scheduled for Saturdays — probably because the programming gurus figure no one (except the folks who don’t fit neatly into their desired demographic) will be home to watch anything on the weekends. They’re all supposed to be out clubbing, I think, rather than staying at home or attending SCA events and setting their DVRs to record what they might otherwise miss.

So here’s my plan. Once football season is finally over I’m just going to plan for weekend DVD marathons when I’m at home needing diversion on Saturdays. Maybe I’ll also do some On Demand, or Netflix if I can find something I haven’t already watched to the saturation point and can’t find a good new book to read. Maybe I’ll just play WOW for 30 minutes at a time until the monotony kicks in, but I think I’ll just stop hoping to be entertained by Saturday TV prior to late night. That way maybe I can stop feeling let down by what appears on my flatscreen, and stop wanting to write sarcastic reviews praising the class and the acting talents of the Kardashians, and the sheer entertainment value of hour-long infomercials.

Entertainment news (which I generally ignore) is currently awash lately with stories of how the OSCARS this year might be boycotted by a number of stars, due to the absence of minority nominations in the acting categories. Since I haven’t seen a single one of this year’s nominated films it would be hard for me to judge whether or not talented performances might have been unjustly passed over — and to tell the truth I really can think of only one or two of the nominated movies I actually might make any effort to see — The Martian and Spotlight. So I might boycott the OSCARS too.
Admittedly, I wasn’t on the invitation list (yep, they slighted me AGAIN), and I wouldn’t likely be seen on The Red Carpet anyway, but I really see no point in watching the show on TV either when (as usual) hardly any Movies I have any remote interest in seeing are nominated.

Oh, and in keeping with that new tradition I think I’ll prepare to boycott the EMMYS next year too, due to the near total absence of any TV Shows I’ve actually ever HEARD of. 😉

2 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?

  1. Cole Adler says:

    Getting a DVR is the only thing that has redeemed the Saturday night doldrums. Back when wee me would go out clubbing, I was usually desperate to head out on Saturdays for fear of being left with nothing other than Dateline or a book. And neither of those are ‘cool’ for a wee clubber.

    I’d say I’m more mature now, but the DVR just helps me plan better.

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January 2016


I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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