Channel Surfing

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November 18, 2016 by phicks2012

TV-Head Gorilla-SThe other day I decided, simply because I had absolutely nothing better or more entertaining to do at the moment, to flip through all of my hundreds of available channels — 1-1995.

Okay, before you start gaping at the notion of 1995 chanels, I have to tell you honestly that the 900s are all music channels, and that after 992 the only channels are 1018, 1050, 1083, 1738, 1739, 1740, and 1995– and that I wasn’t even aware those last seven existed until I looked. Also, I don’t actually even get 992 channels. Nope. There are a lot of numbers skipped in the series — probably to make room for other channels I won’t watch. I’m sure they could fit in an All-Kardashian Channel or an All-Infomercial Channel into those gaps if they tried, right? 😉

I’m not presently paying for any of the premium channels. Starz & Encore are freebies, but not HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, or The Movie Channel, and I don’t watch many channels below the 700s because those aren’t HD. Okay, every once in a while something interesting comes on a channel that doesn’t have an HD equivalent, mind you, but generally…NAH! Then, of course, there are channels devoted exclusively to foreign language programing in languages I don’t speak — I can pick out words here and there in a few languages, but forget Korean — and there are the subscription Sports Channels for sports I don’t really follow, or I’m simply not interested enough in following to pay extra for the privilege. That cuts the number of channels further.

Okay, so I mainly stick to the 800s. So sue me.

Still, even if I only deal with (theoretically) 100 channels I still have plenty of available channels, so the law of averages ought to allow me to find lots of things worth watching right? Especially if I wait until prime time to do my channel surfing!! So what is on? It was still summer when I did this, so: News, Weather, Traditional Reruns, Freebie Movies, Assorted Sports, Religious Programming, Reality Show Reruns, Politics, Talk Show Reruns and Infomercials. Heavy on the reruns.

News is at least — well, NEW. It’s generally depressing, because “if it bleeds it leads”, but you sort of have to watch it if you want to know what’s supposedly going on around the world, right? Who’s killing who, and using what as an excuse? You might even get lucky and see something POSITIVE, if you can avoid politics.

Weather is useful. We all want to know when tornados, hurricanes, blizzards and tsunamis are coming our way, right? Will we get rain, or will the heat continue to hammer us and leave us sweaty and enervated? Are we on a flood plain, or can we expect hailstones the size of watermelons? Like I said, “Useful”. That doesn’t mean The Weather Channel is endlessly entertaining, but hey, I’ll watch it in preference to TLC or anything involving “Real” Housewives!!!

Traditional Reruns are okay if the show is good and you haven’t already seen the currently running episode a dozen times before, but when I flip through my channels I see that episodes are also being rerun of shows that left me totally underwhelmed the first time around and probably should have been cancelled after 2-3 season-one episodes, so that cuts things back further. *Sigh*

Freebie Movies? Great if they’re good films that you haven’t already seen so many times you can practically quote the dialog — though that doesn’t count if we’re talking about Monty Python and The Holy Grail or Princess Bride. EVERYBODY quotes THOSE, and they STILL rock. I’ll also watch most Mel Brooks movies, Rocky Horror, and Yellowbeard over and over. What can I say!!

Assorted Sports are good, though I prefer to watch sports I actually like. I once had a very good friend who loved Fishing Shows, but generally I find those equivalent to watching paint dry, and nearly as boring as waiting for auto repairs! Football, Baseball, and Olympic Sports are more my thing. I generally pass on NASCAR, Monster Trucks, Drag Racing, and nearly anything else motorized. Sorry.

Religious Programing — there’s very little of that I’ll watch because, honestly, too many televangelists come across as con artists. Not all, but enough that when I see one of “those faces” on TV I’ll immediately change the channel to stop me from grinding my teeth. Thank God the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t seem to have a TV show!! Then I’d have to throw rocks at my TV screen.

Reality Show Reruns — now THERE’S a category. I’ll watch cooking shows, and some other competition shows. I’ll watch wildlife shows, but nothing involving “Housewives”, unmarried pregnant teenagers, or families with six-dozen children, and I can definitely pass on watching rednecks run around in the dark not finding Bigfoot, Ghosts, or Aliens.

Politics. Okay, I know I should be more involved in that, but what do you do when listening to a political debate, or to political reporting makes you literally want to smash things, including the heads of politicians? I came perilously close to writing in Lady Gaga for President, by the way.

Talk Show Reruns? Nah! Not generally.

Infomercials? GOD No! Once or twice I’ve bought something advertized in this way, but I’ve never lasted through an entire infomercial — or WANTED to. Whoever decided that an hour-long commercial was a “good idea” anyway? The Marquis de Sade?

So, after some truly olympic class channel surfing, I’m afraid I came to the inescapable conclusion that continuing to set my DVR to record the 20-odd programs (1-4 per day) still on my list (though some of these have, of course, been cancelled and thus should be removed from that list) is probably still the “way to go”.

So in the Channel Surfing Wake there will be no sweeping changes made, and there have been few novel insights — except, of course, that they should bring back Firefly. 😉


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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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