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I have to admit I watch a fair amount of television. I also do crossword puzzles and read. My television viewing is restricted to a small number of available channels when one considers how many are available to me. When I list them I find the number is 12, which is a tiny portion of the 180 offered to me.
When the digital box came into being, I signed up in order to get BBC America
which became one of my favorites. I had to take the box and all the other channels in order to get BBC. I kept begging for the company to offer a la carte menu but all the cable company would say is, “Maybe in the future.”
When the new company came to town I sent back the digital box and signed up for a basic program lowering my monthly bill by more than thirty dollars I lost
BBC which saddened me and I’ve missed it but couldn’t justify the expense to get it.
Today I had to call the cable company to request‚ a new copy of the cable channel listing with numbers and letters. The one I had was so tatty someone threw it away. While I had the nice service rep on the phone I once again asked about the chances of getting back BBC. To my utter delight he told me they were offering a package containing BBC and some other channels for seven dollars a month.
They’re going to mail me a new digital box at no charge. Fortunately, the kids
can connect it up so there won’t be an installation charge. Can’t tell you how happy this makes me.
American TV is beginning to drive me up a wall. The quality of the programming, to me, is on a fast downhill slide. I know the market is aimed at the 14 to 25
age bracket and I don’t expect to find anything appealing. The next age bracket seems to be fraught with relationship problems between couples of all persuasions, dashing around like frenzied rabbits in million dollar hutches, wearing Prada stilettos, Armani suits, Klein jeans and driving Aston Martins. The thing is, each set of cast members looks like every other set of cast members.
The quiz shows are even worse. There are a couple of oldies but goodies like
Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune where a certain degree of intelligence is required. Jeopardy is the top of the list and the audience shows some restraint and contestants do not let out piercing shrieks if they happen to get the right answer. There are a couple of shows where everybody screams, audience and contestants alike. I’ve had unavoidable glimpses of these while surfing as fast as possible through the channels.
Lately, it seems as if the networks are getting frantic about programming material. New pilots are popping up all over the place. The new technique seems to be to put on five or six episodes of a proposed series. They take the place of regular series. When the regular series resumes you don’t know if the new show will be back or not. The three major networks seem to be in some type of programming guerrilla war. It’s getting to be a bit hysterical.
When all else fails there are always spin offs. In the past, some of these have
worked well, most have not. There are innumerable shows on that were originally on BBC.
Almost all of these I saw on BBC America. One of these is in the works right
now. It’s called Viva Laughlin. On BBC it was called Viva Backpool. I has to do with a small time gambler who builds a wannabe Las Vegas in a small town in middle England.
In the American version the character is the same but the town is in Nevada. I
didn’t really care for the BBC version but will watch this one because it’s produced by my favorite actor, Hugh Jackman who will also appear in a few episodes.
If I were to name my favorite TV actors they would be animals featured in certain commercials. I love the gecko lizard who sells insurance, the beaver who works with Abraham Lincoln and the insomniac who sells sleeping pills and the goose who wanders around squawking at people to buy his insurance. Thanks to new technology the voices of the animals are wonderful, especially the lizard with his cockney accent and his cocky manner. Why doesn’t some smart fellow create a TV series with these three characters?
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