Hello, my friendly flock! As you probably know, those words usually precede a rant. And you probably know rightly!
As I've been cooped up in my hibernation chamber these last few weeks while the wind blows at -19 I've had a lot of opportunities to glance at my TV . . . namely, the much-vaunted 500-channel universe.
I believe I pay my local cable provider, Videotron, in the realm of $50 a month for the privilege of watching these channels.
Well, what I've figured out is, that once, there was a 12-channel universe. But in that 12-channel universe resided 500 different programs. Now we have a 500-channel universe, and in it resides 12 programs.
Witness the evidence: A&E, which once provided actual "Arts and Entertainment," in the form of documentaries and historical dramas, is now Dog the Bounty Hunter Channel, with the filler of every species of "C.S.I." ever recorded, peppered with the lively true-crime drama "48 hours." As far as I can discern, that is all they play, all day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Oh wait -- now there's that huge influx of the "Hoarding" and "Intervention" shows, as well as all the Pawn Shop programs. Good move, A&E! Real kwality edutainment).
The National Geographic Channel is now The Dog Whisperer channel, with 24-hour repeats almost every weekend.
The Food Network is now the Top Chef and Iron Chef channel, with marathons every so often but likely as not, repeating one or the other any time of day or night.
The Space network is now the Stargate-SG channel. The Travel Channel is 24-hour Anthony Bourdain, except when that's on the Fine channel, The Outdoor Life Network or the History channel, which is actually the World War II in HD Channel, when that isn't on the Greatest Tank Battles channel, officially named the Military Channel.
Then there are the "movie" channels. MPIX. MRPIX. MXCE. M-fuck your mother. These people go around their neighbourhood video stores and pick from the absolute bottom of the barrels, the movies no one ever watched when they came out and never rented when they went straight to DVD. Maybe ONCE A MONTH, on ONE out of FIVE channels, is there actually a movie worth watching, and that's because it's a rerun (Goodfellas, say, or Superman III).
Take me back, PLEASE, to the old three channel universe. It cost nothing, thankfully turned itself off at midnight and actually featured commercials worth watching.