I am trying something a little different in my August viewing habits. Last year I watched a different cable series every night. This year I am watching a different channel every evening from 8 p.m. to midnight. The only exceptions would be if I had gone out for the evening, or if something else more important showed up on another station that took precedence.
This is my schedule. I am just following the numerical order of my local cable. I am on vacation, so I can stay up a little later. Normally I turn off the TV at 11 p.m.
I skipped channel 2 because it is a paid programming channel.
Channel 3, Thursday, Aug. 30, Fox: 8 p.m. Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?; 9 p.m., Don’t Forget the Lyrics; 10 p.m., Fox 19 News; 11 p.m., The Simpsons; 11:30 p.m., King of the Hill. I enjoyed the first 15 minutes each of the two Fox shows; then I got bored. I’ve never been a fan of either cartoon series.
Channel 4, Friday, Aug. 31, Media Bridges/the Arts (not the same as A&E). Sometimes there are ballet or classical music programs on Channel 4. Friday night, unfortunately, had neither. Rather it was a bunch of public announcements and a mishmash of scenes from an old movie with the sound missing, a guy playing electric guitar but no sound, an Asian minister complaining about women wearing makeup (that did have sound). Plus occasional loud tornado-warning type beeps. Whoever was running the station Friday night must have been stoned out of his or her skull. Fortunately I found the Arts station Saturday night when I stayed at the hotel in Lexington and enjoyed watching some videos set to classical and choral music for about an hour.
Channel 5, Saturday, Sept. 1, C-Span. Well, I was in Lexington, and this was the night I had planned to watch C-Span (which is on channel 5 where I live). Ironically, the picture and sound on the station was horrible, which was why I watched the Arts channel.
Channel 6, Sunday, Sept. 2, NBC. Boy, am I glad I was out of town this night. I was in Berea, Ky., but since NBC locally is on channel 6, that’s what I watched. If I’d been at home, I would have had to sit through the WEBN fireworks, which have never interested me. Instead, the national programming was about Saturday Night Live, which was much more enjoyable. I also watched most of the news, but turned the TV off at 11:30 p.m.
Channel 7, Monday, Sept. 3, ABC. Even though I was still in Berea, I watched ABC, which is Channel 7 at home. I sat through Wife Swap, Fat March and Supernanny. I laughed out loud during Wife Swap, but I was laughing at the people, not with them, but I really enjoyed Supernanny and thought it was sweet. Fat March was a little sadistic. I watched part of the news but then went to bed.
Channel 8, Tuesday, Sept. 4, PBS. Channel 8 in Cincinnati is a PBS affiliate, but I could watch it at the motel in Dry Ridge, Ky. It was pledge night and what a waste of time it was. Three hours of either requests for pledges or Dr. Wayne Dyer talking about Tao. I attempted to read “I’m Okay, You’re Okay,” back in the early 80s, and thought it was incredibly self-centered and never finished it. He’s apparently gone off in a new direction new and is into Eastern mysticism. I’ve heard of born-again Christians, but is there such a thing as a born-again mystic? I ended up watching a movie on Hallmark, and then putting PBS back on at 11 p.m. I watched about half of Are You Being Served?, which was funny, but then I turned it off.
Channel 9, Wednesday, Sept. 5, C-Span 2. I actually had on C-Span 2 for 2 1/2 hours, as I read the newspaper and a magazine. I half-listened to a public visit by presidential candidate Chris Dodd and then to a discussion about funding for bridge repairs. Interesting and not entirely boring, but not something I would watch on a regular basis. It was just my luck that I chose a night that didn’t have one of the book discussions.
I skipped channel 10 because it is the Home Shopping Network.
Channel 11, Thursday, Sept. 6, My Network. MNT, in desperation for ratings, has been showing obscure movies from the 80s on Thursdays. This night’s programming was the 1986 Arnold movie “Raw Deal.” Stupid action movie, but I enjoyed it. I should watch the Thursday night film again. Followed by 10 p.m. news, Scrubs, Will & Grace and Frasier. Scrubs is semi-cute but I couldn’t tolerate it every day. Will & Grace and Frasier are two of the most popular comedies of all time, and they are just as unfunny now as they were when they originally aired. Frasier’s theme song is worse than fingernails on a blackboard.
I skipped Channel 12 because it is a local weather channel.
Channel 13, Friday, Sept. 7, CBS. Jericho, thank God! A real program! My comments will be on the discussion group. I semi-listened to Fashion Rocks as I did other things--the show was pretty pointless although I liked the contemporary acts doing the older songs. Followed by Channel 12’s news. I watched the first five minutes of David Letterman and then turned off the TV. Dave is not aging well.
Channel 14, Saturday, Sept. 8, PBS. Watched two British comedies I had never seen before, and laughed out loud several times. Will have to look for these programs again. I liked As Time Goes By the best--it reminded me of Too Close for Comfort. Next was My Family, which was a cross between Married...With Children and, of all things, Harry Potter. Jeeves and Wooster was boring and I lasted only 15 minutes. At 10 p.m. I watched Austin City Limits and liked one band but not the other, but that’s typical of any music program. I tried watching Globe Trekker at 11 p.m.--it was about Cambodia--but I was too tired and went to bed. I shall have to watch these programs again.
I skipped channel 15 because it is community access.
Channel 16, Sunday, Sept. 9, PBS. I didn’t turn on the TV until 10 p.m. I watched the last 30 minutes of Inspector Lynley Mysteries and was quite intrigued. Again, another program I will have to watch for. At 10:30 p.m. I watched the first half hour of Point of View: Made in LA, but it was a little too depressing for a Sunday night.
So ends my latest TV experiment. I was only mildly interested in some of the reality shows, not enough to watch them again. I do find it amusing (and telling) that the only programs I really liked were on PBS or were old movies!