Thursday, October 26, 2006

Crap on the Telly

My last day in London, after changing my flight and eventually my room, I finally turned on the TV for the only time on my trip.

My first time through the channels was somewhat discouraging. It was about 2 pm, and the best thing on seemed to be an old "Diagnosis Murder," which was playing on two different channels.

Later I caught I bunch of game shows: the original "Deal or No Deal," which is hosted by a guy who looks like a cross between Richard Branson and Patrick Duffy, and who tried constantly, but was only funny once, due to the contestant being named Di Please and working in a nursing home, which is kind of a gimme. I also caught a show called "Eggheads," which pits a team of friends against a specially-selected supergroup of trivia experts; "The Weakest Link," with the same irritating and mean host they used to have in America; and "Countdown," which is kind of like the board game Boggle without the strategy: you just try to form the longest word you can from the letters that come up.

And I thought to myself that British daytime tv is just as crappy as American daytime tv.

And then I got home, still sick, and watched some of it. And I owe an apology to the British.

Provided you have no interest in those fake courtroom shows with a loudmouth "judge" arbitrating disputes among loudmouth complaintants, and that you also have really no interest in discovering whether Keith or his brother Andre are the baby-daddy (since Wanda slept with them both), there isn't a whole lot out there. These shows seem to be designed, like so much "reality" television, to show America at its worst.

Sometimes there are the talk-shows, hosted by whoever they can find without a current primetime show. Of these, I reserve special contempt for Megan Mullaly, who used to be the high-pitched irritant on "Will and Grace," but who now (perhaps still in character?) doesn't even pretend to listen to her guests, interrupting them with a half-hearted "That's great..." and jumping in with her next pre-written question.

I've also caught myself watching spanish game shows. And educational programming for small children on PBS. There was a period this afternoon when the best thing on was "The Facts of Life." Seriously, that was the best thing I could find. In any language. And it wasn't even a good episode for the lowered bar of that program. It was one of the later seasons, when Mrs. Garrett was gone and George Clooney was some sort of handyman. When "Jeopardy" finally came on I almost wept with happiness.

Maybe I should get cable.

Or stop getting sick.

I'll admit, I'm probably mostly bitter about still being sick, almost two weeks after initially feeling ill. And having no internet access hasn't helped. But I've run out of books I want to read right now, and tv looked like the answer.


CC2383 said...

You take the good, You take the bad,
You take them both and there you have the facts of life. The facts of life.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hey!

Just don't get Comcast Cable...


Short enough for you?

Sorry to be insensitive about length...