Tuesday, October 11, 2005

57 Channels and Nothing On

Bruce Springsteen totally dated himself with that song. No longer do cable subscribers have 57 channels. These days it's more like 200-300, and still people complain that there isn't anything on. We can usually always count on the major networks for at least one or two good shows, but if those are the only channels worth watching, why do we all spring for the dishes and the digital boxes? There must be other sources of entertainment on the cable channels. Are people these days just too clicker-happy and run through the channels too quickly to catch some of these gems? I'm going to assume that's the case and offer a public service. Since fall and the inevitable winter is upon us, we're all going to be spending a lot more time indoors, curled up on our couches. Therefore, we need something to watch. We're all addicted to our TVs, let's face it. Some of you aren't slaves to the tube and that's commendable. You can go ride your stationary bikes or knit some socks while I discuss some of the better cable TV programs that the rest of the world might enjoy.

The New Detectives - Discovery Channel, weekdays at 1:00 & 2:00 pm*
This show has always been one of my favorites. Long before the hotties of C.S.I. the regular Joes of the crime lab were catching criminals based on carpet fibers and latent fingerprints. There is usually a theme for each episode, with three vignettes that fall under that category. For instance, one episode was about women who poisoned their husbands, while another focused on cold cases that were solved through advancements in technology. One of the best parts of the show is the narrator, who has one of those great voices that could only have landed him a job in voice-overs for horror movie commercials or drunk driving public service announcements. Luckily, The New Detectives scooped him up.

Mythbusters - Discovery Channel, Wednesdays at 9:00 pm*
The tagline for this program is "They have one cause. Leave no urban legend untested". If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably already know that I'm a big urban legend buff. I caught this show one night by accident, just flipping through the dial. I saw two goofy redheaded guys trying to see if their stomachs would explode from washing down Pop Rocks with soda-pop. As most of us know, that myth is a bunch of bunk. Since then, I've seen these guys, Jamie and Adam, shoot bullets through an airplane fuselage, rig a dummy up to simulate a person stuck in a falling elevator and try to pull an Ella Fitzgerald by singing just the right note to break glass. I forget that it's on sometimes, but watch it when I can. It's always very interesting. You don't even have to be a science nerd to enjoy it.

What Not To Wear - TLC, Fridays at 9:00 pm*, other times vary
Trading Spaces used to rule TLC. Now that they've gotten rid of the host, Paige, and home improvement shows have started to multiply like rabbits, I've sort of lost interest. WNTW is now the best show on TLC. Will someone please, please, PLEASE nominate me for this show?? I need a new $5000 wardrobe! Stacy and Clinton can pick on me all they want, I don't care. Believe me, if I had money I'd have better style. If I had a better job, I'd have more money. If I had better clothes, I could probably get a better job! It's just a vicious circle, isn't it?

Weird Travels Series - Travel Channel, times vary
The Travel Channel has a bunch of shows dealing with haunted locales and supernatural tales. I would suggest staying away from Most Haunted, because all it offers is a group of goofy people walking through a creepy building, filmed all in night-vision green, while some British dude tells us that something is there that we can't see and then they scream and run around like idiots. Skip it. There are other programs like Haunted Travels, Haunted Hotels and America's Most Haunted Places that are good for a ghost fix but stick to the history behind the stories and eyewitness accounts. Now that it's getting closer to Halloween, there will be no shortage of these programs on the Travel Channel, as well as Discovery.

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge - Spike TV, times vary
I think the regular time slot for this show is supposed to be Thursdays at 9:00, but I'm already watching C.S.I. and taping The Apprentice. I can't take much more on Thursday nights. Really, you can catch this show several times a week. It seems to be on a lot. They've taken a real show from Japan where contestants perform strange stunts and go through bizarrely crafted obstacle courses, and dubbed it in English with whatever dialogue the "interpreters" see fit. Between the ridiculous games, goofy outfits and hilarious fake commentary, this is one of the best shows for dumb humor since Jackass.

Aside from those programs, there are a lot of cool shows on VH1, like the endless versions of I Love the '80s that they keep coming up with, and the endearingly amusing My Fair Brady. Also, if you get VH1 Classic, count your blessings. I don't get it anymore and that is just about the only place to see music videos on a regular basis. And not just any videos - the good, old school kind. Damn it, I want my VH1 Classic back!

See? There's plenty on TV. Now be a good, fat, lazy American and sit on your damn couch and watch it.

(*All times listed are Eastern Standard Time. Face it, it's the best time zone.)


Roberto Rodríguez, periodista said...

sorry but I have to say you are the most beatiful woman in the world.

Captoe said...

Hey BeckEye, thanks for writing a comment on my blog. Stopped by to read yours and loved it.

Lots of funny stuff, thanks for writing it.

Scooter said...

I know he may be along time dead, but I'm glad my PBS station still carries The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. Now if only they would listen to my suggestion to put it on daily.

Scooter McGavin's 9th Green

LoraLoo said...

I found the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge quite by accident and laughed my ass off. I enjoy it now and then, it wears on me if I watch it too much.

I miss VH1 Classic too!

Bar Bar A said...

I think Roberto has a crush!

Who knew when Bruce wrote that what would be coming around the bend in the world of TV.

I love the New Detectives but my fave shows are all on Discovery Health Channel - Life in the ER, Truama and The Critical Hour. Love the blood and guts and adrenelin rush the doctors get from saving people.

BeckEye said...

Roberto - My goodness...not quite sure how to respond to that! Gracias.

Captoe - Thank you!

Scooter - I loved Bob Ross too and all his happy little trees.

Loraloo - Yeah, once in a while that show is hilarious. I wouldn't recommend it for every day.

WW - I swear I don't know him and didn't pay him to say that! And I don't think I get Discovery Health.

Masha said...

What Not To Wear is awesome! Do you remember the first guy host with Stacy? He looked like he needed a makeover...good thing they fired him

Homer Jay said...

I will whole heartedly agree with you on Myth Busters. I particularly love Jaime. If I were bald, I would wear a hat like that and grow a big ass mustache like his.
MXC is awesome. It appeals so much to my baser instincts. I watch every marathon Spike has.
But, I have to disagree with you on WNTW. I have to say, I think that show - along with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy- is offensive. It encourages people to "nominate" (which is a polite way of saying "slam unmercifully for not being stylish") friends and family to be humiliated and mocked on national TV, made to wear clothes they will not be comfortable in and then get told how much better a person they are now than they were when they used to dress like a slob. (Yes, I watched the show with my wife when it first started.) Give me Trading Spaces -even without Paige- any day.
But to agree with captoe, I do love your blog. You are the only person so far that even gets me to consider pop culture without wanting to run screaming into a corner with my arms covering my head.
Keep up the great work.
and sorry for the guilt trip. :)

Brooks said...

beckeye -- as always, i am glad there another pop culture junkie out there that i can relate with on many levels. i love the new detectives and weird travels week. the travel channel's shows about haunted places is one of the things i love most about october.

The Zombie Lama said...

Also, on the TV Guide channel, they have "Sushi TV" which has a bunch of clips from Japanese TV. It's awesome. Brings back lots of memories of my time there.

larin von smartass said...

i am a WNTW fanatic. do you remember before they had clinton and there was a guy with long, frizzy hair co-hosting? am i the only one who recalls this? he was horrible anyways, so it really doesnt matter.
my roommate is a discovery channel fanatic. last week i sat through two hours of "killer squid" followed by "killer jellyfish"... lets just say the Discovery Channel has given me a new-found phobia of large pools of water.

teletart said...

The original WNTW male host was Wayne Lukas, who has his own website here: http://www.waynescotlukas.com/ He's actually a reasonably famous stylist in real life, but yes, I agree, was kinda scary. Though in my humble opinion, Stacy wins the Scary Prize hands down! I do wish we got the UK version of the show, though - I sometimes see Trinny and Susannah on Oprah, and I like those gals.

Lee Ann said...

The boss...one of the best concerts I have ever been to!
I watch Mythbusters on a regular basis...that and the History channel (my boyfriend's two favorite channels).

Bailey said...

Very true about Mythbusters. It is one of my favorite shows on TV, when I can remember to watch it!

Jeff said...

MXE is hilarious

An80sNut said...

If you like Myth Busters, you might want to check out the very low-brow British science show Brainiac. But, I don't really have a problem with nothing being on. Tivo fixes that. Now it's just finding time to watch shows to clear room.

Mr. Happy said...

I'll have to check those out since just the other day I was complaining / bothered by the fact that I couldn't find anything to watch. We just reduced our satellite bill and in the process lost several of my favorite channels.

Thanks for the tip.

Alice said...

heh... i have definitely watched my fair share of WNTW and most extreme elimination challenge...

Sangroncito said...

Today I´m going to buy a tv and see all the bad Brazilian telenovelas....I can´t wait!

Johnny Wadd said...

Mythbusters is a great show...who wouldn't want to blow stuff up!


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