Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Below the basics

I honestly can't remember the last time I turned on my tv.I know how that makes me sound like one of those dinks who looks down on tv and the people who make it and watch it but that isn't me. I've seen tv when I've been other places, but this tv, here in my home? It's entirely possible that it hasn't been on since January. Not because I'm a snob, I just do other stuff instead.
I really think I should go ahead and cancel my cable at this point. I sort of did once, but having it turned off for a couple of weeks because I didn't pay the bill isn't really the same thing. I ended up paying my balance and downgraded to what is below "basic" cable. It doesn't even have a name and you can't call up and order it.
When you ask your cable company for "basic cable", they're going to give you about 30 channels and it will still cost you about $40 a month. It's only when you say, "well, forget it then" that they look around to make sure nobody's paying attention, and then motion for you to follow them behind a tent where they keep the REAL budget package.
Here's what I think I get (like I said, it's been a while so I might be a little fuzzy), all for about $10 a month...

  • Channel 7, 10, 11, 14 - These are the local affiliates for NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox respectively. I think it's a law that they have to give you these because even broke people need access to emergency info. Like when you're broke and sitting around watching tv, waiting for a hurricane to hit.
  • Channel 9 - This is BayNews9, which is a 24-hour news channel, designed to be like a Tampa Bay-specific CNN. Except for the most part, they repeat the same stories all day long with very few pertinent updates or breaking news. When they do update a story, they frequently get basic details wrong. I once watched a space shuttle launch on BayNews9 and immediately after the launch, the next story was abot astronauts making preparations for that day's shuttle launch. True story.
  • Channel 3- PBS. I'm guessing. Never watched it, even by accident, but scrolling through, I would pick up hints of British accents.
  • Channel 4 - WTOG, a local channel consisting only of reruns of "Two and a Half Men" at night and courtroom reality shows that make me feel vaguely racist during the day time. These are sponsored entirely by programs to get a GED or college degree on line and lawyers who specialize in slip-n-falls and car accidents. A BRIEF ASIDE - Why are lawyers utterly incapable of making a classy, tasteful televeision commercial? For all their education and money, shouldn't their ads be at least as sophisticated as those from Steak & Shake?
  • Channels 8 and 13 - Spanish language soap operas. I would sometimes hesitate as I was flipping channels and ran across one of these because they look a lot like the set-up for an action scene in a porn movie.
  • Channel 15 - C-SPAN, but an even more low budget version than what you're used to; it's in black and white and there's frequently no sound at all but there are subtitles. In Russian.


Clare said...

I was unaware that you were an aficionado of action-porn movie sets. Well done.

I am not a robot. Please stop asking.

NumberWhisperer said...

Who are you trying to kid? You know the last time you watched tv was whenever the last Whitney was on.

Why, it's Clark! said...

I have watched Whitney recently, but not from home. If I can continue to leach free tv elsewhere, I might as well save the $10 a month I'm wasting at home.