Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The (possibly short-lived) return of fancy cable!

About a year ago, I ditched my fancy cable in favor of sub-basic cable. No more AMC, no more Comedy Central, no more ESPN. As it turned out, no big deal; I didn't turn the tv on as often as I'd used to but I also found, somewhat to my suprise, that I didn't miss it that much.
Last week, a salesperson from the cable company called and offered to set me up with the full assortment of cable channels again, free for a month on a trial basis and if I decided to keep it, it would be cheaper than what I was paying before. With absolutely nothing to lose, I said sure.
After a week of having fancy cable again, here are my observations:
  • I was kind of over ESPN a year ago, with what seems to me a greater focus on their part to establish themselves as a brand, rather than a provider of worthwhile content. Their on-air talent was going out of their way to establish themselves as personalities with quirky traits and catchphrases and they flat-out neglected sports and leagues that they didn't have contracts to broadcast, specifically NHL hockey. Would things be different now? Well, my first glance upon getting ESPN back showed Stuart Scott presenting an NBA update in spoken-word poetry. I didn't stick around for a second glance. 
  • There are an awful lot of "Family Guy"-style animated series. Emphasis on awful.
  • The other night, I was on the couch watching something and eating dinner. A commercial came on with someone I know in it. Not a celebrity I recognized but a regular joe that I actually work with and see every day, suddenly appearing with his face and voice in my home, under less-than-ideal circumstances for me to welcome company. I mean, he wasn't actually there, but slumped on your couch, pantsless, snarfing down a Lean Cuisine with your fingers (I couldn't find a fork or spoon, okay? All right, I knew where the forks and spoons were but they were all the way out in the kitchen and I had already taken off my pants and sat down and everything.) waiting for "30Rock" to start isn't when you want to hear Matt from work just start talking to you out of nowhere, you know?

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