Cable TV: What I’ve Learned in the Last Year

The last time I had cable of any sort was in 1998. That’s a very long time ago!

In the years leading up to now, I subsisted on 5 network channels that came in poorly, DVDs from the library, and Netflix since its advent. Back in August of 2012 I moved to a new apartment, and with that, finally got cable because I was sick of trying to fix the bunny ears on top of my TV. In that time, I have learned some things. Some are fascinating, and some are just downright sad.

  • The History Channel doesn’t have many history related shows. It’s mostly about pseudo science, aliens, mermaids, and Hitler.
  • There are 12 reality shows about rednecks.
  • Wow, rednecks are really in demand.
  • Did I mention 1/3 of all TV is redneck-centric?
  • Bravo is all about too much wine and plastic surgery — essentially.
  • There’s a lot of shows about rich women with lip collagen who have dinner parties that end in screaming matches. They all have book deals, too.
  • I don’t know what Jerseylicious is about, but something to do with drawn-on eyebrows and hairstylists who fight a lot.
  • OWN is basically true crime shows + Oprah trying to be best buddy with Iynala + interviews with Beyonce where Oprah practically licks her b-hole.
  • Lifetime is movies and shows where men are evil, and younger women are evil. Also adopted children are evil, maybe.
  • LMN is amazing and awful. You can see biopics like “Liz and Dick” but also movies like the one where the Canadian Air Force captain rapes neighborhood women and steals their panties to wear them later. Canadians in the Royal Canadian Air Force are evil!
  • Tyler Perry presents a Tyler Perry show, directed and written by Tyler Perry and starring Tyler Perry.
  • Children are really fat these days. Especially redneck pageant children.
  • The Food Network has shows where a pound of butter and a food processor are what you need for everything. I don’t own a food processor, so I can make maybe 6 things out of all those shows.
  • Guy Fieri likes everything, he’s disgusting. I’ve eaten at several of the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives he says are good, and they aren’t.
  • The Travel Channel has two shows of two fat guys that drive around eating stuff.
  • HGTV has people with first-world problems and they all really, really want granite counter tops.
  • If you want to watch a man put his balls in a woman’s purse, watch any episode of “House Hunters”.
  • BBC America has great drama and sci-fi shows that never actually seem to be on, except for “Dr. Who”, and I don’t care for that show. The rest is Gordon Ramsey screaming at someone for something, somewhere.
  • Spike TV is the Dave Navarro Channel that sometimes has wrestling, and guys looking for Bigfoot.
  • Spike also has “Bar Rescue” which I’ll admit, I really like.
  • Come to think of it, I think there are 4 shows dedicated to finding Bigfoot.
  • There are a lot of shows about poor people and criminals getting married.
  • TLC is the gross network, in that nothing on there should be watched if you just ate a meal.
  • “My Strange Addiction” is pretty much everything kids did at recess in 2nd grade, except televised. I can’t tell you how many kids I knew would eat paper. And their own scabs.
  • Poor people also try to pawn stuff. It’s sort of like “Antiques Roadshow” but for those on unemployment.
  • There are several repossession shows from cars to planes, because taking people’s stuff is funny! But I wish they weren’t so fake. Trust me, if you’ve ever had to stand in line to get your car out of a tow yard, it’s practically a comedy club come to life (at least in Los Angeles it is).
  • There are a lot of very specific professions that have shows. Like, very specific.
  • If I wanted to see the inner workings of an airport, I’d get a job at a damn airport!
  • The Style Network is where “Sex and the City” has gone to live out it’s re-runs, then hopefully die.
  • There are a lot of shows about women buying expensive clothes or ugly wedding dresses.
  • I don’t get HBO or Showtime, so I can’t see boobs.
  • “South Park” is still the only good thing on Comedy Central.
  • Why is there a show about beards?
  • I can sum up “Hoaders” like this: I’ve tried everything…except cleaning my goddam house!
  • I get IFC, so I can see boobs there, but it also has commercials. I call that a wash.
  • TMC is great, it almost makes up for me not being able to rent from Eddie Brandt’s in Burbank anymore. (I’m a pre-code cinema lover).
  • Wait, “The Simpsons” is still on?
  • There are a lot of shows about men in the wilderness doing manly things: in Alaska, and in the mountains, and on ice. You sit there in your skinny jeans eating your vegan hot dog, it’s cool.
  • Everyone in Atlanta seems like an asshole. Why are there so many shows about horrible people in Atlanta? Atlanta, you need to do something about that. Really.
  • There is a whole channel that does nothing but show “Martin” re-runs 24/7.  It must be a front for something!
  • “Sixteen and Pregnant” “Dating and Pregnant” “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” “Pregnant in Heels”. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m waiting for a new trend along the lines of, “Sensible and Childless” or “I Won a MacArthur Grant, and I’m Not Pregnant”.

This now brings me to a list of shows I would like to be included in the development and production on. If I’ve learned anything by having cable the past year, it is that one or all of these ideas will get a season or two squeezed out of them.

“Real Housewives of the Rustbelt”

“Project Managers: Kansas City”

“I’m On Welfare, So I Used A Condom”

“HELP! My Cat Is Overweight!”

“Cleveland Clinic Anesthesiologists Untamed!”

“Craft Fair Wars”

“Non-Profit Administrators: NYC”

“Regional Managers: Sacramento”

I have more, but I’d have to get a consultant contract signed with a network before I give away all my fabulous ideas. What are some of your favorite awful shows or networks?

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