Actually, that’s not entirely true. Not these days, anyway. One who ventures beyond the wasted landscape of Survivor, soap operas, and sensationalist news that passes for broadcast TV but better resembles toxic sludge will find that there are better options. About 250 better options, if you go for the gusto and get the top tier package.
Forbidden TV shows in our house include:
- News channels
- Food shows (they make me tend to overeat)
- Shopping (a la QVC)
- Christian Televangelism
You: “But wait – that’s no fun! Funsucker!”
Chillax. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of pickin’ left over.
- “Cops” Marathons – and I don’t even think they do so much of the “Cops 2.0” anymore. Which is a good thing, because “Cops 2.0” is little more than “Cops” with annoying moving banner ads and real-time (?) text chat logs occupying the bottom third of the screen.
- “Modern Marvels” – they used to have super-cool episodes involving rockets and the Dallas Hi-Five interchange, but now they’re groping a little. I think they’re running out of ideas.
- “Mystery Diagnosis” – it’s like “House MD” (one of my favorite shows of all time, which is actually saying quite a bit) but without the drama component in the storyline. It’s pure symptoms-testing-mystery-symptoms-testing-diagnosis, where the patients actually tell the story of their journey from start to finish. Very linear and concise-yet-detailed. I wish my patients could express themselves so well and give information as useful. Oh wait…gotta have patients first. If it makes me feel any better (and it kinda does), I’ve nailed 2 out of the 3 episodes, the third one being a rare genetic anomaly I’d never heard of.
- “1000 Ways To Die” – upon channel surfing, I stumbled across this in my satellite’s Guide, and just had to watch, out of morbid curiosity. It turned out to be a pretty cool show. Turns out that at least most (if not all) of that stuff really happened (I’m calling bullshit on the one where two intimate ladies blew themselves up by making it on top of a washer and dryer, jiggling the gasline connections loose. I’m also kind of doubting the one where a doctor and nurse go at it in another room with a patient waiting under an x-ray machine aimed at his head for a skull x-ray, in which after their escapade they find the guy cooked from the radiation because their lovemaking surface consisted of the x-ray unit which kept getting activated–very rhythmically. The part that I doubt is that radiation would cook the guy that fast. I mean, even it took the Hiroshima victims much longer than that). Other than that, good show that slowly grows on you a little further each time.
- “Ice Road Truckers” – only this time, they’re in India. I guess the Alaska theme got played out, kinda like Mafia Wars until summer 2009. People can handle the same monotonous scenery just so long. After watching this new incarnation of “IRT”, I now know where a big fraction of Dallas’s crazy-ass irrational drivers come from.
- “Dr. G, Medical Examiner” – again, kinda like “House MD” and “Mystery Diagnosis”, except that the patients are already dead (and are thus correctly referred to as “victims” instead). This show goes hand-in-glove with “1000 Ways To Die”.
- “Campus PD” – although it’d be nice if they’d make more than 5 episodes – or at least not air them endlessly until they do have more than 5 episodes. Five episodes hardly justifies a “marathon”. I do understand that colleges only have so much action, though, and that there are only so many party schools with only so much material to begin with.
I mean, it’s good to have a little variety. I would’ve gotten into “X-Files” had I been just a little more cool, but its time has passed and they’ve been surpassed by shows like “Law & Order” (why, I’ll never know – not that it’s a bad show, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the coolness of “X-Files”) and replaced by shows like “CSI” (which doesn’t quite live up to its potential to be cool).
And the 2012/Prophecy theme is so 1998. It started with the Scallion future earth maps, post big-nuts earthquake. It morphed into the comet hysteria that surrounded us circa 1997-1998 when everyone and their dog was jumping on the publishing bandwagon of writing sensationalist books about semi-exaggerated theories. And then Y2K hit, God(dess) help us all. Frankly I was more worried about peoples’ reaction to Y2K than I ever was about the phenomenon itself.
And now? Everyone’s convinced that 2012 is the Judgment Day of all Judgment Days and I hardly think that will happen. But everyone wants to rehash Nostradamus’s mysterious cryptic quatraines yet again, so here we were (up until about this summer), stuck in a Groundhog Day of 2012 crockumentaries. Not that I don’t think 2012 won’t be significant–it will, but not for the reasons people think.
Wait a minute…I’m getting too deep. It’s getting late and I’m supposed to be putting my brain into a numbing, hypnotic state.