Wednesday, June 04, 2008

TV Reprise

We really like TV in our household and we're not real particular about our viewing choices, either. We're music snobs -- but truly low-brow in our TV watching. Every night from 6 until 8 p.m. Hubby has Walker, Texas Ranger tuned in. Personally, I find the Chuck Norris show bland and repetitive, so that's usually my computer gaming time. I enjoy an eclectic mix of TV shows: Boston Legal, Reapers, Numbers, Brothers and Sisters, American Experience, Antiques Roadshow. And lately I've found that at 10 a.m. in the morning, ABCFamily is rerunning my one of my favs of all time: Gilmore Girls . I record every episode faithfully. We're not much into the reality series that are so popular now. Hubby can't abide American Idol; he claims they rarely have anyone on who can actually sing on key. I can't stand the antics of the judges, though I usually can't tell if someone's off-key unless it's really bad.

Our TV set runs day and night. We have it on all night long, tuned first to the late night showings of Walker (on the Hallmark channel) and then to the all night news stations: either local news or CNN. Hubby claims to be unable to sleep without the noise from the set. I wake up enough time during the night to find the light from the TV comforting. We get out of bed to the morning newscasts, watching the Today show until the View comes on (or lately, Gilmore Girls). Then, if Hubby is home in the afternoon, he watches all the judge / court TV shows. Once in awhile he tunes in Oprah, but not often. At 5 p.m. we watch the news again -- until Walker comes back on (this show runs five days a week) and now we've come full circle through our 24 hours of TV watching. If I'm reading and home alone, I tune in the classical music station on the TV for background noise.

Because we like TV so much, we subscribe to Dish network and take their most extensive package. We have every TV channel that isn't porn related. We have all the HBO's, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax channels. Automatically bundled with that comes a bevy of sports and music channels we actually don't watch. I love all the cooking and home improvement channels though, and Hubby likes National Geographic, the Animal channel, and Hallmark. I go through spells where I watch many of the BBC programs, but lately their serializations aren't attracting me.

This summer, TV programming in our Heartland city has been suspended. Instead, all evening, every night, we have weather warnings. The rain has pre-empted shows on every channel except the cable shows. The big storms have also disrupted satellite connection to Dish network. They have improved dish reception tremendously in the past two years, but heavy storms still cut the transmission.

Last night was a rather more than typical night of TV viewing in our city -- but demonstrates the point perfectly. By 8 p.m. all local TV stations had suspended programing to report on the weather. Thunderstorms with heavy lightning had hit the area and in the river bottoms a huge gasoline fire had been started by lightning. The rain was barreling down and there were flash flood warnings out. North and south of us were tornado warnings.

Obama's historic winning of enough delegate votes to be the first African-American presidential candidate from a major political party wasn't even broadcast here. A roof that collapsed on an apartment building (where no one was injured) was reported every 10 minutes while we saw aerial and ground views of the huge fire by the river (where again, no one was injured). For four hours the local news covered nothing but weather. And frequently, the rain was heavy enough to disrupt our cable reception, leaving us nothing to watch but local programming.

Every night in the past week, and certainly the majority of nights in the past month, our TV screen has been filled with weather related images: little maps filling the corners of our screens showing where the floods/tornadoes/severe thunder storms/heavy winds/ hail might occur. Frequently, network programming has been disrupted so the weather people could bring us up-to-date reports on the storms in the area. And the storms keep coming. Rain, thunder, lightning. Power outages, flooding, lightning fires, people left homeless, property destroyed, businesses in ruins. And our TV programming totally disrupted! Bah! We need to get our priorities in order here. Rain, rain, go away . . .

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