November 12th, 2019

Channel surfing is exhausting work

By Lethbridge Herald on July 13, 2019.


Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

Channel surfing has come a long way since the old days when we had three to choose from and no remote control. ItÕs almost hard to fathom we actually had to walk to the TV to manually flick from one black-and-white channel to another. Time and again.
Granted, we kids often didnÕt get the pleasure of controlling the dial unless we were home alone, which forced us to endure the endless agony of our parentsÕ favourites like ÒDon MesserÕs Jubilee.Ó And there were other shows that we kids had to watch if we wanted to see any TV at all like ÒQuentin Durgens, M.P.,Ó ÒWojeck, ÒThe Irish RoversÓ and ÒThis Is The Law.Ó
Of course, ÒThe Tommy Hunter ShowÓ was a staple, too. But with black- and-white television, pretty much anything wasnÕt worth the effort of tuning the dial manually. Even ÒThe Wonderful World of DisneyÓ just wasnÕt all that wonderful when it wasnÕt in colour.
And on days when we were off sick from school, shows like ÒTake 30Ó and ÒThe Edge of NightÓ were reason alone to actually read books. Or suck it up and go to school.
This is the reason IÕm sure kids actually did stuff outside until they got their driverÕs licences. There were simply better things to do than get off the chesterfield Ñ bet you havenÕt read that word for awhile Ñ every half hour to change channels.
Fast forward decades to an era when the even cheapest car instrument displays have better colour resolution than expensive old Hitachis and the world has changed.
Being a guy who has virtually every channel offered by my cable provider except the hunting ones Ñ I donÕt do hunting programs Ñ and I face a quandary every weekend and evening IÕm off when the dogs have been walked.
What am I going to watch in brilliant high definition? (I probably shouldnÕt watch anything with weeding and watering to do and fence boards to replace but thatÕs beside the point. IÕm a guy and itÕll all get done eventually, trust me.)
With so much offerings on premium channels and Netflix, itÕs hard to choose. And there are times when I get so tired perusing through dozens of choices, I just turn off the TV and either walk the dogs again or look at my fantasy baseball team on the phone.
We thought channel surfing was tough as kids but in comparison, it was a breeze. With only three channels, the odds were nothing would be special. Now I can look at different offerings for half an hour and not find anything I want to watch, although Netflix is still all these months later recommending I view another serial killer program or a series on World War Two.
Even suffering through the new Jennifer Aniston/Adam Sandler movie couldnÕt get me different picks. And donÕt even think about suggesting any more Ògirls behind barsÓ offerings. One series was bad enough. Or was it two? OK, three.
I actually found myself last week watching a Barbra Streisand concert to change the pace a bit. And that was definitely time well-spent.
This Netflix documentary, even if youÕre a metal-head like me, is worth a view with its look at the career of one of popular musicÕs most dynamic artists. Yes, a guy who cranks up Britney Fox and Dokken to high volume on the head phones liked Barbra Streisand. What a set of pipes on that woman.
Many vocalists today canÕt hold a candle to Streisand, and in case youÕre wondering who Britney Fox is, itÕs a bunch of dudes in makeup who briefly were fantastic in the Eighties, their biggest hit being the unforgettable ÒGirlÕs SchoolÓ featuring Dizzy DeanÕs shrieking vocals.
IÕm still pondering whether to watch the Metallica documentary since I always turn stations when that band comes on. Sorry, not sorry. But maybe I could be enlightened. I doubt it but maybe. In all likelihood, IÕll watch the story of Anvil again. Check it out if you want to see a real rock and roll movie.
Another show thatÕs caught my attention is ShowtimeÕs ÒCity on a Hill,Ó a compelling crime drama starring Kevin Bacon that just started a few weeks ago.
Unfortunately, it missed the cut for this yearÕs primetime Emmy nominations which will be released on Tuesday.
But it will qualify for the 2020 awards. If you subscribe to Crave, you can catch ShowtimeÕs offerings.
In the meantime, we have a few days to wonder if ÒGame of ThronesÓ made the cut for any categories. If the show and cast do, they probably wonÕt be favourites given the lukewarm response to the final series.
IÕm guessing Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams will get consideration for outstanding lead actress, and maybe that wayward Starbucks cup for outstanding guest actor in a drama series.
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

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