Cable TV and Me: A Rocky Relationship

So I decided to do an inventory of my cable lineup, because it really seems that I’m not getting my money’s worth, even though lately I’ve had time to watch a lot more boob tube. Since I don’t currently have any other kind of boob to look at. Even Internet porn gets old after a while, you know? Yeah, YOU know what I’m sayin’.

Turns out there are like 16 whole channels I watch even occasionally. Sixteen channels, and I pay like $40 a month (or something, I can’t remember) for my cable TV. I am seriously going to have to reconsider whether this crap is worth it. Farmers pay a lot for crap, so maybe it is. But if I can get a reasonably fast DSL connection, I might think about… and it is nearly inconCEIVable for me to think this… but… I might think about getting rid of cable TV. GOD it’s scary just THINKING that.

Were there some other timely way to get The Daily Show I’d be even more inclined to sever the cord. (Holy cow, what a metaphor.) After all, the networks are still broadcast over the air, and if it came to it I could wait for the better shows to come out on DVD. Like this “Dead Like Me” show that was on Showtime or something a year or two ago. I Netflixed that (yes, it’s a verb now) last week, and it’s rilly good shew. You should Netflix it too.

So anyway, as fascinating as it might not be to anyone other than me, here is the list of channels on my TV. HAH, this is like, your archetypical blog post. “What’s on my TV right now.” I never get tired of being typical.

5 Jesus
11 Jesus
12 Jesus. JESUS, that’s a lot of Jesus.

3 ABC. What does ABC have going for it these days?
4 FOX. Simpsons. FOX is invulnerable.
6 NBC. Heroes and Studio 60. Ok, NBC can live.
9 CBS. Well, they have CSI, and I’m a CSI addict. Las Vegas only. It’s hard for me to believe how bad CSI Miami is, writing-wise. Not to mention the horrible, horrible lens filter on EVERY SINGLE EXTERIOR SHOT.
10 The CW. Um, right. The CW. I think it’s the TV network equivalent of Delaware.
13 WB– or used to be. I guess it’s a CW station, unless the station is just independent now. You know about the whole UPN/WB merging into “The CW” right? Right?

7 TBS. Well, I’m in Atlanta, so I guess it’s not surprising that TBS is down in the single digits. Everywhere else I’ve lived, it’s been like in the ghetto 40 somethings.
15 WGN (Ind. 9) Chicago. Miscellaneous syndicated shows and re-runs. I remember in PA this station was always fuzzy and Comcast could never explain why. I wonder why WGN still tells us they’re in Chicago? Is there any Chicago-specific programming on here? It looks like your typical superstation-TBS-on-the-cheap kind of deal. I suppose if you want to watch “Big” on Thanksgiving you’ll have a friend in WGN.
41 TNT. I guess TNT is good for crap to watch late at night or on Saturday afternoon. They claim to know drama, but their true expertise is the art of the re-run. Particularly re-runs of shows that have been on the air so long nobody watches them anymore. Like ER. I remember when ER totally kicked ass. Those halcyon days.
42 USA might as well be TNT, really, you know? These guys are totally failing to differentiate themselves from the other “superstation” types. It’s WGN with a budget. They like to produce original programming that lasts about two episodes. Unfortunately, because they’re a syndicationizer nobody clicks to their channel on a regular basis. This means they have to spend three months publicizing their crappy version of “Blade” that is really terrible and nobody wants to watch. They so desperately want to find their Buffy. It’s kind of pathetic.
43 FX. i have no idea what is on FX. Oh wait, there’s that “The Shield” program everybody is in love with but that I can’t stand. It’s the Commish, people. THE COMMISH. What’s the point of FX anyway? Seems like networks make these spin-off cable networks with a specific thing in mind, but when that specific thing flops the spin-off kind of morphs into the same old syndication/re-run happy malarkey. “No but we’re different!” Yeah yeah, tell it to the Neilsens.
53 Turner South. More crappy independent syndicated shows. Bah. Notice that this is the THIRD Turner channel in my cable lineup. If you don’t include CNN and Headline News. Oh, and Turner Classic Movies. Oh, and hey, Cartoon Network and Comedy Central are Turner too for that matter. So out of 72 total channels, 8 of them are Turner. That’s 11 percent! There’s twice as much Turner as Jesus. Who does he think he is?!

8 PBS (Georgia Public Broadcasting, but still PBS)
16 Another PBS! I dunno about you, but I really only need one PBS. Charlie Rose is JUST ONE MAN.

14 Univision
73 Telemundo

17 Blank! WTF!
18 Blank! WTF!
28 Blank! WTF! Am I not paying for these channels?

Public Access
19 Public Access. Worthless. Why do these channels always have a horrible feed? I mean, even if their cameras weren’t completely obsolete, at least the signal should be good. It’s CABLE after all. And what’s with the cameras? It’s not that expensive to get a couple camcorders that won’t look this terrible. All washed out and fuzzy, bad sound n’ stuff. When I rule the world…
20 This is supposed to be QVC, but instead It’s some kind of local show about firefighters. But still. Bah. I mean, I love firefighters, but they don’t need their own talk show do they? Sometimes this channel is BLANK. BLANK! GODDAMMIT.
21 “FGTV” whatever that is. Pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be skipping it. Right now they’re listing job openings for Fulton County as part of “Job Line.” Compelling. Next up, “Writers in Focus.” Must. Stay. Awake. Must. Finish. Post.
22 A booooring documentary about some old Elizabeth Taylor film. She’s in a white dress and some guy’s playing pool. Now to some bearded guy talking about George Stevens’ total CONFIDENCE in these actors. Next.
23 It’s the same thing as 22! Except this channel has a little bug in the upper right corner that I can’t make out. It’s not *always* the same as 22, but it’s *always* boring. I guess this is some documentary about movies in general, but I can’t make out what kind. Aaaaaand I don’t care. *click*
24 Another freaking Local Access channel. Two guys are apparently trying to sell cars. They’re calling themselves “PeopleTV.” Gah. Sometimes they have hours of “Free Speech TV” on here, and there’s a show called “Gay USA.” I mean, I’m all for this, but I’ll never watch it. And the video is bad here too, what is the DEAL.
26 City Channel Atlanta. Worthless. This kind of crap should all be on the Internet.

25 Hey, THIS is QVC. What’s going on here? There are some shenanigans happening.
29 Home Shopping Network. Give me a break. I did watch a half hour of some infomercial about a belt that shocks your stomach muscles and makes them spasm. Everybody on the show was like “it feels so good!” Uh huh. Right. I wonder if it comes with a wooden block to stick between your teeth.

News and Politics
30 C-SPAN. I claim to watch this sometimes, but I don’t really. If it wasn’t on the list I probably wouldn’t even notice.
31 C-SPAN 2. Ditto. BookTVxkxkxsxk*snoooore*
The Weather Channel. How they still have a channel in the age of the Internet I’ll never know. Must be for old people, or people in hotels who don’t have laptops or something. Losers.
34 CNN. I never ever watch this, because I don’t f-ing trust a thing they say.
35 Headline News. Don’t trust them either. And that lady with the hair, what’s up with that? She looks a little too much like Peggy Bundy.
36 CNBC. Does anybody know what CNBC is supposed to be about? Comely Nubile Bohemian girls named Candy?
37 Fox News. Puppet of the Man. Common Knowledge. Skipping.

44 Versus. Poor-man’s ESPN with cheaper cameras? Um, ok then.
45 Comcast Sports SE. What’s the SE for? Does it have a 9″ black and white screen? Can I play solitaire on it and write term papers? Does it have a handle in the top?
46 ESPN.
47 ESPN2. Because for some reason somebody wants to watch paintball.
48 Fox Sports Net. The sports are going to kill me, I swear.
49 The Golf Channel. Too late, I’m dead. No time for golf. Dead.

33 TLC. I do watch some stuff on here, though less than I used to. They need to come up with something new and cool for me to get addicted to since I’ve burnt out on their decorating shows.
40 The Discovery Channel. This we can keep. Anybody doesn’t like the Discovery Channel can suck it.
52 History Channel. Sometimes I’ll surf onto this channel and stick. I get a kick out of R. Lee Ermey.
57 Food Network. Ok, this is occasionally good. Who doesn’t want to know how they make Chee-tos?
58 Court TV. Nope, never watch it. I think John Waters is their only dedicated viewer.
59 Home & Garden TV. I should watch this, maybe I’d learn something about fixing up my house to look all purty. But I don’t.
60 Travel Channel. Yeah, I don’t watch this. People have this thing about not being where they are, and I’m afraid I can’t relate. I went to Europe in 11th grade, and had kind of a boring time. Maybe that colors my opinions now, but even so the only places I want to go are Japan, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Europe doesn’t appeal to me. India? Nah. Hell, I’d rather go to Alaska than Italy, Las Vegas than Mexico. Get my drift? I haven’t seen all there is to see here yet, and I’m obviously happy enough exploring my navel so why renew that old passport? (Being alone could have a bit to do with it.) Sometimes I’ll watch this channel for the poker, but even so, I’m a little burned out on Poker TV. And besides, poker on the travel channel is such bullcrap anyway. They got lucky once with this one show about poker, so all of a sudden it’s Poker City up in here on the f-ing TRAVEL channel. I did have fun in the Netherlands though. Hup, Holland, Hup.
61 Animal Planet. An occasional sticky channel. Who doesn’t like puppies?
75 Speed Channel. Not into cars. Wait, I did watch this tonight. Apparently they have an entire league/circuit/whatever that’s just big-assed cars doing wheelies. I am not shitting you. God bless America. I kept expecting Borat to show up.

50 MTV. Bah. I haven’t watched MTV in years. Crap. All Crap, All the Time. Crap Crap Telecrap.
51 VH-1. Ok, VH-1 has “Best Week Ever” and stuff, so it can live. VH-1 is weird.
78 Country Music Television. Boooooring.

71 TV One. I’ve never seen anything on here other than that terrible Wanda Sykes sitcom. Why was that so bad? You’d think she’d be awesome, but nooooooo.
72 BET. I am not the target audience for this channel.

For sissies
38 A and E. “Arts and Entertainment.” Bullshit. This channel exists to show re-runs of Law and Order.
54 Oxygen. All Oprah All the Time.
55 Lifetime. Also for girls.
39 ABC Family. Only good for re-runs of Whose Line Is It Anyway.
77 Hallmark. For old girls.

The Professor and Mary Ann
27 TV Guide Channel. Basically worthless.
56 E! Gossip, but boring gossip. I have Defamer and the like for this now.
62 Cartoon Network. I *wish* there was stuff on here I wanted to watch. Is this the one with Futurama? That’s worth a buck a month. I’ve burnt out on most of Adult Swim.
63 Nickelodeon. Never watch it. I used to be more into the kiddie shows, but these days I can’t be bothered. They’ve gotten dumber, I think. I have to watch Spongebob waaay too long to find a laugh.
64 Disney Channel. Nickelodeon if Nickelodeon could have sold out even MORE than Nickelodeon has sold out. Which I thought was impossible, yet here it is, the Disney Channel.
65 TV Land. Yeah, boring. Old TV doesn’t grab me these days, although I did Tivo some episodes of this show where they follow old TV stars around. But I wanted it to be all snarky and subversive, maybe like “Fishing With John.” But they didn’t expend nearly so much effort and it was just boring.
66 AMC. This channel used to be so great. Uninterrupted old movies, lots of musicals. But now, there are commercials and things like Predators are considered “classic.” Come on. Shelley. COME ON. Fox also has MadTV, which I like. But that has nothing to do with AMC, which is just terrible and is in no way related to my favorite multiplex cinema chain.
68 Comedy Central. Totally worth half my cable fee. The Daily Show alone. Ok, really just The Daily Show. No wait! Reno 911! How could I have forgotten? The movie looks pretty cool; like they actually had some money to blow stuff up. You never know with Comedy Central– any day now they’ll bust out with something else totally awesome.
69 Turner Classic Movies. This is what AMC used to be. Still good movies on here, uninterrupted and classic.
70 Bravo has really come up in the world. Their original programming is often worth watching. Except they play it to DEATH. If you miss an episode, you’re totally out of luck, ’cause you’ve only got about 50 chances to see it later in the week. Not to mention the marathon they’ll have later on in the season. So you need to be on your toes. NOT. You need to NOT be on your toes.
74 Sci-Fi is my go-to channel when I’m bored, because I’m just a complete and total sucker for science fiction. Sometimes there’s some silly movie on. I don’t like Battlestar, sorry. I liked Stargate, but lately even that hasn’t grabbed me. They seem to love showing movies that cost about a dollar to make. I recently saw ten minutes of something called “Room 6” starring Ben Stiller’s wife. It’s totally and completely horrible and she should be embarrassed to have been in the stupid thing.
76 Spike TV. They re-run CSI a lot, so I like that, although I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all the old episodes now. They’re good for a goofy movie on occasion. MXC is slightly amusing too, and there’s sometimes stuff I’ll watch late at night when i can’t sleep. Spike used to be The Nashville Network. Can you believe that? Now they are the network for MEN. MEN LIKE ME. I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOU ON THE SHOULDER.

Aaaaaaaaand SCENE. I just listened to “Blasphemous Rumors” by Depeche Mode for the second time ever. Now I’m listening to it again. It’s a good song, and you should go listen to it. The chorus is so sweet:

I don’t want to start
Any blasphemous rumors
But I think that God’s
Got a sick sense of humor
And when I die
I expect to find him

See, they rhyme “die” with “find.” That’s good work. See you next week.



  1. By the way, I note that you didn’t review BET because you’re not the target audience.

    Well, I mean, that is, I hate to break this to you, but you’re not the target audience for MTV either. Maybe that’s why you think it sucks. Maybe the reason you haven’t watched it for years is because you haven’t been young enough for years.

    But you still reviewed it, and by GOD I want a review of BET.

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