Wednesday, January 17, 2007

is there anything to watch?

When we first moved in here, we had our little television with rabbit ears and were delighted that we received all three network channels from Chattanooga. We put up an antenna on the back of the house and those 3 channels came in a little clearer along with a PBS station. That was fine for years until the satellite era - we had one of those big ones, it is still out there in the 'storage area' behind the shop. We now have DirecTV, probably over 100 channels to choose from. We sit down every evening after supper and start looking over our choices. I don't know why we even bother, there is nothing on. Maybe we are too picky. $50 a month for 100 channels and nothing to watch.

So we subscribed to Netflix, have been for years, to supplement the nothing to watch on TV. The nearest Netflix facility is in nearby Atlanta, so the turnaround time is fast. At first we were getting 3 movies a week. Then they decided we were watch too many movies, or maybe they wanted to cater to the new folks, so our service slowed down. Then they started the delay tactics, like 'oh you want that movie? It is not here at this warehouse, so we will send it from California (5 days each way). We sent back 3 movies at different times last week, and got an e-mail on Monday that they had just received all 3 - funny, Monday was a holiday and the mail didn't even run…

Then, to supplement those nights when there is nothing on TV and we don't have a movie to watch, we buy sets of DVDs of our favorite TV shows that have gone off the air. We are now watching Ally McBeal, 5 years' worth of TV episodes in a box of DVDs. At the time we bought this, it was unavailable in the U.S., something about music infringement, but Buddy found it on e-bay, coming from China. The ad assured that the language was in English, and would play on our DVD player. They were correct, the episodes are just like they were on TV (but without commercials!). But when we first received it, each episode was numbered on the DVD in Chinese! In order to figure out which was the first episode and to get them in the proper order, we quickly surfed the internet (what did we do before the internet?) and found a Chinese-to-English number translator. So each night lately we have been watching 2 episodes of Ally, getting caught up on fishisms, the search for wattle, the funny little man, Ally's love life or lack of, Billy's brain tumor, and the Tina Turner backup singer contest.

The time and effort and money we put into a little nightly entertainment and escapism… it is quite different from our parents' living room, when we would get up (yes out of our chairs) to go turn the knob to change the channel and be happy to watch Bonanza or Jackie Gleason, for free!

4 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

This all sounds vaguely familiar...

Except that I have never seen Ally McBeal & that is may be the only show that is not rerunning somewhere on TV....

Oh & we did the Blockbuster version of netflicks...

& cable instead of satlite - aside form that is sounds very familiar...

John Cowart said...

What memories your post brings back!
I remember living for the next episode of Gunsmoke or I Love Lucy.

Now, Ginny & I have only four channels and use those just to watch evening news. We're blessed here in Jacksonville with a public library where we can check out videos for free.

We don't feel as though we're missing a thing.

bluemountainmama said...

couldn't agree more....i've told my hubby that when we move again, i'm not even going to bother with getting cable or directv. it's not worth the money or hassle for the few things that are decent to watch. and mabe it will motivate me to read more! :)

Finn said...

Hi Susan, I am in total agreement. It's almost a waste of time to even see what is on. Until recently I had only the basic cable(Ch 2-13) that gave me all 3 networks, Fox and both WI and MN public. In an effort to "do something nice for myself each day", I gave myself a larger cable package..LOL
So I now get Hallmark and HGTV as well as Ebby's favorite, Animal Planet. Still not much to watch..amazing! Things sure have changed from our old black and white tv of the 1950's!

Left you a comment down by the Dutch Dolls posting..*VBS* Hugs, Finn