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TV or Not TV

I have no money. It’s my own fault. For that reason my visual entertainment options are limited. I have the net but I have dial up. That is, when I have power. As I was typing the previous sentence, the power went off for 2 seconds. I must have had some money once, because there is a small UPS box ( Uninterrupted Power Supply ) beeping at me on my work table!

The service from the phone & power here is erratic. They haven’t replaced the materials from 50 years ago in most of this region, some power terminals still have CSA ( look it up ) stamped on them. Look, I know power outages can occur during major storms. That happens. Most of ours happen after. Or when the wind blows. Or when Zeke Crabtree Jr. the Third runs his ’83 Trans Am into a utility pole ( read: a big tree ).

So, I try my best to appreciate the entertainment I do get ( ESPN radio doesn’t count ). My budget allows a VCR, so I tape the half dozen shows I like, until they are cancelled prematurely due to actual writing & acting taking place. The Screen Actors Guild once had a petition circulated to ban me from publicly mentioning shows I liked, because research proved those shows had an episode life of 12.8. That’s not good unless you’re Ricky Gervais.

Which is odd, because one of the exceptions to the rule is the US version of Ricky’s show The OFFICE. It’s still on because it’s a law that at least one sitcom per decade must survive low ratings and/or be on NBC Thursday. Also Steve Carell has photos, he doesn’t really need them, but it doesn’t hurt. The Bible says the first sign of Armageddon will be when Joan Rivers stops having work done on her face. But I think it could be that NBC has 2 great comedies on Thursday again AND 2 decent ones. The great are the aforementioned OFFICE, and now 30 Rock. The decent are Scrubs & My Name is Earl. 30 Rock is the show driven by Tina Fey, ex-Saturday Night Live head writer and the natural successor to Gillian Anderson’s Scully, for geeks who dig smart chicks.

It’s also the show that got me to do something I thought I’d never do: like Tracy Morgan. By all accounts, the character he plays, is just Tracy being Tracy, a bit reined in for decency. He’s making me laugh & that’s good, because as we all know laughter is the best meds. Plus he’s from the Bronx, so we’re homeboys. BTW I all ready knew Alec Baldwin was funny. There, that was all the positive stuff.

Wow! do they have a load of commercials on broadcast TV. Watching another excellent NBC show HEROES, there was a 4 minute break, 4 minutes of program, then 3+ more minutes of break! I know video killed the radio star. AND Tivo is kicking the crap out of advertisers. They are ready to have product placement in the teleplay soon. Nothing new really and I have nothing against it. It’s more realistic to see Jim Belushi get caught with a copy of Playboy ( horrors! ) than the phoney PlayPEN. Or have a real box of Kellog’s Cornflakes on the breakfast table than say, Colonblow.[ty Tina Fey]

Gee golly, too much commercials. Yes, some are brilliant; many commercials are better than 90% of TV programming & 110% better than anything on CBS ( that’s onomatopoeiac ). However, as a rule, I prefer the bigger fix for my viewing habit. I used to read books until all novels became parts of interminable series and written by the same 6 people. AND the same tired hack plot ad nauseum.

OK—looks like the power is staying on. For now. What’s that sound? oh, it’s silence. Sweet, that means the wind has stopped blowing a gale! Drat, I think I hear Zeke’s Tra

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