Over the holidays, Jan and I gave in to our base instincts and purchased a flat screen TV. There are all sorts of logical bullshit reasons we gave ourselves for doing it. But I believe the only two things that really drove us to the decision was that our son had given us a Roku box for Christmas and that the 2,000 pound Sony Trinitron sitting on our stylish "made for a flat screen TV" entertainment center looked like a huge gray turd perched in our living room.
Last night, after marveling at how much better the football games looked in HD, I settled in to watch some "regular" television. And I couldn't find a damn thing that I was interested in.
Imagine that. With over 300 channels of programming to watch, there was nothing that I deemed entertaining enough to sit through.
When I was young, I lived in a small midwestern city. I'm old enough that I remember when my family bought our first television. A 16 inch black and white Philco in a real wood cabinet with doors that you could close over the screen when you weren't watching it. Our town started out with one television station, CBS ... followed by the NBC station 1 year later and the ABC affiliate 6 years after that.
So, at any time, we had the option of watching one of only three channels. Again ... imagine that. Normally, I would think that was pretty archaic. The dark ages of television broadcasting. But as I look back on it, it made things a hell of a lot simpler. Three things to watch ... A, B, or C. And almost all of the time, there wasn't even that choice, because Daddy-O made the choices for us. Which required no compromise, but patience on my part. Particularly Saturday night. I had no problem with Mr. Lucky, Peter Gunn and The Third Man (Michael Rennie was my idol). But to get to the prize ... Gunsmoke, I had to sit through an hour of the incredibly boring Perry Mason. I think the one thing that turned me off of that show was, even as a kid, I realized that there was no suspense to it what-so-ever. No matter how improbable, this fucker Mason never lost a case.
But, of course, things have evolved. And I wonder if my experience as a child with limited choices ruined me for the cornucopia of programs I have to choose from now. It occurred to me recently that I still watch only three channels. Right now, it's HGTV, DIY Network and The Discovery Channel. The Food Network used to be number one, but it fell from favor when I grew weary of the always smarmy Bobby Flay, trying to figure out what was wrong with Rachael Ray's boobs and the Robert Irvine scandal.
But I'm already growing tired of my 3 current faves. I can always guess which house the lucky couple picks on House Hunters, unless they throw in that "I managed to get the place for 40k less" ringer that they never tell you about. I only like Renovation Realities because I enjoy watching the dimwits trying to kill themselves and the Mythbusters narrator is starting to get on my nerves in a big way.
Whatever the root cause, neural or social ... it appears that I'll always be a three channel guy. So it's probably time to start checking out some new replacements. I haven't watched anything on the OWN Network yet, so maybe it's time to give Dr. Phil and Suze O. a second chance.
And, given my advancing age and apparent inability to deal with multiple choices over three, perhaps I ought to check out the RLTV Network.
I've always had a crush on Joan Lunden and Florence Henderson.