You’ll notice that there was no Top Five Friday last week. This was my fault as I was on the Jersey Shore last week with my family, staying at my aunt’s beach house. Upon arriving, I had dropped my bags, let the dog run outside in the backyard and did what any sane person does when they arrive at someone else’s house for a week-long vacation. I turned on the TV to check out the cable situation.
When I was a kid, my friend Meg didn’t have cable. I would go down to her basement and turn on the TV and go to my usual channels but past 13 it was nothing but fuzz. I still get a little flicker of panic when that fuzz appears. It’s a mixture of panic and pity for the people who have to live in such a place. A life without Three’s Company reruns? HOW DO YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING?
In retrospect, it was much better when I was a kid because, I don’t know if you realize this, network TV has recently disintegrated into little more than reality dating shows and fare for obese people. Especially in July. If you’re not interested in seeing a mailman run through an obstacle course for a cash prize, you’re shit out of luck in the summer programming department. At least when I was ten, the worst thing about a sleepover at Meg’s house was no Nick-At-Nite. Now, a week without cable means no USA, TNT, Bravo and The Family Channel- the four tent poles of my regular TV watching. No Burn Notice, no Leverage, no West Wing or Gilmore Girls or Charmed reruns. It’s enough to send you running into the freezing Atlantic Ocean, dragging half of the shore with you. (And as a side note, I’m officially creating a Men of the Shore calendar, featuring several of the cast members of The Sopranos in the more prominent months. You guys need to get out of the sun for a while. I’m not kidding.)
But now, I’m back. TiVo has graciously awaited my arrival with no less than 31 episodes of West Wing saved, a couple of Burn Notice eps, a smattering of Nigella and Cybil and a few movie gems like Kindergarten Cop. With the world just as it should be once more, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress.