Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Late Night TV

Anyone who has ever tuned in to TV late at night knows that the offerings for entertainment are bleak at best. Skin treatments here, omelet cookers there, and the ever-present infomercials for that bed you can adjust from almost comfortable to hard-as-a-warehouse-floor have all but replaced anything resembling entertainment.

 As much as I'd love to be able to process my vegetables "in half the time", the truth is that I'd rather watch the Leave It To Beaver episode in which the little rascal canvasses the neighborhood selling water after the water main is shut off for repairs. (I bet the Beav didn't watch infomercials for his inspiration.) The History Channel always seems to feature a guy named Rick and his pawn shop. He does have some interesting items for sale, and he's a master of negotiation. It gets old, though, to see him haggling over a 1959 soda can every time I tune in. It feels as though I'm being taunted. Is he selling the good stuff while I'm watching Peter Gunn?

Call me old school, but a guy my age needs variety -something sorely lacking on the tube ever since Carol Burnett hung up her Eunice wig back in '78. I want to see a mystery show on one channel, a sitcom on another, and music videos on a third. I suppose that's why I roll my eyes when, for the fourteenth time tonight, I see Mr. Nevergiveup touting untold strength of a vacuum cleaner that looks like it could draw nails from the sub flooring.

What I want to know is, who actually watches these things? Seems to me that the only ones who seem remotely interested in pimple cream at that time of night are the panel discussing the product on the sound set. Other than Jerry the camera operator, I can't imagine anyone finding the presentation compelling. The folks on the sound set seem rapt about the product, but call a friend at 2 AM about it and see what kind of response you'll get. Trust me, a January evening in Minnesota won't compare to the iciness you'll feel just because you wanted to help her with that little blemish problem she deals with by trowling makeup all over it.

Speaking of being upset, what's with that guy who purports to make us all look like Olympic athletes in just thirty days or your money back? At my age I'd get through thirty or so speed crunches before blowing out a heart valve. You'd think the company would have something a little more sedate for the neo-fifty crowd. Something like speed dozing or curb-hopping with the ol' Accord, for example. Come on, folks. Let's lose those hubcaps! I'd totally buy that dvd.

The other night I locked in to my favorite news channel for awhile. Apparently, the station decided that a drawn-out discussion about the birth of a tiny baby rhinoceros trumped discussion centered on border security, the war, the economy, and the election. I won't tell you what  the other news networks were covering at that moment, but I'll give you a hint: it included something about a small mammalian odd-toed ungulate infant with those oh-so-familiar mesaxonic feet.

Please understand that I have no hard feelings for the networks. After all, they're doing what they have to do in order to maximize their profit margins. Still, I'd sure love to watch something besides some glorified commercial or rehashed human interest story at zero dark-thirty. Good television programming seems to go to bed when the viewers do.

Hmm... what was that phone number for that adjustable bed?

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