Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No, No! Keep Fighting!

It was with a definite regret that I read in the paper that the Hollywood writers are likely to end their strike and begin producing their largely detestable product again. It was similar to the way I felt when I went to Best Buy and bought a new universal remote. Let me explain.

In case you missed it, last November the people who produce and create television shows got in a fight over how to divide up their billions of our dollars. They stopped making new television shows. Also, closer to home, the remote that controls our DVD/VCR combo broke. (There is no truth to the rumor that I threw it hard against the floor to try to fix it.)

This resulted in a nearly complete cessation of television viewing at our house. We were left with no way to navigate DVD menus, so our Netflix account became a rather expensive way to have Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 discs 2 and 3 sit at our house for several months.

I couldn't flip through channels, so I never watched TV as it was broadcast. When there are commercials, no single show really holds my attention – I have to be watching a Family Guy rerun, Letterman, AND Stargate or it's not worth it. Plus there were no new episodes of the only shows I tape and watch later – The Office, Scrubs, Earl, and 30 Rock – so I wasn't doing that either.

Honestly it was quite wonderful. I got more sleep. I was more connected with my family. I did all sorts of other things that are important to me – wrote songs, called friends, exercised, etc. So what happened the night of the day I bought the universal remote? Bride and I watched two (or was it three?) episodes of ST:TNG (good) and then she went to bed while I watched a Saturday Night Live (and Stargate, etc.) I had already seen (very bad). I imagine I will make this poor decision again, but not for a long time, I hope.

I may suggest to Bride that we cancel our cable. This would leave us with an easy choice between snowy TV, Netflix, and doing something useful and meaningful. We might never see a commercial again.

Also, the new "universal" remote is not a perfect match and I see no way to program the VCR to tape my usual NBC Thursdays. This alternately makes me sad and relieved. Screw it. Relieved wins. I'll miss you, Zach Braff, Jason Lee, and Tina Fey. But probably not much. Hey writers! Do society a favor and stay on strike for all eternity! Fucking useless television.