11 March 2007

TV Wasteland

It's been a rough few weeks over here at the SAR household. The Mrs. has been struggling with a persistent cough that turned out to be bronchitis. It took two doctor visits to affirm this (even though I guessed it three weeks ago), as the doctors didn't see the need to do a chest X-ray the first time around. So helpful. The antibiotics she got on the second visit did what they were supposed to do, but when they ran out earlier this week, her cough returned. So she made a third visit to the doctor yesterday and got another round of a different antibiotic, which seems to be working and hopefully will clear the gunk out of her lungs for good. (It had better, because I'm really, really tired of hearing that cough.)

As a result, we haven't done much outside the house lately, especially with the cold blast we had this past week. Even a short amount of time in front of the TV confirms that March is the dead zone for network programming, since it immediately follows the February sweeps period. There's some college basketball tournament coming up that we don't care about, we're not interested in who
is going to be the next anorexic model or slutty dancer, and we don't partake of that despicable emotional beatdown masquerading as a singing competition (and what does it say about our country and culture that this is what now passes for entertainment?), so the pickings are slim.

The networks also use this time to try out new shows, away from the clutter of new episodes of established shows, and sometimes it works out well--Grey's Anatomy started in March two years ago, and it's turned into a top-rated show. But last Sunday we did make the mistake of watching the first episode of The Winner, a mind-blowingly bad new "comedy" on Fox, mostly because it was sandwiched between new episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy and there wasn't anything else on that we cared about at the time. Two-thirds of the way through, the Mrs. stopped coughing long enough to comment, "I hate this already. Do we have to finish watching it?" We didn't have to, but we did, because there were only ten minutes left, but we opted to skip the second episode shown later the same night.

It's not all bad news, though. Because of their networks' scheduling quirks, there are new episodes of Lost and 24 on every week. NBC is showing plenty of reruns of one of our favorites, The Office, which is always worth watching a second time, but they're sweetening the deal with some with scenes that didn't make it into the episodes the first time around. The New Adventures of Old Christine comes back tomorrow night, promising us a few more laughs. And there's always Netflix. And before we know it, April will be here, and with any luck, the Mrs. will have stopped coughing, the weather will improve, and we'll be able to go see a movie.

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