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What’s on television?

January 29, 2012
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“Not enough of what I like to watch”, I feel. 

Am I alone in thinking this way? Am I getting old and hard to please? Is there too much low-quality programming these days?

Years ago I could usually find something interesting on one of the four or five channels available. Now, fifty or more on Freeview to choose from I often end up complaining that there’s nothing worth watching. It doesn’t get much better if I browse through the schedules for all the Sky channels I don’t have access to.

I like cooking and cookery programmes but there are so many on now and the quality is not improving. I like quiz programmes, provided they actually test the contestants’ intelligence, vocabulary and knowledge; such as MasterMind and University Challenge but the format hasn’t changed in, what, 20, 30 years?

None of the Soaps hold any attraction for me now and few of the comedies. Most of the films are repeats and I’ve already watched most of the good ones. Perhaps, when I was teaching full-time and marking half the evening, any sort of entertainment to relax me was welcome and I was just less choosy. Transporter, Die Hard, James Bond; they were all great the first and maybe second time round.

Documentaries can still be excellent viewing: Nature, the Universe, Maths, Science, Engineering and, thank God, several channels still make them. I’m not a football fan but I’ll always watch a F1 Grand Prix and maybe some rugby or tennis.

It was even worse in New Zealand, from my experience, (and USA TV is worse still, if I believe reports I’ve read) which is probably why my son and his wife have a huge pile of DVDs and rarely had live TV on while we were there. He lent me some. I’ve watched three of the films already on evenings when the broadcast offerings seemed more dire than normal and really enjoyed them.

Perhaps I just need to change my viewing habits to avoid becoming a grumpy old man. If all else fails, there’s always BBC News 24.

Actually, there are also books, crosswords, sudoku puzzles, this blog, swimming, gardening, bits of housework and cleaning/painting, my driving job, exam marking and tutoring. I’m not actually addicted to the telly, thank goodness.

Are you addicted/happy with what’s on offer or what?

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