Channel Surfing

Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Linda and I have a pretty laid back life in our retirement. She loves to read and I love to be on the computer and watch TV.  A perfect marriage.
Last night, we had a dinner date…. without leaving our cozy little house.
She fixed a couple steaks and we snuggled up on the couch to watch the pay-per-view movie, Julia and Julie. It’s a terrific film
Meryl Streep just continues to amaze.
Her portrayal of Julia Child, “The French Chef,” is absolutely spot on.
A wonderfully entertaining two hours without one explosion or act of violence.
Speaking of cooking, I like watching the Food Network but hate the direction its taking; following the reality show fad with contests, lots of screaming by angry chefs and buckets of tears from humiliated and disappointed contestants. Just cook, already.
I like Paula Deen..but even “I” know that as good as butter tastes..the amount she uses is going to eventually wad up in an artery and, bang, no more “Y’ alls” from her sweet lips. Today, her show featured breakfast in bed recipes and showed her and Michael..her furry husband, in the sack together.  
I might have enjoyed a show like that done by other Food Network stars, like Sandra Lee, Giada De Laurentiis  or, heck, even Rachael Ray..but Paula Deen? Thanks but no thanks, y’all.
 
My daughter got me hooked on all the CSI-type shows a couple years ago. Is it just me or have they gotten a lot more graphic lately?  There’s always been a certain amount of gross-out images on the shows but do we really need to see victims on the slab split open like a big red book of guts?  To me it’s become gratuitous gore that distracts from what are usually some pretty good story lines.
 
I like the fact that Public Television has added a couple channels, especially “Create”..which is where a lot of the how-to and travel shows have wound up. The problem is that “Create” is not in high definition and, according to somebody I talked to at SDPB, will not be in high def anytime soon.
Too bad..especially for fans of Rick Steves and Rudy what’s his name?
Both of those travel programs as well as “History Detectives” and others were in glorious HD before the switch..now phhhtt..their gone with a picture worse than the old analog signal used to be.
On Midco cable, we get SDPB on two HD channels 608 and 611. Same stuff on both except 611 is not high def.
Seems like a wasted channel to me.
Ah, let’s see, millions of families will be getting new HDTV sets for Christmas. I think its here to stay.
SDPB…you should be adding “more” HD shows rather than shuffling them elsewhere.
 
I read somewhere that ratings for Jay Leno’s new show at 9pm were up slightly..but still abysmally below NBC’s expectations. I like Leno but have zero interest in his latest effort.  After seeing the first show, I haven’t been back.
I still say the funniest guy on television is Craig Ferguson whose Late Late Show on CBS usually comes on too late-late for me..so I, like millions of others, record it and watch the next day.
All other talk show hosts have opening monologues that are pretty much alike..topical jokes with a set-up and punchline. Pretty boring, actually and rarely funny.
Ferguson’s monologue, on the other hand, is mostly al lib..and always hilarious. A couple years ago, the network required that he come on the air for two  minutes right out of Letterman to promote the upcoming show and then go to commercials. 
He hated it at first but has since embraced that awkward time and turned it into some of the funniest moments on the tube; often using a menagerie of hand puppets and goofy production numbers to do the job.
I sense that Ferguson a native of Scotland who recently became an American, is growing weary and frustrated with his situation, though, and may be moving on soon. I hope that’s not the case.
What would I do without my mid-morning laugh?

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