Friday, December 29, 2017

That's More Entertaining

Last night, in the pub, I was talking to a friend I hadn't seen in a while and we both observed how crap this year's seasonal TV offerings had been.  The lack of effort on the part of the main networks was spectacular.  I know that we're living in the era of multi channel, on demand, make it up as you go along TV, where the massive Xmas viewing figures of yore are a distant memory, but that really is no excuse for not being bothered to try and provide entertainment for viewers during the period when they are most likely to be viewing en masse.   Besides, I don't really believe all this nonsense about how people these days don't watch TV by watching TV.  The majority of people, in my experience anyway, still mainly watch TV the traditional way: on a TV set as it is broadcast.  I do sometimes watch on other devices (usually catch up services when I've forgotten to record something), this laptop. my tablet, even my phone, but none of these offer the same experience as watching TV on a proper sized screen.  Besides, unlike my TV, which is a dedicated single purpose device, none of those other devices have the primary purpose of screening TV programmes.  I always find myself distracted by their other functions when I try to watch TV on them.   It's not the same as watching something on TV whilst simultaneously surfing the web or writing something on the laptop.

Getting back to the point of the crap Christmas TV this year, the other day I stumbled across the most entertaining seasonal schedule I've seen this year.  By chance, I discovered that my local news channel, That's Crapchester, had decided that there simply wasn't sufficient news happening over Christmas and New Year and has instead given over its schedule to showing obscure old movies and cartoons.  All public domain and all of considerable vintage.  (The most recent I've seen have been from the early seventies).  The majority also seem to use the scratchiest, poorest quality prints available (in truth, many are probably derived from third or fourth generation video copies), their poor quality compounded by the low bit rate used of Freeview by the local TV services.  But hey, why gripe when it is all free and some of the movies they are showing haven't seen the light of day in decades?  I caught Dr Kildare's Strange Case the other night, sandwiched between a couple of Mr Wong movies with Boris Karloff, while the non-RKO Tarzan movie, Tarzan's Revenge (made as a rival to the Weismuller starring RKO series by producer Sol Lesser in 1938) was on the other day.  A couple of the post war Sol Lesser Tarzan movies have also turned up.  The Arch Hall oddity Nasty Rabbit was on in the early hours the other day, while this evening I caught the Bert I Gordon sword and sorcery 'epic' The Magic Sword.  All-in-all, their schedule has, so far, been far more entertaining than anyone else's this Christmas.  (As far as I'm aware, all of the That's TV local channels are currently running this schedule).

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