Television Preferences

Television is one of those guilty pleasures that we permit ourselves from time to time. It's an unfortunately seductive medium - it's far too easy to spend hours doing the channel surfing thing when you just want to turn off your brain and make the world go away. Later, you stop, notice the time that has slipped away, and wish you'd used it more productively.

However, there are some shows that I try to catch, either when they come on, or on video tape (a wonderful thing, time shifting). So that you can gain further insight into my tastes, herewith is a list...

Shows to tape, always

I do love science fiction. Babylon 5 is especially good, in that the head writer and executive producer is trying very hard to tell a particular story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, over a five year period. I think he's doing an excellent job, and I'm on the edge of my seat, episode by episode. It's wonderful entertainment, and I'm doing my part to support the show, to make sure that I can see the end of the story.

Shows to catch while surfing

Then there are the shows that I catch occasionally, if I'm surfing at the right time...

Predeliction for animation? Me? (well, perhaps just a little...).

I am especially pleased with how Steven Spielberg and Warner Brother's have revived the style and quality of animation of Looney Tunes from the 40's and 50's.

Serious TV

Of course, aside from entertainment, there is information to be had out of TV:

C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 provide "gavel to gavel" coverage of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, the legislative bodies of the American federal government. This is an excellent public service, as nothing so bears watching as our legislators and their shenanigans.

When Congress is not in session, C-SPAN broadcasts a variety of programming, including some of the speeches from the National Press Club luncheons in Washington, D.C., and they often have extremely interesting speakers.

Oh, Public Broadcasting System? I usually find them tedious and timid.

500 Channels? Yeah!

Frankly, the prospect of 500 TV channels doesn't bother me at all; I see this as a big increase in the probability that something might be on TV that would interest me. So much of mass-appeal, network TV is unappealing to me now, that this is likely to be a great improvement.

Erik E. Fair <>
November 19, 1997