Which is a backhanded way of saying it’s shite so get out and do something else instead.
We’re staying in a short-term letting apartment at the moment and it only has the 5 free to air analogue channels; ABC1, 7, 9, Ten and SBS (I’ve mixed the numerals and letters that way because that’s how they brand themselves – quite what happened to numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 is anyone’s guess).
Currently, Ten is completely taken up with the Commonwealth Games, as in 24 hours of every day. Incredible really; I’m sure no other country in the world has a dedicated Commonwealth Games channel, not even the hosts India. Granted, this is probably due to the fact that Australia seem to be the only country who take the games seriously enough to send competitors to them, which is reflected in the medal tally. It’s also reflected in the coverage of each event – in the unusual case that Australia don’t make the final of an event, it’s highly unlikely that the final will be shown live and when it is shown it is edited down. Another amusing feature of their coverage is the intro/outro theme music used to segue to and from commercial breaks; they seem to be using someone’s iPod on the random play setting and only use the 1st 2 bars of each song so the effect is that, as they switch to the adverts, you get about 8 words from a Phil Collins’ song before a bloke called Curtis tries to sell you supermarket ready-made curry.
The other channels seem to show a mixture of really awful franchised game shows (“Millionaire”, “Deal or No Deal”, etc.), nearly always hosted by the increasingly obese Eddie McGuire (actually, the complaint “Eddie McGuire is everywhere” takes on a double meaning when looking at his current waistband measurement), American and home-grown soaps, drama series’ bought from the BBC and rubbish American documentaries.
Absolute life-sapping utter bollocks, in other words.
The news programmes are commensurately appalling too. In the morning there’s a couple of “on the sofa” type shows replete with rolling news, “what’s Paris Hilton doing today” and “look at the surfing dog” stories plus a bit of a weather forecast. One of them even has a joke of the day feature which, of course, is cringe-worthy in the extreme. Maybe they should get Jerry Sadowich to tell it; that would get my attention. The evening news programmes are marginally better but only because they drop the Paris Hilton and surfing dog stories….. usually. The financial news is incredibly dumbed-down to the point where they may as well show the list of the various stock exchanges and put a graphic of a smiley or sad face next to each one.
We’re moving into a new apartment at the start of November, at which point I’ll be signing up for cable/satellite and will get to judge the remaining channels on offer. There are about 10 more channels available on the free-to-air digital service so it’ll be interesting to see whether they’ve saved the best for the new medium or whether new depths are being plumbed over on the digital super-shite-way.