TV & Showbiz

Suffering the Weekend TV Blues


When you look at weekend TV listings, it doesn’t take long to begin to suspect the networks aren’t even trying anymore.

One of the beauties of services like Netflix and Hulu is that you can find a favorite television show and binge-watch. Unfortunately, without services like Netflix or Hulu, finding something worthwhile to watch without overdosing on it becomes nearly impossible.

I’m not much of a sports fan, so on the weekend, the major broadcast networks aren’t likely to be what I’ll be watching.

My next backup when there’s nothing on the “Big Four” would be TV Land. But on the weekend, TV Land might provide better entertainment if they went off the air every Saturday and Sunday.

Every Saturday, TV Land’s schedule begins with a few hours of The Nanny. It was a show that was only mildly funny when it was first on the air, and unlike a fine wine, it hasn’t improved with age.

TV Land follows this with ten hours of Reba. Yes, you read that correctly: ten hours! That might not be so bad if the show running that long was a good show. I could take ten hours of The Twilight Zone or The Andy Griffith Show or even I Love Lucy and wouldn’t complain. When the show is that good, you can watch a few episodes, switch to something else, then come back for a few more episodes if you’re not so socially-challenged (as I am) to feel like watching all 20 episodes while you work around the house.

But Reba relies on a brand of humor that is far more silly than funny, depending on characters that are stereotypical buffoons instead of having much real substance at all.

On Sunday, TV Land mercifully runs something different, but this program is The Golden Girls. Granted, the women of this program are a much better ensemble and the jokes are much better written. But still, ten hours? I can take two episodes of this show before I’m done…for the week…with it.

One of my favorite weekend TV backup plans has been the ever-popular Forensic Files on HLN, which could have seriously considered renaming itself the “Forensic Files Channel” because of the sheer volume of episodes of that particular show it ran. But now Saturdays on HLN feature a 10-hour marathon of Death Row Stories, a program I’ve never heard of and one HLN apparently never has heard of either since it doesn’t even bother listing its information among the programs it airs. This is followed, of course, by an overnight marathon of Forensic Files.

Sundays on HLN have only a single program listed for the afternoon: The Hunt with John Walsh, an apparent remake and update of Fox’s long-running America’s Most Wanted. According to HLN’s website, this program begins at noon on Sunday. Nothing else is listed. At all. I hope you like John Walsh.

Then there’s GSN, which formerly stood for “Game Show Network” and now apparently stands for “far too many original game shows and far too few classics.” When I went that network’s website, it looked more like a Facebook page for various game apps than a cable channel that actually broadcasts games. I tried to load the schedule but nothing happened. But I can tell you this: nearly every single time I switch over there, I see Steve Harvey hosting Family Feud. Now don’t get me wrong: I love Steve Harvey on that show; I think he’s the best thing that happened to Family Feud since Richard Dawson. But Harvey’s Feud is on a local station every weeknight, is on cable every weeknight and is now on the weekend all day. As much as I love his version of the show, there’s a limit of how much anyone could possibly want to watch.

Thank goodness for Netflix and DVD sets. If I’m going to binge-watch, at least I can find something worth the time investment.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.