Repeats. Repeats. Repeats. Part 1

Guys, I’m going to tell you about one of my most traumatic television experiences. I had a family do my mum wouldn’t let me out of way back in 1983. It was a Friday night, it was 10 o’clock and as far as I was concerned, I should’ve been in front of the TV watching Cheers on Channel 4. I was obsessed – and I mean obsessed – with Cheers, especially the Sam and Diane relationship. I’d never seen anything like it (Moonlighting’s Maddy and David were a couple of years away. Incidentally, they were clearly modelled on the Laura Holt and Mr Steele dynamic in Remington Steele). As soon as I got through the door, I pressed rewind on the VCR and to cut a long story short – I’d timed the video and buggered it up. No Cheers. The episode I missed? It was entitled One For The Book. I actually cried. I was inconsolable. My mum didn’t understand why I was so upset about a TV show. What can I say? Obsession and puberty is not a nice combination. I finally saw that episode ten years later when Cheers ended and Channel 4 repeated the entire series from season 1.
Ten bloody years.
Back then, you either had to ensure you were home or that your VCR (or someone else’s) was recording otherwise – fuhgeddaboutit. These days it’s all about ‘Second Chance Sundays’ or ‘Catch-Up Tuesdays’ or whatever other name broadcasters contrive for early repeat showings. Is there an urgency to watch trashy period drama The Tudors on a Friday night? No. I can watch it again the very next day. Do I really have to plonk myself in front of The X Factor on a Saturday night? Not really. I’ve got 24,432,635 chances to catch it on ITV1 or ITV2 in the coming week. Did I make a date with Victoria Beckham: Coming to America on ITV1 or The Kylie Show? Nope – one guess why. Even premier US dramas get the instant repeat treatment: Californication, Ugly Betty, Dexter, Heroes, The Sopranos (when it was on E4), House (The Hallmark Channel used to repeat it in the wee hours after screening it earlier in the evening) et al.
I’m not complaining…exactly. Instantaneous repeats are convenient; there is no denying that. And broadcasters have to fill their sister digital/cable/satellite channels with something I suppose. However, I am beginning to develop an incredibly laissez-faire attitude towards certain programmes because I know they’ll be on again in the coming week. I’m not sure how good that is for broadcasters. And in addition to TV, one can also catch-up online. Fact is, it’s virtually impossible to miss event-TV now. Who’d’ve thunk it? Monsieur, with these repeats, you’re really spoiling us. 
I don’t mind when it’s a show I’m enamoured with ("He Marvin Gayed his own nephew. The boss of the family"), but endless repeats of Tango-skinned lollipop Vicky Becks ? Puhleez. Whenever I watch One For The Book now, I still remember those ten years of hurt. I would’ve given anything for what we have now so Famouseccles, my Spurs-supporting friend, you asked me for my opinion on repeats; this is part 1. I’ll save part 2 for Christmas because I’ve seen the forthcoming schedules. You’ll never guess what’s coming on yet again…
Today I am mostly lovin’ – When preconceptions get smashed to pieces; Will Mellor was a revelation in episode 3 of The Street.
Today I am mostly hatin’ – Still no DVD release for series 3 of Just Good Friends and its wonderful 1984 Christmas Special. Good thing I’ve got them both on VHS…
MSN Editor Coops
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7 Responses to Repeats. Repeats. Repeats. Part 1

  1. Amaechi says:

    We\’ve been slaves to broadcasters\’ programming schedules for way too long now. I, for one, welcome the glut of \’repeat\’ and \’plus 1\’ channels. I think the BBC, however, are far behind in this respect. For instance, missing Match of the Day on Saturday is life-shattering as the only repeat is at 8am Sunday morning. Ridiculous. If you are out on Saturday night, how the *"!? are you expected to catch the repeat on Sunday morning? Okay, this may be due to agreement they have but there are more examples. Anyway, I recommend everyone gets Sky+, something similar, or learns how to record TV on their PC. Making your own schedules is the way forward.

  2. ann marie says:

    I find that this repeat TV is too much!!!!
    i think that i watch less on tv now then i did before, because if i missed it i missed it, i liked having to watch the tv because who know when they would show it again. Now i just have to turn the telly on and there it is again. Not to mention its not that long before I buy it on DVD. Do i really need to have all that much access to one programm?

  3. Coops - says:

    Ninja Girl – nice to see you back. The Friends channel (sometimes known as E4) puts me in mind of the Only Fools And Horses Channel (otherwise known as UKTV Gold), the Katie and Peter channel (ITV2), the Will and Grace channel (Living), the Top Gear channel (Dave) and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air channel (Trouble). Malice, as a footy fan, I must agree re: Match Of The Day. And (no name), you raise an interesting point. How many times do I need to see The X Factor in one week?

  4. Aleczandra says:

    Hi MSN Editor-san.Will you be my new friend?

  5. Unknown says:

    To be Fair, The repeats arnt really the main Issue with Television Viewing, adverts are. Infact, I think it should be law to restrict the minutes a set of adverts allowed between programmes and halfway intermissions. 5 minutes of adverts before a show or Documentary, followed by (quite literally speaking here, Expecially in the case of the Discovery Channel) 4 – 6 Minutes of show (or documentary), After which sometimes a nasty 5 – 8 Minutes of adverts! more over, the SAME adverts that was on before the show!
    Also, Adverts that advertise shows are a REAL pain in the neck. I have a Sky Viewing planner! Can i not choose what to watch from the long description of of every programme when I highlight it and Press \’i\’? Besides, they\’re Only advertising shows to improve ratings so they can sell advertising space to companys at a higher price anyway… Thus, we, the people who Pay for the channels have to suffer.
    I can honestly say I have not been enclined to purchase anything Ive seen in an Advert Since weve had Sky.
    Enough Rant 😀

  6. ian says:

    I used to be against repeats. But looking at the quality of some of the new programes, i wish there we\’re more showing

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