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