Teresa Holland: Nothing to watch… again

Teresa Holland

There’s nothing I want to watch on TV. It’s true. Maybe you have mumbled this too as you search and search to finally settle on watching a favorite movie for maybe the fiftieth time. I know one person who keeps putting on “The Martian” so much that even their partner is starting to know the lines just through the process of osmosis.

I have surfed my 300-plus channels, the antenna channels that can be snatched out of the air for free, and the current rotation of the streaming channels that you add on for a fee. Maybe a viewer shouldn’t be so picky. But since I am the kind of TV watcher that even many re-runs are brand new to me, I think this says something.

It is unbelievable that there is not something entertaining or interesting to watch. Let me look at the Channel Guide again. Of the 300-plus channels many are repeated, only some have HD behind the channel numbers.

Then there are infomercials such as: new gadget will clean my house, we can fix your saggy arms, tell spider veins goodbye, make your water soft, and get rid of COVID-19. That last one looks good. Maybe we all need to watch that one, except it looks like it has been running for a while and our COVID numbers are climbing.

There are some shopping networks that changes programs from hour to hour, but you might have to watch for hours to get the doorbuster deals. Got popcorn? But then, how much new cookware, jewelry, electronic gadgets does one person need? Wait, they have vacuums?

There are a few movies and there are more channels where you can rent movies or sports events. How much do they cost?

But then, I am already paying how much for my cable bundle? Really, this is all I get for more than a few steps up from the basic package. Enough is enough! The cable bill creep is out of hand. Maybe I will just join my “unplugged” family and friends.

So, to test the waters, I made the dreaded call to my cable company to see if they were in the mood to bargain, so I could get a better deal. Mind you, this takes time, so it is not something that can be done if you are in a hurry. But my contract has been up for a couple of years and my bill has hit the pinnacle of Mount Everest for cable companies. Besides I was armed with a stack of good deals that I can use for leverage that came in the mail from their competitor, just waiting to be acted on.

One of my officemates used to live for the day when she could bargain again. She knew to the day when her contract was up and marked it every year in bright red on her Outlook calendar. She seemed to glaze over in excitement as she prepared for the relished fight, especially when she knew for certain that she would win.

Not me, though. I’m willing to pay until it hurts since I can’t get the real TV lover to take over the battle.

But I finally did it! I made the dreaded call. With that call, it was reiterated what I already knew: no one who streams is truly unplugged. After all, you need high-speed internet to stream (not slow speed unless you like to watch buffering or not get connected at all during prime time).

At my request, the nice customer service representative went through each piece of my bundle. She mentioned my landline phone. Yes, we still have one, though in truth it is plugged into the computer and not into the actual landline. Hey, wait a minute, I said. How about if I just plug my landline back into the jack in the wall? It would then be a true landline again. There was dead silence. The jack in the wall? Sure, we have one in almost every room. How much would that cost?

She replied, “I have never had anyone ask me that before… I don’t think that will work anymore.”

Suddenly, I could feel myself getting instantly older as I suspected that just maybe this young rep didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about.

In the end, I did get a new (same) bundle with a better cost. Yeah… they even threw in a new remote to go hunting with since the old one wore out six months ago. It seems like Christmas!

Maybe I will get a bigger antenna for my birthday.