15 February 2013

My Sad TV Life

I am, I’m sad to say, a TV addict. Well, everyone has some sort of addiction, especially at our time of life, so, mine is TV. I realize it is probably not the healthiest addiction around but what the heck, it’s my life. Living with the Blogger, however restricts the time I watch TV. She, who likes to blog, doesn’t particularly like watching TV, unless some great shows are on that aren’t repeats.

I do have pet hate though, when it comes to television and that is advertising. I won’t watch a 1 hour show on commercial TV that ends up taking 1 ½ hours of air time, 7 minute show, 4 minute ads for an hour and a half. So on the rare occasion, I watch commercial TV, I record it thanks to Foxtel IQ, then I can fast forward through the ads. Luckily we have the ABC, here in Australia that broadcasts shows without ads, only station promos but never in the show.

On Foxtel, I watch UK-TV, which broadcasts most of the great British shows. They do have ad breaks in the shows but only 1 every 15 minutes with only 4 ads per break, rather than 7 or 8 ads every 7 minutes, over at the commercial stations.

Then there is the choice of television shows. I personally think in the UK they produce superior shows than in the US. Don’t let my son-in-law hear me say that, though, he is an Australian actor in Hollywood. He wouldn’t agree with my statement, I’m sure. However TV, like everything else in life is a matter of choice.

With age, the memory starts to fade somehow, so watching repeats is not too bad as every show looks new again. We have a friend, our age, who says her family give her a book for Christmas, then take it back after she’s read it only to wrap it up again before the next Christmas ready to be a present again. She’s happy!

So what are my favourite TV show?

I love British crime dramas such as Lewis, Taggart, Cracker, Life on Mars when they came to any of the Foxtel channels. Lately I’ve been hooked again on Heartbeat, which I used to watch many years ago with Nick Berry and Niamh Cusack as PC Rowan and his wife Dr. Kate Rowan. But after they left the show, so did I.

PC Nick Rowan (Nick Berry) and Dr Kate Rowan (Niamh Cusack)

Now, I am watching the last few episodes, knowing that the show has been axed. It has some great characters in it and I’m afraid the village Bobbies always get their man (or woman), how clever are they. The show also has a variety of rogues in it, starting from Claude Greengrass (Bill Maynard) in the early episodes, to Vernon Scripps (Geoffrey Hughes, who said ‘Good Morning’ to me at the New Farm Deli a few years ago, when he was on at the Twelfth Night Theatre, here in Brisbane). Now in it’s dying days, it’s Peggy Armstrong (Gwen Taylor) who is creating mischief in Aidensfield.
Vernon Scripps (Geoffrey Hughes) with
David Stockwell (David Lonsdale)
About 20 episodes to go here in Oz. What am I going to do?

I’ll miss them all – How sad is that, maybe I should get a life.


  1. There are endless repeats of Heartbeat on free to air 72. My partner records them and watches them in the privacy of his bedroom.

    We don't have Foxtel, but UK TV is the only reason I would consider getting it.

    I think of him as Onslow, but sadly Geoffrey Hughes died last year.

    Tv watchers are liable to early onset dementia. I would guess intelligent and discerning tv watchers who choose what they watch, last longer than those who mindlessly 'have the tv on'.

  2. Yes, I was very sad to read that Geoffrey Hughes passed away. We went to see him on stage here in Brisbane where he appeared with Judy Cornwell (our Daisy in Keeping Up Appearances) in a very funny play.

  3. TV in small doses is good for relaxation but it should be interspersed with some physical activity. Its time to take you for another walk in the park.

  4. I'm like you Bill. I am glued to the new series of Downton Abbey. It is incredible the difference between the establishment of those days and the servants!
    "Walkies" in the park, maybe get a kite and start kite flying? Diane can do the "walkies" and you can run around with your kite???
    I had no idea that "Onslow" of "Keeping up Appearances" fame had died.
    He was just so funny to watch with dear Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "bouquet").
    Hope you are enjoying the present sun, seems it won't be there for much longer.

  5. I'm exactly the same. We subscribe to the 'free to air' TV channels from the UK, but my tastes always veer towards anything featuring comedians sitting on a panel and discussing current events in a way that not only makes me laugh but gives me an update into what's happening outside of Geneva.

    For you, I can only suggest:
    House (yep, it's American, but decent)
    Downton Abbey
    Modern Family (US)
    QI (which I think the ABC also plays there)
    Blackadder (not series one; just two to four)
    Episodes (Brits struggling in Hollywood)....

  6. Looks like we have the same TV taste, Kath. Both Diane and I love 'Downton Abbey' and are watching the latest series right now on 7. (Pre-recorded, of course), 'QI' is on 2, and was recently on every night at 8 PM, until a member of Parliament in Tasmania complained that we get too much Stephen Fry, now it's unfortunately on only once a week. I watched 'Blackadder' when it was on with Rowan Atkinson and (again) Stephen Fry. Great show. Don't know 'Episodes' but it sounds a little like 'Next Stop Hollywood' about Aussie actors struggling in Hollywood shown on 2. Very close to our hearts as our son-in-law is an Aussie actor in Hollywood. Never watched 'House' or 'Modern Family', but I'll have a go.

  7. And how much better the whole experience will be now that you have a new TV!!

  8. WHAT about Midsomer Murders, Billy B., featuring the new Inspector Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). Allegedly the cousin of retired Tom Barnaby (John Nettles).
    Anyway, the same Det-Sgt. Jones has held on.
    I suspect it clashes around the 8.30 pm Sunday slot with Downton.
    We watched the first 2 series but it got soapier and soapier as it went on!!

    You would like Brenda Blethyn as the Newcastle, Tyneside, detective: Vera. That's on 7Two Wednesdays 8.30. A very fine actress, Brenda had to copy Newcastle, U.K. girl Cheryl Cole on one of those reality Idol shows to hone her Tyneside accent.

    Vera is followed by repeats of that very large, beefy restaurateur--detective Henry Crabbe [Richard Griffiths] in Pie In The Sky. That's 10.40 on 7Two, Wednesdays.
    Judyth loves the Good Wife on Channel 10 but she records that for later viewing. It's also a Wed. show.

    As a Western fan, BB. I never miss Hell on Wheels, ABC2 Mondays, 9.30 pm. It's about building the trans-American railway straight after the Civil War so set in 1868-69.


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