Sunday, February 10, 2008


"Of course it isn't necessary, but sometimes a little luxury is necessary." - snooty in-law
"What the hell does that even mean?" - Marie

I'd been watching too many DVD reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, a reliably funny, albeit unglamorous show. So in an effort to reduce my dependence on old sitcoms (last year, it was nonstop The Office, so overplayed in our household that both spawn and I would dream nightly of the characters), I splurged and got digital cable last week. An outright lie--I got it because the thought of not getting 24/7 election coverage this year in English seemed unbearable. So now I'm happily cocooned in BBC and CNN International, no other soundtrack even necessary. Another blatant lie. Because with digital cable, you get about a dozen music-only channels, a decent international mix, though my mainstay so far's been the Opera channel. Washing dishes is so much sexier with Don Giovanni.

Other perks I'd missed from my previous incarnation as watcher of digital cable:

- onscreen TV guide, making it easier to keep track of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations," which seems to follow no rhyme or reason in scheduling
- the helpful "Info" button, particularly living abroad where movie titles get changed (and not always logically translated either). It's kinda like immersing oneself in a twisted game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." I see an incomprehensible movie title on Info, take note of the actor names--Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson--and 1, 2, 3 seconds later... scream verily unto myself: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days! Oh-so fun. Ready to play along? Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham-Carter, Tom Hulce ... (no Googling allowed!)
- more frequent current eps of The Daily Show with my beloved Jon
- More Asia coverage, or just international coverage, and not just news stuff. Yesterday I caught a half-hour show on my favorite Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan
- possible Tifaux feature

Having said that, the BIGGEST nonperk is the loss of our SAP function! SAP, if you don't know, allows you to undub any program and restore it to its original language. With SAP, we were able to turn the Simpsons back into English. Needless to say, someone in the house who's not me isn't very happy with digital cable. And to assuage guilt, yesterday someone who was me went out to buy him a DVD collection of Futurama.

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