Bundle

I pay Xfinity something like $200 per month for home phone service, digital cable television, and high speed internet. And this is ri-goddamn-diculous.

If you’re not a telemarketer or working for a political campaign of some sort and have called my home phone in the last two years… well, hi Mom! Thanks for reading. I do not need a home phone, yet I have one because somehow it’s cheaper to own one in conjunction with internet and cable service than not to.

The internet I need desperately. This should probably be more expensive. And likely it actually is, but they Trojan Horse the cost of it into your bill via the home phone service you don’t actually need. Having home phone service probably is like negative cost and actually makes you money, but you’ll never know because you’re busy being too cool for Harlem Shake videos and are still more of a Keyboard Cat man all these years later.

With regard to cable, we’re well past a saturation point of creating shit people actually need or want to see and have delved into the realm of the superfluously absurd. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece about a post-bundle cable world and the challenges associated with such a proposition. Distill this problem down to its essence: Turgid corporations who can’t overcome traditionalist, uncreative thinking.

Since we remain unburdened by such arbitrary constraints, let’s get in the spirit of this random motherfucker and select 20 channels for a set price of $100 per month. I can handle that. I want to hear your channel selections in the comments. Here are mine, presented in the actual order I thought of including them:

Root Sports: Summer is a wasteland of television, and since we’re baseball freaks, it’s good to have a Rockies game on basically every night of the week. I like to read about national sports stories, but I can’t watch a game just for the sake of watching a game. I need a rooting interest. So I choose the regional sports network for the Rox and CSU. If there were a way to turn off George Frazier though, I would. Can someone please set him up with a hooker or something, so he can resign in a blaze of shameful glory and Jeff Huson can do all the games with Drew Goodman?

Altitude: Ditto here. Avs, Nugs, some Mountain West stuff and horrible looking production values, graphics, and music. It’s everything you want out of a regional sports network!

FX: This is basically all the UFC prelims, a few feature cards of its own, the Ultimate Fighter reality show, Archer, Louie and much of the best television available.

I needed to sexy up this article.

TBS: The vast majority of my television consumption is totally passive. I’m looking for background noise. So of course I’m choosing the network that shows hours upon hours of Big Bang Theory re-runs and Seinfeld and Back to the Future and The Shawshank Redemption and shit. TBS is sort of like Chili’s. You always just sort of end up there and never have a bad time. A “Friends” re-run and one of the Austin Powers movies… I don’t know, the second one with Heather Graham and the mojo… it’s sort of like 2-for-1 Coors Lights and a skillet of queso.

Travel Channel: This is weekend morning television. Although once they lose Bourdain, the watchability here goes down precipitously. Especially if they continue to focus on countdown shows featuring fat humps shoving fried shit into their faces. If I wanted that, I’d subscribe to Food Network, which I don’t. Which reminds me, Chopped really needs to be on a different channel. That show rules.

HBO: This probably counts for like 5 of my stations, but I don’t care. It’s worth the cost. This is the best network. They get all the best shit. This is the rich, white cunt of networks that is for some reason nice to you.

IFC: Basically here for Portlandia and other weird comedy stuff I don’t watch anymore because Kristin and I are home at the same time now. When she used to work Sundays, I’d always catch up on Portlandia. Now I never catch it. The wife doesn’t get it. This is roughly the only time I don’t get her.

Fred Armisen can play ANYONE

AMC: The likelihood of their incredible run of great television continuing is likely unsustainable, I realize that (See: The Killing, Comic Book Men, Season 2 of The Walking Dead). But I figure if I’ve got limited channels, I might finally force myself to watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad all the way through. I find Mad Men incredibly boring and Breaking Bad too punishing. But I’m not living up to my pretentious white duties, so I feel guilty about not watching both those shows.

NBC: Out of all the broadcast networks, this is the one I watch most and it’s only because of Parenthood, Parks & Recreation and Community (now that 30 Rock is over). That’s probably not a good sign for network television.

USA: I typically catch about 20 minutes of Monday Night Raw every week during commercials for whatever the hell else we’re watching. I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, and given this is pretty much the entirety of my USA viewing, that should tell you where we’re going with this list.

MLB Network: Stuck way the hell at the ass end of the dial, I would watch this more if it had better position. As it stands, what the hell am I doing in the ghetto 400 section of the cable guide? It’s like driving to the deep shitty part of town because your asshole friend convinced you they have great pho there. Nothing is worth this drive, dickmunch.

Spike TV: Remember when they launched this network promising Star Trek: TNG reruns and three shitty cartoons? No? Okay then. I like Auction Hunters and Bar Rescue a lot, and will watch Bellator if I finish the internet and there’s nothing else on. There’s a certain idiot charm to this station I can’t quite place.

AXS TV: Mark Cuban’s pet project that shows concerts all weekend and softcore porn at night. This channel is largely moronic, but will occasionally stumble upon showing something brilliant like Fracknation. Also, Pleepleus! DRINK!

Drink!

Fox: This channel is here for national sporting events because I’m running out of ideas.

CBS: So is this one. ABC does not make the cut. I have not watched ABC since they aired that weird season of Scrubs, I don’t think. Also not here: ESPN. ESPN is fucking godawful with its constant parade of lunkhead former athletes one after the other and prominently featuring loathsome talking haircuts like Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd. I’m openly rooting for the Worldwide Leader to fail. Also, I watch How I Met Your Mother on CBS. Sometimes 2 Broke Girls too.

G4: How many channels is that? Christ, only 16? Ok, that’s enough. I think they’re rebranding this one into Esquire TV or something equally repugnant. I don’t care anymore. If I only choose 16, can I get a discount?

After going through this exercise, I got bored halfway through and realized I don’t want a la carte options. I sort of don’t even want a TV after critically examining the way I consume it. That’s a strange realization to have. And probably not a good sign for the future of cable.

I’m going outside.

3 comments on “Bundle

  1. Lee S. Hart says:

    It angers me that network channels have to be included. Even I don’t have cable I could get those channels, but now you’re going to force me to use channel space in this package. Damn cable company. Mine is mostly the same as yours except I don’t really watch AMC, I know I probably should but whatever. Also I would have Comedy Central. I am a little surprised that is absent from your list.

    1. Jon Eks says:

      I basically never watch Comedy Central anymore. I know I need to get on the Key & Peele bandwagon, and I haven’t seen Kroll Show yet. Otherwise I don’t watch much on there.

  2. CassieB says:

    I am disgusted and appalled that Bravo, Lifetime and OWN has been left off this list. You’ve changed.

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