The rage of the frustrated couch potato

2008-01-26 00:00

“Load shedding is screwing up my telly watching” is a busy discussion forum on the Internet at the moment. It’s a great forum to vent.

One user writes: “Spending up to three hours in traffic, due to every robot in Egoli being on ‘power saving’ mode, is one thing, but then to come home only to miss my fave show … or having set the PVR/DVD recorder, only to find that a power outage zapped the recording.” (Swearing omitted.)

According to the load-shedding schedule, people in Hayfields and Lincoln Meade who are hoping to get into the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice are going to have a problem every Thursday, seeing as the show starts at 7.30 pm, but electricity only comes on at 8 pm.

In SA it’s now labelled “Private PVRactice”.

Routines are getting trashed. Lunchtime therapy sessions with Dr Phil have been substituted with Solitaire (with real cards — no computers), and dozens of people don’t know what to do at 5.45 pm because they’re not phoning into 3Talk. Or if they do, they have to ask what the discussion today is about before they can add their five cents worth.

This whole thing is going to get out of hand. You’ll be watching Brooke telling Ridge how she really wants to be with … *bop!* Can you imagine the outcry? This is how psychopaths emerge.

Sod’s Law says you’ll be eating raw vegetables for dinner and just when you think it’s safe at 9.30 pm during CSI: Miami, the power will trip — except for the last two minutes when it’ll come on and you’ll be left with an infamous one-liner from David Caruso, which won’t make any sense.

The power tripped in the middle of the first episode of Damages, which stars Glenn Close.

A few days later I inquired about the situation with M-Net spokeswoman Lani Lombard. “We’ve had many complaints from viewers who couldn’t watch their favourite shows,” she told me. “So far the most complaints were for the first episode of Damages.”

Well what do you know?

“We also get daily complaints about Binnelanders.”

Is that so?

“For the people who missed the first episode of Damages, we re-broadcast the episode after last night’s movie,” she said.

Oh? While most people are asleep?

“Viewers who miss Binnelanders and Egoli can catch up on episodes on the websites of the shows,” she said.

Good idea. I logged on, Googled the show, found a site, hit Enter, and guess what? The power cut.

Oh well, some forward planning seems to be the key. Remember that tomorrow night, Borat may have his “movie film” opening minutes snuffed. It might be an idea to phone a friend in an unaffected load-shedding zone and offer to bring popcorn.

When to catch repeat shows

For M-Net viewers, just remember that all 7.30 pm and 7 pm shows are re-broadcast the next working day at 5 pm, while 8.30 pm shows are usually aired on Sundays (and fortunately load shedding is light on Sundays).

SABC 3’s prime shows are re-broadcast at 11 pm if you can stay awake that long, and some comedy series after midnight on Saturday nights. But not all SABC shows are repeated.

Soaps are always repeated and luckily for you, most local soaps, with the exception of e-TV’s Scandal, are repeated at least twice again. (SABC is famous for double airings on two different channels). Egoli viewers can watch Egoli marathons on Friday night from around 10.30 pm. etv international soaps such as Sunset Beach, Passions and The Young and the Restless are not repeated. But really we’re talking about international soaps here — missing a day will not harm anything seeing as they move so slowly anyway.

Hit international SABC 2 shows are repeated on weekends and weekday nights at 11 pm, while comedies on SABC 1 are repeated on a Thursday night from 10 pm. — WR.

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