Getting cable was the worst thing that ever happened to me. When I am not at work writing about pop culture, I am at home participating in pop culture. And when I am at the gym, I am watching cable; the only thing that makes cardio a pleasure is watching food shows. I am sure the people behind me hate that.
But once I find a show or genre I like -- like people pawning or selling stuff -- I stick with it, even though I know that it's all staged. I don't like American Pickers too much because I had a dream that Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz came into my house and robbed me at gunpoint, telling me how much they could get for everything.
I've come up with some ideas for cable channels that should be started because there's more than enough material to sustain them:
Nazi History Network
Nazi Meth Labs! Nazi Moon Bases! Nazi Time Travel 9/11 Conspiracy! Secrets of Hitler's Culinary Gestapo! Dark Secrets of Nazi Hair Salons! It seems every weekend on the History Channel, there is some sort of five-hour Nazi party block of grim footage. There are tons of "Hitler Reacts" clips on YouTube that they could air for hours. Why not just make a channel just for the Nazis and the Nazis alone? Oh, I see what I just did now. :(
Make a bookcase out of that old ladder you found in the alley behind your house, while baking bacon chocolate chip cookies while burning a candle made out of an avocado. Ryan Gosling working out for two hours while John Mayer plays blues guitar in the corner.
Pawn & Repo Network
No day for me is complete without at the very least an hour or two of Pawn Stars or Cajun Pawn Stars -- its greasier and lower-stakes spin-off -- or something about people getting their cars or boats taken back by the bank. When someone asks for more money for an item they are trying sell knowing full goddamn well that Rick is trying to run a business here, I can be heard yelling at the screen. You got on TV, more do you want? A handjob from Chumlee?
I'm a big fan of shows about prisons, prisoners, prison gangs and drunk tanks, and anytime that CNBC is running a Locked Up marathon, I have my secretary hold all my calls. It's odd to me that a cable channel like CNBC -- usually reserved for stock market chatter -- runs prison reality. Maybe it's to dissuade any white-collar crime?
Flip Fucking Everything
Find out how to flip your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your child, your dead tomato plant, your priest, your doctor, your dog, your cat, your house, your car, your sock drawer, your vagina, someone else's vagina, your home gym, your local church, your city council....
Fat People Network
Look, I have been chubby or husky my whole life, so this isn't controversial to me. But most reality TV is about people being too big to live, walk down the street or answer the doorbell. It's enough to make someone on the outside looking in think that we are all overweight or obese*. Overnight you can show reruns of Mike & Molly, Roseanne and Gimme A Break.
*We all are.
Talking Heads Bio Network
No no, this wouldn't be a rad channel all about David Byrne and company, it would be about talking heads that populate countdown shows and documentaries. Six solid hours of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos prepping for appearances and Anthrax's Scott Ian combing his goatee to talk about metal.
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The Fox series Cops has been around since the second Reagan administration. You mean to tell me that you couldn't base 24 hours of TV on over 25 years of car chases, crying children in diapers, and drunken-husband footage?
Sharks! Just Sharks!
Sharks being ridden by Nazis! Sharks selling a book they think was signed by Jacques Cousteau to a pawn shop! Sharks joining (Great) White Power prison gangs and getting WP tattoos! Fat Sharks Going On Diets! Sharks Talking About Other Sharks On Other Reality Shows About Sharks! Redneck Sharks Running From Shark Cops After Robbing A Shark Liquor Store! Sharks Watching Shark Week!