I’ve run out of Veronica Mars episodes! I know I jumped on the band wagon a bit late and have doing the saturation viewing thing, but I hate it when you catch up and then have to wait for the new stuff to turn up. I happened to notice that the show is being broadcast here (was an accident actually, as I’ve not been in the habit of watching any commercial TV for the last couple of years), but as expected, it’s nearly a full season behind where they’re up to in the States. TV here is up to S02 E13 “Aint No Magic Mountain High Enough” where the Winter Carnival cash box went missing, whereas the lucky US viewers are waiting on S03E10 I think….
Why on earth should we be so far behind? If anyone with a decent broadband connect can download the latest episodes in the comfort of their own living rooms, within hours of it being broadcast in the US, why are the networks here a year behind in any show? We get screwed around something fierce by the networks here. Just thinking about how the Channel Nine network handled the whole West Wing thing still p!sses me off.
For anyone who never followed Channel Nine’s handling of the West Wing in Oz…. Channel Nine started showing the West Wing, at a not too inhuman, 9.30 pm time slot on a Tuesday night. And that went a long politely enough for about the first two seasons. Then they decided to start running it at 10pm… then 10.30pm… and by the time they were showing the Fourth season, it was on at 11.30pm and articles were appearing in the TV guides saying they felt the content was “too cerebral” for most Australian viewers. I like that… the poor ratings weren’t because Australians aren’t overly familiar with the American political system… No! It was that we’re too stupid to understand it, according to Channel Nine. So as we’re heading into the fifth season, they advertised it all summer as returning in February, and we looked forward to setting our VCRs to catch it at an increasingly unpredictable and ungodly hour. And when it returned, they aired two episodes of season five, and then announced they were axing it. 😐 No explanation.
It was at this point, we started ferretting around amongst the FNPC (our Friendly Neighbourhood Pirating Community) to get us a West Wing fix. And did we feel bad about accessing or encouraging illegally gained content? No way! And so it stayed, the only way to get hold of the remaining three seasons was from people downloading it illegally. Channel Nine pulled a similar stunt with The Sopranos – showing it regular like and at a polite hour, but it became increasingly sporadic, and at a later and later time slot. Then they annoyed us a couple of years ago, by advertising the new season all summer, and then dumping us with reruns when it returned!! I think trained monkeys could do a better job of programming over there at Chanel Nine. So more hitting the FNPC for episodes of that one too.
And lets not get onto ROME! This I thought was a pretty damn good show, engaging characters, interesting historical context, enough action and bloodshed to keep the boys interested. Not to mention, earthy enough that you would think twice about recommending it to your Grandma! But it got axed after one episode. Just one episode was aired before it got pulled. Didn’t even give a chance for the watercooler to work to see if episode two got a better audience. Sigh… so no surprise that more download limit got chewed up there too.
The long and short of the story is it’s been a couple of years since I’ve watched anything on commercial free to air TV.
God bless the internet.