Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fear and Loathing on the Weather Channel

The Weather Channel people are nuts. Hurricane season will convince you they’re crazed if you don’t already think so. Watch them for spell. Once in awhile one of the weatherpersons slips and says something like, “Yes! We think this one will make it to a Category 3 and it has a great chance of making landfall!” Then later on you hear, “Well, as you see, Carmella didn’t make it- fell apart in the Caribbean, but we still have hopes for Dexter.” I find it whoppingly strange that the directors don’t give the weathercasters hell when they give it up about how much they root for disasters, but what do I know about keeping a 24/7 weather channel going? Did you know they have a daytime show called, “It Could Happen Tomorrow!” Yeah. They make stuff up.

Ah, “daytime.” I now sometimes watch daytime. ( Oh by the way, in the U.S., if you mention “daytime,” you’re talking about TV. We all agree on that, at least.) For most of my life I easily avoided TV before the 6 pm news. Way too busy to sit down in the middle of the day to listen to talk, follow a soap, sleep to the sports channel. My ex-husband watched golf on weekends when he wasn’t playing golf, but I was excused from either misery. When my dad was still alive and pretty much confined to his armchair, he’d have one sport or another on TV, sound muted. Tennis was his thing, but he’d watch them all, even bowling if there were no other choices. Damn if I didn’t get drawn into the Tour de France every year for the last five years. The scenery! Oh,God.

Just lately, while lurking about on my own, I’ve become a Turner Classic Movies fan. Not every day, mind you, but if my heart keeps me going slow or the Florida heat keeps me in the house, I may indulge. That’s how I happened to watch “The Cobweb,” starring Lauren Bacall, Richard Widmark, Charles Boyer, Gloria Grahame and Lillian Gish. Some cast, huh? Vincente Minelli directed it, and John Houseman produced it. The film was about who was going to pick the new drapes for the library of an upscale mental hospital. All those talented, smart people spent considerable time and energy on this amazingly dumb movie. There’s a scene in it where Gloria Grahame, eyes blazing and in a fit of jealous, defiant, and yet somehow sexy rage, climbs a handy ladder with an enormous curtain rod and hangs her curtains, damn him!

Anyways, between the nutjobs on the Weather Channel and the general freakiness of some of the stuff on TCM and its ilk, I don’t think I’ll take over Dad’s armchair and watch “daytime” too often yet. Maybe only when James Franco decides to do a spin on General Hospital. Now that was cool.

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