Slim pick­ings

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - TIM MARTAIN

BROWS­ING through the free- to- air pro­gram sched­ules look­ing for TV high­lights this week was par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult. Apart from a few di­a­monds in the rough, there’s pre­cious lit­tle worth watch­ing.

WIN is show­ing re­peats of CSI, re­peats of The Men­tal­ist, re­peats of The Big Bang The­ory and re­peats of Two And A Half Men.

South­ern Cross’ sched­ule for the week is prac­ti­cally con­sumed by cov­er­age of the Aus­tralian Open Tennis from 11am un­til af­ter mid­night each day, which is fine if you’re a sports fan, but lim­it­ing if you’re not.

The Ten Net­work ap­pears to have seized this op­por­tu­nity to roll out all of its new stuff when there is lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion from the other ma­jor net­works.

High­lights on TDT this week in­clude all new episodes of big favourites Glee, The Good Wife, Law & Or­der: SVU and Modern Fam­ily, a new se­ries of The Big­gest Loser Aus­tralia, as well as new se­ries New Girl ( pic­tured), Home­land and Young Tal­ent Time.

ABC and SBS are con­tin­u­ing to do what they do best, with an as­sort­ment of doc­u­men­taries and qual­ity dra­mas and come­dies through­out the prime- time hours, most of them first- run pro­gram­ming.

How­ever since these two net­works al­ways lag far, far be­hind the com­mer­cial net­works in rat­ings, there’s no real rea­son to be­lieve any­thing will change. Qual­ity pro­gram­ming rarely trumps com­mer­cial main­stream, even at this time of year when com­mer­cial main­stream is a tele­vi­sual waste­land.

Of course, TV pro­gram­ming al­ways lapses into near cata­to­nia over sum­mer, so it is to be ex­pected.

The tra­di­tional rea­son­ing is that over sum­mer, with longer day­light hours, peo­ple are more likely to spend their evenings out en­joy­ing the weather, rather than hud­dled in­side watch­ing TV.

But if you do find your­self at home on a sum­mer evening, this means there’s pre­cious lit­tle to pick from on the box.

So I tend to treat sum­mer as a time to catch up on all the stuff I didn’t have time for through the main rat­ings pe­riod, when the sched­ule tends to be full of over­lap­ping pro­gram­ming.

Grab a box set of that re­ally good TV se­ries all your friends were talk­ing about but you never got around to watch­ing, and just watch an episode ev­ery now and then when you’re at a loose end, as you would a good book.

Or maybe get a few movies you’ve been mean­ing to check out and leave them sit­ting next to the TV so you re­mem­ber to watch them on one of those wall- to- wall- stuff- all TV nights.

Or, and here’s a rad­i­cal sug­ges­tion, just turn the tube off and do some­thing more pro­duc­tive while you don’t have to worry about miss­ing some­thing good on TV.

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