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Posts Tagged ‘tv’

RCN

RCN is such a crappy cable service in NY. They are relatively new, and their program titles and timings are always incorrect. The quality especially when you change channels is quite poor. But they are getting better. They used to use a filter to keep out upgraded channels from basic service, but now they have a different technology. I have been using Time Warner cable all these years. TWC has monopoly in NY, and the good thing is that you don’t need to sign up for an annual package and can cancel anytime. When parents come over from India, I get Indian channels and then cancel when they leave.

But they need to get their customer service in order. I scheduled for a technician to come over, and he would not cross the hallway to set up cable in another room instead, since that room was not scheduled over the phone. That room is in another apartment (I am combining 2 apartments), so technically in TWC’s system/computer the rooms are two different apartments. I have 2 options – one, I set up a new account with both apartments under separate accounts. But I will be charged more. Two, I send them proof of combining both apartments legally, they will evaluate, enter into their system as one apartment, and then set-up cable service in the second room as an extension which is cheaper. So complicated!! Why are we humans so governed by computers? I mean, couldn’t they just change it over the phone instead of doing the evaluation crap? What do they care if its one or two apartments?

Now I know that RCN is no better. When you call, they will keep connecting you to someone else without telling you to hold and will abruptly put you on music, it takes ages to get hold of the right person, their website doesn’t give much info, their channels are not intuitive (why can’t Fox channel just say Fox instead of WNYW), titles of episodes are incorrect, timings are ridiculous (Seinfeld ends at 1:15am instead of 1am), prime channels are all over the place (Bravo is 108), and I have to yet find Lifetime for Project Runway. Title “Tere Naam” is really a Ramayana cartoon. There is one silver lining — the Indian channels are way better!! I have Star Plus, Gold, One, and ITV. Granted not a great line-up of channels, but at least its something. And there is a Bollywood on Demand — mostly oldies, but a handful of new movies like 8×10 Tasveer. I watched Billu, Golmaal Returns, and Chup Chup Ke last weekend.

I do hope RCN catches up with TWC — I have had enough of monopoly in Manhattan.

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The curse of reality shows

When I first moved to the US, I got into reality shows because I was intrigued by the drama. My initial impression was that Americans are primarily like the ones on the Jerry Springer show, Maury’s show, and various other talk and law shows during the day. Since I was at home and did not have friends (I was very new!!!), I let these shows shape my impressions of Americans, and thought that they were a miserable lot. Once I met people, joined school, and started working, I realized how much these shows misrepresent the average American.

The trend of reality shows is catching up in India as well. While the drama is not as much, I am amazed at how much people have changed and how messed up people are on these shows. There are a few recurrent themes in reality shows:

  1. Drama is # 1, no matter what the cost
  2. Each person “plays” a character, and that character is exaggerated to the extreme
  3. Loud and obnoxious people either reach the final three or win something
  4. Ratings increase due to heightened drama
  5. Producers exploit weaknesses to the extreme, not caring for basic human decencies; racism, bullying, etc. are out in the open and the producers will just watch and tape
  6. Producers will manipulate participants just for ratings

While people who go on reality shows know what they are getting into, you still never know what to expect unless you are in that situation. Over time reality shows disgust me so much that I don’t watch them anymore. I only watch competitive reality shows, such as Germany’s Next Top Model, Project Runway US, Project Runway Canada, Project Runway Britian, Canada’s Next Top Model, Australia’s Next Top Model, and Celebrity Apprentice. I love fashion, and so enjoy these shows because they focus on the skill set and not just drama. I would, however, much rather prefer old fashioned drama and comedy any day. My favorite shows are Heroes, Law and Order, Gossip Girl (not anymore though), and Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma (hilarious!).

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I watch Gossip Girl religiously, and am kind of embarrassed to admit to watching this teen show. Its like a soap opera. I got into it when my co-workers talked about it as a “scandalous” teen show full of controversies. I was curious, watched the first season, and was hooked. I got into reading the books too, which did not hold a candle to the show mainly because I adore Leighton and Ed. They play the parts so well and are such good actors. Leighton is such a mean girl, and yet her vulnerability makes her so endearing. And Ed, he is in all his glory as a bad boy with a good heart. I cannot stand Lily and Rufus and almost gagged at their scenes together this week. Serena is best with Blair, and Nate in bromance with either Dan or Chuck. I am truly addicted to this show and its fashions. B & S looked gorgeous in their opera gowns! And B always looks so good in all her clothes.

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