[Mostly] Unmissed Words

Weekend Assignment #197: Missing Words

The question:

Now that the WGA strike has had lots of time to affect the prime time television schedules, how is it affecting you as a viewer? What show do you miss most, aside from reruns?

The writer’s strike isn’t affecting me much at all. I’m not a big TV viewer. In fact, there are only three shows I watch with any regularity:

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • The Colbert Report
  • Boston Legal

Of these, the only one I sorely miss is The Daily Show. Jon Stewart’s take on the news is a real wake-up call. Only he can make it clear how absurd things are getting in this country and the world.

Although I enjoy Colbert, I can take him or leave him.

Boston Legal didn’t start going into reruns until recently — at least I don’t think so. For all I know, it might still be running new episodes.

I watch all television on DVR (Dish Network’s version of TiVo). I absolutely cannot tolerate commercial breaks. We have our DVR set up to record the programs we watch, then, when we have time to watch them, we do. I’d gotten into the habit of watching Stewart and Colbert each night, the day after the show was “taped.” When the writer’s strike hit, we just turned off the DVR timers so the reruns wouldn’t fill the hard drives.

Last night, I asked my husband to turn on the timers for David Letterman. He’s back at work now with his writers and would probably make a good substitute for Jon Stewart.

I occasionally watch science, technology, and history shows in PBS, Discovery, History, etc. But I don’t think any of those are new and have no idea if any of that kind of programming is affected by the strike.

I should mention that my husband watches a lot of television — at least 2 to 3 hours an evening. He’s perfectly happy with reruns (apparently) but also watches sports and movies. He also has a much higher tolerance for commercials and can even watch live television.

Extra Credit: how are you spending the time instead?

I’m definitely spending more time reading. I’m preparing for my helicopter Instrument rating, which requires me to read and understand a lot of very unintuitive material — things like tracking VORs, making procedure turns, and doing other things I still don’t quite get. So each evening, I settle down with one of my study guides and read a chapter or two. Sometimes I take notes.

Yesterday, we bought an easy chair for the bedroom so I wouldn’t have to read in bed. Reading this stuff in bed puts me to sleep.

As a writer, I’m siding with the writers. I believe that writers should get royalties or residuals (or whatever they’re called in this instance) on anything they write that’s sold. While some people argue that it might only be pennies per episode of a show that’s sold on iTunes (for example), a lot of pennies do add up to dollars. If a writer is involved in a hit television show that sells millions in the digital markets, why shouldn’t they benefit?

For the record, I’d love to write for television. One of my dreams is to be part of a research and writing team for an educational show on Discovery or PBS. I could do that. And I’d love to go on the road to some of those exotic places while they filmed scenes and talked to experts and locals. Great stuff.

2 thoughts on “[Mostly] Unmissed Words

  1. “science, technology, and history shows in PBS, Discovery, History, etc. ”

    All those shows are written by non union writers. There’s a tiny handful of production companies that supply PBS who are WGA signatories.

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