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Inspirational Reads

Dear Weather Channel

January 25, 2010

Dear Weather Channel:

Suck it.

Do you know what your main role in life is? Here's a hint: it's in your name, and I'm not talking about the word "channel" nor am I speaking of the word "the". That's right! Weather! Perhaps we can sink through that thick concrete cranium of yours yet.

Now, I understand that, much like every other network in the entire world you focus on New York and Boston all the time. I also understand that you're centered in Atlanta, so we get to see that oh-so-exciting weather prospectus for such exotic locales as Macon and Warner-Robins and Screven possibly more than, you know, we should. And then there's the inexplicable "Hey, Omaha, the sun is coming up! Whee!!!" I'm willing to overlook all this because every ten minutes, you show me the local radar, at what time the sun will rise tomorrow, and what phase the moon will be in for the next four weeks.

Ah, see, here's the rub: you're not showing me those things every ten minutes. Instead, I sit through five minutes of commercials for whatever piece of contrite kitsch that the Late Billy Mays would (or still is...eerie) hock in that delightfully endearing brazen and brash fashion of his. When it's not a commercial for the latest and greatest (and shittiest) piece of detritus that I'm opting not to purchase and to clutter up my home, it's a commercial for one of your other shows, which are only peripherally involved in the weather. Or it's a commercial featuring Al Roker.


Do you know when Al Roker was last cool? It's when he was interviewed on Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast. And that might have been because I was drunk and maybe had a bit of a contact high: my year in Merlini Hall seems to just fly by (in hindsight). And I'm pretty sure Al Roker was cool only because Zorak called his ass out and subsequently fried him with whatever energy weapon Zorak wielded with impunity.

And yet, here I am, tuning in to see if I have to grab a jacket on my way out the door, and instead of an extended forecast, I get Al Roker's face on my screen. "Aren't I funny?" he says into the camera. "Laugh with me! Hyuk hyuk hyuk!!!" No, you're not funny. Go back to wherever you escaped and stop ruining my weather channel viewing experience!

While I'm speaking of Al Roker, could you have found perhaps a slightly more annoying co-host to go along with his aw-shucks hokum? Yes, Stephanie Abrams is easy on the eye, is probably a nice person, but damn, is there another person on national television screaming to be featured on "What Not to Wear" more than she? Even I can see that, and I can barely dress myself without looking like a clown--a drunken clown at that.

And seriously, if you're going to continue to feature programs revolving around the Stephanie Abrams experience (*shudder*), can you do us all a favor and turn her fucking microphone off. I've heard dogs with diarrhea that are more engaging in conversation than she. Not that I want to say that she's a touch...insipid...but when I hear the word "vapid", immediately her image comes to mind. I hope you've got a good insurance plan for your employees, because I'm sure Mike Bettes goes home every night and drinks himself to the point where he no longer desires the sweet release that opening his veins would provide.

Okay, okay, I might have gotten a bit off track. I originally began penning this letter so that you would stop with the fucking "specialty" programming. Seriously, I spent way too fucking long today trying to catch a glimpse of the immediate weather forecast, and yet all I got was commercials for your shitty shows embedded within those same shitty shows!

And let's discuss these shows, shall we? You call it "When Weather Changed History", but I can only guess that it's because "When Weather Didn't Really Have Much of an Affect on the Somewhat Historical Events Outlined in Our Programs" doesn't have much of a ring to it. But, that would be what we refer to as "truth in advertising". Besides, the History Channel is where I typically go if I want to see documentaries about historical events.

And then there's "Storm Stories." *sigh* This could be about five minutes worth of a show, to be honest. I realize that it's supposed to be about human hardship, so that we feel sorry for our fellow human beings, but after so many minutes of footage of bemulleted billhillies who try to drive their truck through the raging flood waters of the Chattahoochee, the program becomes a touch...repetitive.

(That means "the same thing over and over again", Stephanie).

We won't even go into the failed experiment of showing us weather-themed movies on Friday night. When did that finally sink in that it was a bad idea? After the second showing of The Perfect Storm or the third replay of March of the Penguins? Somewhere, Morgan Freeman is shaking his head, ashamed that he was involved in such a farcical attempt at garnering an audience.

And now, you're springing more shows on us. Not satisfied with drowning inbreds, you've ratcheted things up a level with "Cantore Stories". Apparently, Jim Cantore, perhaps the least charismatic cast member of the Weather Channel's vast array of meteorologists (barring Greg Forbes), will now be interviewing the wives and mothers of those drowned rednecks. Scintillating! Derivative!!! I can certainly see why the seven-day forecast is being preempted for this!

And then there's Weather Proof, which features our favorite socially-inept Weather Bunny, Stephanie Abrams. From what I can gather in the previews (which are often and typically shown in place of the weather I tune in to learn about), this features someone with a giant fan and a wall with a window in it, and they throw shit at the wall and window. Wow! Look! Glass breaks when hit with a terra cotta pot! That's edge-of-my-seat excitement right there. And then, wow, Stephanie Abrams yells out something about how she didn't expect that! Yes, I'll be sure to stop tuning into Mythbusters for this. Can we get Stephanie Abrams to wear a beret like Jamie Hyneman? Preferably shoved down her throat?

In short, please, stop with the shitty "programming". You are the Weather Channel. Please show us weather.

And, perhaps, the occasional mud wrestling match between Heather Tesch and Jenn Carfagno.


A Weather Fan

P.S. Bring back Sharon Resultan, like, yesterday. And give her some more really tight leopard-print tops.


Cora said...

Pffft! I know! And now Cartoon Network has *gasp* shows with actual people! WTF????

Elliott said...

Thankfully, the local cable company has its own channel dedicated to the local weather. I never watch it, because I live in Florida and the weather is usually pretty predictable.

But now I need to watch, because I need the opportunity to use the phrase "...drinks himself to the point where he no longer desires the sweet release that opening his veins would provide."

Scope said...

Dear Frustrated Weather Channel Viewer;

There's this new thing called "the internet" where people who want to know what the ACTUAL weather is / shall be. Therefore, we had to invent programs like, "When Lightening STRIKES TWICE" and "That Snowball In Hell" to try to justify our existence.

Warm front wishes,
The Weather Channel

adrienzgirl said...

Don't you have a local channel with a website with live doppler?

Hell, even us rednecks in Jacksonville can get our weather delivered right to our phone anytime we want it!

Just sayin'

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ Cora: I know! For what it's worth, those shows received such abysmal reviews that they've by and large been yanked. Although, I really enjoyed "Survive This", but mostly because I really like Les Stroud.

@ Elliot: Yeah, we have a local news and weather channel here. It's alright. The problem is, the radar is broken half the time, and so it's never very reliable. Plus, the "meteorologists" are horrid.

@ Scope: Ah, so, what you're saying is this is yet another reactionary bad decision by NBC to make up for the fact that they didn't think the Internet would take off. I can buy that.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ Adrienzgirl: I don't have a cell phone. And our local weather teams are...well, let's just say not infallible. That's the nice way of putting it, right?

kate said...

I'm a big fan of the "It Could Happen" show on the Weather Channel - you know, instead of showing me what IS happening outside, you're going to spend an hour showing me what COULD happen if a giant, soul-sucking tornado dropped down in the middle of downtown Dallas during rush hour. *sigh* I just wanna know if I need to take an umbrella to work...

June said...

"I've heard dogs with diarrhea that are more engaging in conversation than she"

That is one of the best lines I have read in a long time!!

I don't watch TV because of commercials.

red said...

Scope totally beat me to my smart ass comment. I hate when that happens!!!

Eric said...

Ohh, you've just given me a great idea to pitch a whole new line of Weather Channel (Tha WC) programming. I'm thinking of a 'Spring Break Weather in Miami' series with lots of bikini girls frolicking around to the latest 15 minute bands and 'Weatherized Cribs' in which rap 'artists' and other 'celebrities' discuss low-e windows, caulking, and debate about the merits and drawbacks of fiberglass vs. cellulose.

carissajaded said...

I do like the shows on the weather channel, but only those where they chase tornadoes. Either way I am addicted, in a bad bad way...

words...words...words... said...

As I live in a place where the weather is the same 90% of the time, I don't know if I've ever seen The Weather Channel. But this seems to happen with ALL channels that ostensibly deliver the same thing over and over again.

Headline News, ESPN News, MTV2, etc. They all used to provide a valuable service, but that wasn't enough...they all wanted real shows. But we don't want real shows. We thought that they had the right idea in the first place. I'd much rather turn on my TV to get quick info about any of these things than fire up the laptop.

Now I'm getting all feisty.

words...words...words... said...

BTW, nice new digs. Classy.

Nej said...

I don't trust the national weather forecasters any more than the local guys. Whoever said Omaha had sunshine can shove their forecast where the sun don't shine.

Which, by coincidence, is STILL Omaha. :-) :-)

I haven't watched The Weather Channel is quite some time. I was getting impatient waiting for actual I understand your frustration.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ kate: Oh, I totally forgot about "It Could Happen Tomorrow". I remember when they were advertising for that about how a Category 5 Hurricane could hit New York City, and it was some time in January. And I thought "Yeah, that could happen tomorrow...idiots." Thanks for reminding me of that!

@ June: If it wasn't for commercials, I wouldn't channel surf nearly as badly as I do. Or, I just mute the tele.

@ red: I'm sure your smartass comment was just as awesome as his, if not, moreso.

@ Eric: You might want to get a copyright on Weatherized Cribs. Or pitch it to them. It sounds like something they'd produce.

@ Carissa: Yes, I do love some tornado chasing shows. I would watch that crap for hours.

@ words: See, that's the thing: I watch those channels because I like what they promise. I want to see sports on ESPN. I don't understand why, during basketball season, we can't get a couple of small schools playing, instead of whatever crappy show they've tried to put out there now.

They've gotten better about that, but, still. ESPN frustrates me.

And, thanks for the compliment. I like the new joint.

@ Nej: I don't trust any of them, either. Now they're in full panic-and-scare-tactics mode because there's a chance that we might get some winter weather over the weekend, so they're telling people to go to the stores now. *rolls eyes* Oh no! The end of the world! Snow!

Although, it would totally suck to be without power for seven days. Again...

Nej said...

Oh no...not (gasp) snow!!!!!!

I'm quite positive the weather forecasters have stock in grocery stores...or maybe they've just heavily invested milk and bread futures. :-)