Saturday, January 5, 2008

And Here I Thought We Were Made, A&E

Where Have You Gone, Tony Soprano?

File this post under my rant of the day from the unrelenting tedium of winter break.

Probably I'd be better off not admitting this, seeing as there are only so many hours of the day to be productive, and running out of reasons to blend my mind into mush in front of the TV is more likely something to celebrate, but:

Can anyone out there tell me what the heck A&E is doing with its rights to The Sopranos these days? The love affair started out so dreamily between us.

I'd put my time in, last year, churning out pages of writing during the day, alternately driving into the city for classes and babysitting sonny, and then come nightfall veg out with the wife on the couch Wednesdays for our weekly date with Tony and his bloody band of brothers.

Man, A&E made the most of its $2.55 million-per-episode investment in the beginning, showing 2 episodes in sequence every Wednesday, and reruns to boot during the week. Gangster Heaven (as the commercials boasted)? Fuhgeddaboutit! And this was bliss, even though we'd mostly seen all the episodes from having HBO for a while and then renting the DVDs once our conscious-parents budget kicked in.

Well, then A&E dropped back to one episode a night, at a later time. And then it backtracked over the summer. And now, just when A&E made it through a nice, long sequence of episodes leading through the stellar season 5 (the penultimate season, before the two-part grand send-off), you can't find the episodes anywhere on the schedule.

Oh, they're re-airing episodes from season 5 (after copping out with some "viewers' best" picks before Christmas), and they're on at, like, 2:13 a.m. in the East. What gives? The Sopranos cost A&E a mint of money and delivered them record ratings. So now it's time to toy with viewers?

Seeing as there is only so much time I can devote to TV, especially stuff I've already seen, I think the answer is simple, after sitting through a night last night (no football on that I cared about; crap early-season basketball; no patience for the network slop; and woah... CSI: Miami on A&E): shut the freaking (to borrow from A&E censors) tube off.

Once we "stop believin'" there are so many better things to find to do. Hey, maybe even spend time with our own, live "families"? (see above)

No comments: