Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The danger of EPG

If, like me, you watch your TV through a set-top box, Sky receiver or relatively new television, you'll no doubt have access to an Electronic Programme Guide, or EPG. You know the thing, it tells you a bit about whatever's on, and what's on next. It's generally quite handy... but every now and then, it bowls a bouncer, and even when there are signs to tell you what's coming it can still take your head off.

Take last night, for example. I came home from wherever it was I'd been and, shamefully looking to the TV for a source of relaxation, starting scrolling through the EPG. This is, more or less verbatim, what caught my eye:

ITV2. Rumor Has It 2100-2245
Offbeat rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner.
A bride-to-be seeks the truth abouth whether her parents inspired the classic movie The Graduate.

But this is what I should have read:

A Channel You Never Normally Watch (for a reason). A Film With Dubious American Spelling In The Title 2100-2245
An overplayed genre movie starring an actress who never seems to find the right role and an actor who hasn't made a decent film since, ooh, let's say "JFK".
A bride-to-be...etc.

Because that's what I really think. I never watch ITV2 and, whilst I have no ill feeling towards either, those are my genuine feelings about those two actors. But the EPG got me anyway, because of The Graduate. It's one of my favourite films of any genre, one that I've seen more times than is healthy. And yes, I'm familiar with the rumour that the tale of Benjamin, Elaine and Mrs Robinson was based on a true story. So, despite all the red flags that should have been waving, I was lured in by the EPG by what, to me, was an intriguing premise. To be fair, Rumor Has It started well enough, with some party scenes even seeming to pay a little homage to the party Ben's parents throw for him at the start of The Graduate. But from then on, it was all downhill. I kept watching, in the vain hope that there would be more Graduate references thrown in, but as soon as Kev appeared, I might just as well have turned off and had an early night.

So what I really want to know is... how do I get those 105 minutes of my life back?


  1. There's a line, I think somewhere in one of Bill Bryson's books - "We use to look at TV to see what was on, now we look to see what else is on". I completely ignore about 80%-90% of the channels available and in fact I think I probably watch more on iPlayer or DVD than on 'live' tv. Box sets are the future (although I think I'm late to the party here, I think they've been the future for a while).

    1. It does feel a bit like the televisual airwaves are awash with utter, inexcusable cack sometimes, doesn't it? I tried to think of a more literary word than cack, but it just feels so right...

  2. The Man Of Cheese14 March 2013 at 08:14

    To introduce a more base perspective to the subject....you could do a lot worse than spend your time watching the delectable Miss Aniston!

    1. Well, this gentleman prefers brunettes, but I can certainly see where you're coming from mate.