Sunday, February 13, 2005

More Futilit-E!

"Rob Lowe hosts Saturday Night Live. Tonight at 8. Only on E!"

This was the message of a TV commercial I saw last week, the kind I see all time, and always will. The foolishness of the last sentence stands out as singularly absurd to these ears, and yet this claim of exclusivity is bandied about so often, everywhere, that it has become almost meaningless. "Yippee!" we are no doubt expected to cry, "I won't be able to view this particular rerun on any other channel tonight!"

And yet, can't you say pretty much the same thing about any TV show? Why make this totally mundane fact one of the main selling points? It sounds so dumb to me, not least of which is because SNL is no longer L by the time it arrives on E!. Let's face it: The only truly unique thing about Saturday Night Live is that it is the only variety show that is actually broadcast live in this country. But E! Entertainment Television wants you to believe that there's something cool, something noteworthy about the fact that they're showing a rerun—and one appropriated from another network at that! "This steaming pile of crap we're showing tonight, which you saw on another channel a long time ago in its full 90-minute length, is now being regurgitated only on our channel with a full half an hour of music and comedy missing!"

How come I don't see you jumping up and down with delight?

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