Happy Independence from Bad TV!

Happy Fourth of July, America! And sometime over the weekend was Canada day, but not being Canadian (though I do have dual-citizen cousins), I have no idea what that’s about. And we’re approaching Bastille Day, and I DO know what that’s about.

But hey – we are the originals! The gold standard of managing to not go on a totally ridiculous killing spree and actually create a semi-functional government! Let’s celebrate that with explosions, fat, and television!


So when I was a kid, the whole family were pretty avid viewers of the History Channel. Back when they had interesting documentaries and the same narrator for each one (he was so cool, whatever happened to him?). Occasionally these original productions would be punctuated by Civil War ghosts (especially on Halloween, which was awesome), Modern Marvels, or just something we weren’t interested.

Something happened in the 2000s. Hanna used to refer to it as the WWII channel, but that’s actually overly generous. Someone decided showing actual history with historians and not totally insane people in foil hats – that was too boring. Also, more Modern Marvels. Which I only watched in the deepest pits of boredom, so that is Not Cool. Slowly, the documentaries faded from existence, except around ten in the morning when no one was watching, so I guess it was relatively safe to be semi-historical. What began taking its place? Conspiracy theories on the Illuminati. Or why the world is actually ending. Or just anything that can, without much difficulty, be proven totally false but idiots believe anyway.

And you know the real sting? They used the same narrator to try to make it legitimate! That’s just blasphemy!

So turn on the History Channel on any given day and what you will see is…..not much history. They do Pawn Stars now, right? I can see the vaguest of connections, but it’s not history. It’s also reality television, so it’s not even real. And if you watch it today, you will see random acts of “American Machismo,” but you will not see history.

Turn on History Channel International, however….

I don’t know what cable package this is on, but we have it even on our more standard-hook-up TV (I don’t really watch TV, I don’t know the lingo….). But if I want to watch something historical that isn’t cinematic like TCM, then International is pretty much the only way to go. Because remember those documentaries and programs they used have on, you know, the HISTORY channel? They still have them! Just on International.

I….really don’t get the distinction. Like somehow the term “history” is too exclusive to include the entire world, so a spin-off must be re-titled. A spin-off that does what the original was supposed to do. All I know is this: did you want to know about the American Revolution yesterday? THEY HAD THAT! How about today? NOW, TOO! History Channel “America” can’t be arsed to.

So, Americans, let us unite in saying “NO!” to garbage and tripe and “YES!” to accurate, useful information that can expand our minds WHILE entertaining us! That is not as revolutionary as it may seem to today’s consumers.

(Bad last line, booooooo……)

P.S.: I have one signed up for 1776 today; come on, people, and get on board!


About emilydnelson

A recent graduate of Hofstra University with a B.A. in anthropology, Emily is like every other twenty-two year old on the planet - trying to figure out what the hell to do now. Follow as she struggles with writing, her social work job, and bopping from coast to coast.
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One Response to Happy Independence from Bad TV!

  1. Pingback: It’s Our 100th Episode, YAY! | The Undiscovered Country

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