I Haven’t Seen the Last Mad Men Yet, So There’s This…


Always felt weird blogging and therefore sharing my TV tastes and passions. For me TV watching has always been something private, perhaps intimate. I really like TV that’s just for me. I loved staying up late on Friday nights for CKND to show an Australian 70’s cop show spoof called Funky Squad. I like watching American college football. Nobody I know watches it so I don’t have to get into the hulking morass of chit-chat.  I don’t think consciously, but it has worked out that I’ve missed a lot of “hit” TV. Never seen a full episode of The Big Bang Theory, or How I Met Your Mother. Don’t know the names of the broke girls.  I watch Full Throttle Saloon about a stressed bar owner trying to run a biker bar while, among other things, trying to find out who took Fajita Mike’s fajita meat. I’m ignorant of The Americans, Girls, and many other things that this blog touches on.

One part of my love of live TV is it is active as the most of the world sleeps. I’ve discussed daytime and late night, but how about very early morning TV. Good old 4-6 am. While there are plenty of infomercials and reruns on, I prefer to watch live TV at this hour. Seeing my zombie brethren who are tasked with the yoke of the profession of being engaging and charming on live TV before the crack of dawn.

My Favorite is Morning Joe on MSNBC, supposedly at its face – another cable news rabble rousing show. But people who are up at 6 to discuss politics are not normal. Hosted by former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough and “journalist” Mika Brzezinski , the show is a kind of off-kilter breakfast table banter. Joe is a right-winger, but not a GOP water carrier. A beady eyed ex-lawyer who’s sarcastic and belligerent. He is flanked the left leaning Mika, who is difficult to like. She is from a famous family. Her dad worked in the carter administration, here mom is a sculptor. She’s pretty, thin, with a family and a glamorous job. Rubs it in people’s faces a bit. She’s a big anti-obesity, pro-banning soda type person. Joe sticks in her craw. As she goes on some of her sermons, he’ll chug Mountain Dew and eat doughnuts behind her. He’ll light a cigarette and she’ll get pissed. The breakfast table is flanked by sort of the wise cracking kid brother, Willie Geist. Not sure if he’s a journalist or a humorist, he just sits around and cracks wise. The opening 20 minutes is great. I think it should be shown in schools. They’ll take the major topic of the day and discuss it in a grown up manner. Not in a partisan “yeah Democrat”/”boooo Republican” way. Not in a way that is joyless and takes itself too seriously. Mika and Joe have a very 80’s detective agency, will they or won’t they chemistry. They also insult the weatherman, which is always fun.

My other fave is Morning Drive. It’s a morning show exclusively about golf. I watch just to see if they can pull it off. No politics, or basketball. No how was your day type banter. All golf. It’s hosted by Garry Williams. Perhaps the least edgy person on TV. He wears cardigans non ironically. He’s the kind of guy who gives you his card at a party. The kind of guy who has a really clean car. And wouldn’t you know I have grown to be transfixed by his WASPY charm? He is flanked by his sidechick, Holly Sonders. It’s 6 in the morning, she does not need to be in shoes that fancy. Her outfits can only be described as “numbers”. She’s the pretty golf lady. To deliver golf tips, they put her in shorty shorts. It’s all a bit too much, but it’s enough to get me up watching golf morning shows. There is also NFL AM, which is a pro football morning show. It’s summer, there are no games, and they are still doing 4 hours a day on football. These shows start me on my day, happy that I’m not on TV at these ungodly hours. And happy that only a small portion of society knows that they exist.

Raphael Saray is writer and broadcaster based in Northern Manitoba. He once hosted a Valentine’s day contest on Power 97 radio and then bought the person who gave him a ride a Blizzard. Although he did not let the ride giver choose the flavour or mix in.

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