Email Roundtable #16 – Family Time

It was Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Family Day in other parts of Canada on Monday. On that note, we thought we’d have a potluck-style Roundtable and discuss the shows we remember watching with our family.

Family and Car

Jane: Watching TV with my Grandparents created some of my favorite memories as a child and as a grownup. As a child there were strict TV rules. Bedtime was directly after Cheers and there was to be no talking during the final segment of Wheel of Fortune. My Grandpa had a thing for Vanna White and that was the only time she got to speak. Later in life my Grandpa’s favorite show was “the written news” aka The Weather Channel. My Grandma and I would patiently watch with him, until it was time for his nap, when we would flip to that crazy Hyacinth Bucket on Keeping Up Appearances. If I didn’t laugh at the funny parts my Grandma would explain them to me.

Continue reading

Television: An Apology

I watch a lot of television—by my calculations too much. This wasn’t always the case. For the majority of the last 15 years I did not own a television. That all changed two years ago when my fiancée and I bought a nice big television. We bought the television because, well, it would be a hell of a lot nicer to watch than the both of us trying to cram in front of the laptop. This is not to say that I did not watch TV for fifteen years, only most of my TV viewing was restricted to what I could rent at the video store or download or stream when it became more prevalent. “So what’s the problem?” you may ask yourselves. If the existence of this blog is any indication, we live in an era when some of the best TV shows in history are being made.  I strongly believe this to be true. We also, however, live in an era when more TV shows are being made than in any time in the past. For every Girls there is a Honey Boo-Boo; every Treme a Pawn Stars. The problem becomes, not that I now own a television but rather, that I now have cable to go along with the television—and extremely shitty viewing habits. Continue reading


By Raphael Saray

Pawn ShopMuch like million dollar game shows and faux documentaries before them the en vogue TV trend is that of shows based on haggling. Trying to get a bargain or barter a deal is a skill I lack. My negotiating technique amounts to saying “C’mon!?” while trying to look sympathetic. I will gladly pay retail to avoid a haggle. I do enjoy watching people do something that I struggle with be it Cirque de Soleil or shoelace tying.

The catalyst for the hagglevision movement would have to be Pawn Stars. The unlikely History Channel hit about the dealings (and I must add wheeling, but I really don’t know what one has to do with another…) and wheelings of a sprawling Las Vegas pawn-a-torium. The stars are the least likely people you’d see on the tube. It’s a family of chubby and snippy males along with a doe eyed and even chubbier family friend. Rick Harrison owns Gold and Silver Pawn with his dad, just called the old man, his son Corey and Corey’s slacker buddy, Chumlee. The appeal is that Rick, at least, is highly intelligent. Continue reading