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Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart

It's hard to remember, but twenty to thirty years ago cable TV, especially the 'educational' channels, had shows that were not designed to pander to the lowest common denominator. Before TLC, The History Channel, and the Discovery Channel were tire fires of cheap and lazy reality shows they had actual programming that a person could argue was informative. So here, in this thread, have a think about what cable TV used to be like.

Since I was a major dorkus malorkus even as a little girl I watched a lot of the educational channels and was legit psyched when The History Channel got added to our cable line-up.

On TLC-

My favorite was Great Books on TLC, back when The Learning Channel meant something. It was cliff notes for notable works of literature and I'd plop down and watch marathons of these. Was it the same as reading books? No! But it was much better than shows about marrying some scam artist or running a predatory pawn shop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPxovAcCUrU

There was also The Operation, which made me extremely nervous while watching but I saw a lot of it because my parents were fascinated by it. Real life operations! Inside of the body, if that's your thing! (Rescue 911, not a cable show, also made me nervous for the same reasons).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3QrSVcYJzY

The History Channel

History's Lost and Found was light-hearted telling of the story behind fun historical items like Lizzie Borden's Hatchet and Louis the XXVII mummified heart.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwXAIKMLPvI&list=PL_eqBZGVxBN9jmCRZvE_ClaDCGi9OFOKz

A&E
Kicking off a lifelong interest in true crime was American Justice on A&E. Not surprising that it ran until 2005. There was a companion show to it that was also themed on smaller town/lower profile murders but I can't remember the name of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1XzaVqYffY

The Travel Channel
I have fond memories of two types of show on The Travel Channel
1. Shows about how fun Vegas is!
2. Spooky ghost British castles. I'm still delightfully scared of this reenactment of when an old ghost lady frightingly loomed over a sleeping guest one night!

I don't live in America anymore so I don't get American TV and we don't sub to cable at our house, but when I go back to visit I look at guides at my mom's house and ho boy, it has gotten bad! 57 channels and there's nothing on? The Boss knew what was up.

I'm chattering away when we could all be watching TV! Post your favorite cable shows of days gone by here!

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MakaVillian
Aug 15, 2003

Well, in Whoville they say - that his tiny hands grew three sizes that day.

Ralph Crammed In posted:

It's hard to remember, but twenty to thirty years ago cable TV, especially the 'educational' channels, had shows that were not designed to pander to the lowest common denominator. Before TLC, The History Channel, and the Discovery Channel were tire fires of cheap and lazy reality shows they had actual programming that a person could argue was informative. So here, in this thread, have a think about what cable TV used to be like.

Since I was a major dorkus malorkus even as a little girl I watched a lot of the educational channels and was legit psyched when The History Channel got added to our cable line-up.

On TLC-


There was also The Operation, which made me extremely nervous while watching but I saw a lot of it because my parents were fascinated by it. Real life operations! Inside of the body, if that's your thing! (Rescue 911, not a cable show, also made me nervous for the same reasons).


My mom and I used to watch The Operation while eating dinner.

Also I used to love watching Biography on A&E

Vakal
May 11, 2008
I remember watching Zoobilee Zoo on TLC as a kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oowOsEOTApA

Wayne Knight
May 11, 2006

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FED4Ja1AKRM

Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart


I have a four-year-old and I love getting on my old lady hat and saying "in my day we didn't have YouTube, we had to watch a channel to tell us what was on or look it up in the newspaper!"

Dixville
Nov 4, 2008

Your Best Paw Forward
Ham Wrangler
I loved the loving Weather Channel as a kid. I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist at the time. I also hid in the bathroom every time there was a big thunderstorm though (which was pretty much weekly in Tennessee). Nowadays it's all storm chaser stuff which is fine but it's just not the same. I remember local on the 8s otherwise I have no idea what I was watching. I imagine it was similar to sports commentary but for weather.

kntfkr
Feb 11, 2019

GOOSE FUCKER
TLC should be called The Suffering Channel.

Meatball
Mar 2, 2003

That's a Spicy Meatball

Pillbug
The history Channel was primarily about ww2 history

kntfkr
Feb 11, 2019

GOOSE FUCKER
One time I saw Candy from A&E's intervention during a layover in O'hare and I was staring at her for a good two minutes thinking she was a math teacher from childhood that I couldn't place. Finally, it clicked and I smiled & we met eyes and Candy winked at me.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018

Dixville posted:

I loved the loving Weather Channel as a kid. I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist at the time. I also hid in the bathroom every time there was a big thunderstorm though (which was pretty much weekly in Tennessee). Nowadays it's all storm chaser stuff which is fine but it's just not the same. I remember local on the 8s otherwise I have no idea what I was watching. I imagine it was similar to sports commentary but for weather.

my father worked outdoors so every morning, as we were eating breakfast, he'd be keeping a close eye on the daily weather to see if he would be able to work that day. for me, childhood mornings are being extremely sleepy and awake before dawn as my farm-rear end parents are greeting the day bright and early, set to weather channel smooth jazz/ambient electronic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXGJ6qhkzBc

Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart

Meatball posted:

The history Channel was primarily about ww2 history

At least ww2 happened and is still a relevant event as opposed to chucklefucks looking for gold or pawning fake historical documents to low level criminals.

Dixville
Nov 4, 2008

Your Best Paw Forward
Ham Wrangler

Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

my father worked outdoors so every morning, as we were eating breakfast, he'd be keeping a close eye on the daily weather to see if he would be able to work that day. for me, childhood mornings are being extremely sleepy and awake before dawn as my farm-rear end parents are greeting the day bright and early, set to weather channel smooth jazz/ambient electronic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXGJ6qhkzBc

Lol I forgot about the music

Sophy Wackles
Dec 17, 2000

> access main security grid
access: PERMISSION DENIED.





Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

my father worked outdoors so every morning, as we were eating breakfast, he'd be keeping a close eye on the daily weather to see if he would be able to work that day. for me, childhood mornings are being extremely sleepy and awake before dawn as my farm-rear end parents are greeting the day bright and early, set to weather channel smooth jazz/ambient electronic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXGJ6qhkzBc

Snow day!!

Bonzo
Mar 11, 2004

Just like Mama used to make it!

That wasn't bad when you had 40 channels, but at 400 its useless. This channel is also something I remember waking up to many times, but not recognizing the TV or room/couch/trailer that I woke up in.

There were also the community bulletin board type channels that were just generic text listing community events or menus for church dinners. Some would run dating ads (again, just text) so you'd call a 900number and leave a voice message for a person you were interested in. So, so so many lonley people on there. Um....that's what I heard anyway.

I really miss public access. Cable companies had some agreement with municipalities (or maybe it was federal? I don't know) where they would provide broadcast facilitates to normal people, for free, in exchange for the city to prevent any competition from other cable companies so they can over charge the citizens who subsidized the building of the infrastructure anyway and.....


Sorry, I'm ranting. Anyway, because they had to air pretty much anything you got a LOT of street preachers and their wives badly singing hymns. I didn't grow up in Ontario but this is too good to not post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht_TmEMd4r4

Hardawn
Mar 15, 2004

Don't look at the sun, but rather what it illuminates
College Slice
The bible?

You Are A Elf
Apr 26, 2010

Black Gold!

I remember there used to be operas and ballet on A&E (which once stood for ĎArts & Entertainmentí). Same with Bravo, too.

Now Iím pretty sure theyíre both the :doink: channels 24/7.

Wayne Knight
May 11, 2006

Dixville posted:

I loved the loving Weather Channel as a kid. I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist at the time. I also hid in the bathroom every time there was a big thunderstorm though (which was pretty much weekly in Tennessee). Nowadays it's all storm chaser stuff which is fine but it's just not the same. I remember local on the 8s otherwise I have no idea what I was watching. I imagine it was similar to sports commentary but for weather.

Here's a simple web-based weather channel simulator: https://battaglia.ddns.net/twc/

And here's one that's so accurate as to be incredibly difficult to configure: http://www.taiganet.com/
They got the original voice actor to reprise his role!

Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart

Bonzo posted:

That wasn't bad when you had 40 channels, but at 400 its useless. This channel is also something I remember waking up to many times, but not recognizing the TV or room/couch/trailer that I woke up in.

There were also the community bulletin board type channels that were just generic text listing community events or menus for church dinners. Some would run dating ads (again, just text) so you'd call a 900number and leave a voice message for a person you were interested in. So, so so many lonley people on there. Um....that's what I heard anyway.



I miss an easily accessible community events calendar / notification system like this. I never know what's going on in town.

K3nT3n
Oct 8, 2015
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!
https://i.imgur.com/W16dHCP.mp4

Art of War 2...

Lil Swamp Booger Baby
Aug 1, 1981

Turd Licking Crocodile

salartarium
Sep 7, 2021
I knew TLC was trash when they made a series about my local high school football team

Cacator
Aug 6, 2005

You're quite good at turning me on.

Vakal posted:

I remember watching Zoobilee Zoo on TLC as a kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oowOsEOTApA

Same, but I only got this version


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKj2pMrHRhM

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

My "Not Vincent Price" T-shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered by my shirt.


Smellrose
I remember seeing ads on the mid-80s Discovery Channel for multi-tape VHS compilations of World War Two stock footage and my very conservative dad getting annoyed because they were narrated by Walter Cronkite.

Also ads for Celestial Seasonings tea and a labor union ad that ended in "Here's to productivity, it's what America is all about."

Bula Vinaka
Oct 21, 2020

beach side
Here's what I know about TLC...

The idea, was to do what public access did, but the problem with public access is there is never enough funding. So, instead of doing it as a non profit, run commercials, and then there will be much more funding, which should expand and enhance the quality of educational programming.

The argument against it was that, if you run ads, you will find that some programs attract more viewers, and will be more profitable for the ads as you can charge more for ads on shows with higher ratings. The problem is that shows with higher ratings are less... educational. More entertainment. And you will want to make more of those kinds of shows because you can make more money with ads if they attract more viewers. Public access doesn't give a poo poo about this as it relies on funding, so there is no motivation to "sell out".

When you look at what TLC turned in to, with shows like Honey Boo Boo, you can clearly see that the argument against it was correct.

K3nT3n
Oct 8, 2015
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!
https://twitter.com/GodGiong/status/1577908032335667200?s=20&t=9ENYRpu3dRq2Jx8vaHmLbw

You MEAN... like this.

torgo
Aug 12, 2003


Fun Shoe

Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

my father worked outdoors so every morning, as we were eating breakfast, he'd be keeping a close eye on the daily weather to see if he would be able to work that day. for me, childhood mornings are being extremely sleepy and awake before dawn as my farm-rear end parents are greeting the day bright and early, set to weather channel smooth jazz/ambient electronic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXGJ6qhkzBc

The neat thing about the local weather on the Weather Channel was that is was controlled by a proprietary computer at the cable operator. My family took a yearly trip to a small town and the cable system had the first version up to about 2010 or so. I was disappointed when they upgraded.

Our local cable system was on the second version up until they went out of business in 2012.

BornAPoorBlkChild
Sep 23, 2012
:wtc: holy gently caress how did that I Am Shauna Rae show make it past S&P?:barf:

ClamdestineBoyster
Aug 15, 2015

I don't get no respect!
Those smart fuckers channels all have those Alaska shows now because itís the only place that will let those insufferable pricks shoot footage anymore. That and like veterinarians offices because those people are used to dealing with animals.

ClamdestineBoyster
Aug 15, 2015

I don't get no respect!

kntfkr posted:

TLC should be called The Suffering Channel.

Thatís not even the same loving letters. How about The Loser Channel hahahaaaa. :hmmyes:

flubber nuts
Oct 5, 2005


did that hunting hitler show on history channel ever find hitler?

Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart

Bula Vinaka posted:

Here's what I know about TLC...

The idea, was to do what public access did, but the problem with public access is there is never enough funding. So, instead of doing it as a non profit, run commercials, and then there will be much more funding, which should expand and enhance the quality of educational programming.

The argument against it was that, if you run ads, you will find that some programs attract more viewers, and will be more profitable for the ads as you can charge more for ads on shows with higher ratings. The problem is that shows with higher ratings are less... educational. More entertainment. And you will want to make more of those kinds of shows because you can make more money with ads if they attract more viewers. Public access doesn't give a poo poo about this as it relies on funding, so there is no motivation to "sell out".

When you look at what TLC turned in to, with shows like Honey Boo Boo, you can clearly see that the argument against it was correct.

Capitalism is to blame for all our problems pretty much.

Drive-Thru Salad Bar
May 15, 2009

IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!
Remember Beyond 2000? I think it was on Discovery back in the 80s/90s and was a cool show that was about cutting edge tech that made me excited for the future.

Well now that I'm here I desperately want a show called Behind 2000

happyhippy
Feb 21, 2005

Playing games, watching movies, owning goons. 'sup
Pillbug

Drive-Thru Salad Bar posted:

Remember Beyond 2000? I think it was on Discovery back in the 80s/90s and was a cool show that was about cutting edge tech that made me excited for the future.

Well now that I'm here I desperately want a show called Behind 2000

Yeah, Australian show.
Used to love that, when people thought the future was going to be good.

MTV2 was amazing back then.
After midnight it would show random unknown (back then) cool songs, and mind exploding to them trying not to wake my parents up

Some memorable ones on it for me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnGYaqjW-A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGW1dRNc314
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L64BcCRDAE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XHrsOdwF2U

happyhippy fucked around with this message at 09:57 on Oct 6, 2022

Erghh
Sep 24, 2007
"Stuff"
Loved the great books show. Also used to tape dicovery channel's "WIngs" show cos planes are cool They would have marathons of it around the holidays.

yeah, that opening riff...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew8NYGY5qnc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGkxA8vlhvA&list=PLG-Elwjfnra1-6gIMSiYg2PE8Tz-BFWKJ&index=2

Woolie Wool
Jun 2, 2006


flubber nuts posted:

did that hunting hitler show on history channel ever find hitler?

He's on the moon, the hitler channel couldn't get to him.

Pimpcasso
Mar 13, 2002

VOLS BITCH
As a young poor kid in the country I was always wanted cable

Then I got cable and it was stupid poo poo like worlds dumbest criminals footage with b list celebrities talking

Jose Oquendo
Jun 20, 2004

At the end of 2018, a study was published by London Metropolitan University showing that certain bacteria, normally present only in intestinal tracts or feces, were found on McDonald's self-service screens.


I assume it's an attempt to imitate the Netflix binge model, but a lot of cable channels just air giant blocks of shows through out the week. There's not much variety anymore.

IFC and Sundance were independent movie focus, now they air poo poo like MASH re-runs

USA and TNT had a variety of programming. Now it's blocks of poo poo with some movies and sports

MTV used to show music videos. now it's reality programming 24/7.



I think the only channel that really has stayed true to its mission is Turner Classic Movies.

The best OTA channel these days is MeTV. The Saturday Night sci-fi block is awesome.

Worf
Sep 12, 2017

If only Seth would love me like I love him!

is that deana carter

Ralph Crammed In
May 11, 2007

Let's get clean and smart

Jose Oquendo posted:

I assume it's an attempt to imitate the Netflix binge model, but a lot of cable channels just air giant blocks of shows through out the week. There's not much variety anymore.




I think it pre-dates Netflix, or at least binge-streaming, cause that's been going on for over a decade. It's just lazy, non-risk-taking behavior to rerun a bunch of popular shows and bet that there's an audience for them as opposed to taking a gamble and making your own programming.

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Jose Oquendo
Jun 20, 2004

At the end of 2018, a study was published by London Metropolitan University showing that certain bacteria, normally present only in intestinal tracts or feces, were found on McDonald's self-service screens.


Ralph Crammed In posted:

I think it pre-dates Netflix, or at least binge-streaming, cause that's been going on for over a decade. It's just lazy, non-risk-taking behavior to rerun a bunch of popular shows and bet that there's an audience for them as opposed to taking a gamble and making your own programming.

That is for sure. Cable channels have always aired reruns. I was referring to the scheduling itself where a cable channel will just air a couple of 4 hour blocks (for example) of a sitcom. That definitely wasn't prevalent a decade ago. Now that's all they do.

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