Americans totally have a channel for everything. There are only a few Canadian channels, and then the local area usually has one, but even in Canada we get lots of American channels on cable. You flip though and find a show you like, and if it's on a specialty channel you can go all day watching the same sort of show. I was once not really paying attention to a bad cop show and it took me hours to realize that it was several bad cop shows one after another and I wasn't noticing the difference.I made a comment about 'the science fiction channel' in an e-mail to an Australian and got an incredulous reply. A whole channel of science fiction shows? Yeah, I think we have two or three: Space, ψφ (or however they spell it), and isn't there something called Xyzzy? Let's see what I have in this hotel ... 53 channels including:
- A few local Canadian channels from different parts of the country
- Four channels from the nearest big US city
- History Channel (USA)
- Comedy Network
- Women's Network - lots of chick flicks
- Spike (USA) - lots of action movies
- Outdoor Life - Fishing and hunting and survivalism
- The Food Network
- Discovery Channel (USA) - wildlife documentaries & Mythbusters
- TLC (USA) - documentaries about people having babies, and how to fix your house
- Home & Garden (USA)
- Real Estate
- Knowledge Network
- Country Music Television
- Family Channel
- YTV - cartoons and youth shows up to high school dramas
- CBC-Francais (Canadian)
- Canadian Learning Channel
- Aboriginal People's Television Network (Canada)
- Two all sports channels
There's also a channel that tells you what is on on all the other channels. It helps to have a remote with numbered buttons so you can just jump to the channel you want.
There were about ten channels where I grew up. There were 13 on the dial, but at least three of them were just static. But we had an old TV.
In case you're interested, here's the Australian equivalent.
- ABC (taxpayer funded, runs news and current affairs, kids shows, BBC comedies and dramas, no ads)
- ABC 2 (same deal, but has more local (ie. bad) stuff, indigenous programming and music tv and repeats of ABC 1, doesn't run overnight)
- ABC 3 (same deal, kids shows only)
- ABC 24 (brand new, news all the time)
- SBS (taxpayer funded, foreign language ABC basically, foreign films, news from lots of different coutries, and esoteric local stuff)
- SBS 2 (same thing, but worse)
- Channels 7, 9 and 10 (commercial stations with American movies and tv shows but local news, current affairs and game shows. And Home and Away)
My correspondent says that some areas have a local channel too, but those are dying out.
One last comment on television is a TV Tropes quote about the series Lost: Generally, science fiction can have an open ending as long as the fates of the most interesting characters are resolved. Unfortunately, on Lost, a large chunk thought the island was the most interesting character. Perfect summary.
I promise not to watch any more TV at you this week. My rotation is at least Tivoed, so I can fast-forward to the day I fly out.