Ten Things You Learn While Marathoning the USA Network
Every once and a while, you take a day laying on the couch watching a marathon of mediocre television. This is healthy for the soul, because it rebuilds your stockpiles of snark. This blessed day was almost last weekend, when USA ran the Hairstyles of Olivia Benson Law and Order: SVU marathon (and no I’m not making that up), but instead it ended up being yesterday’s Rules of Gibbs NCIS marathon. There’s something kind of nifty about these random marathons, if only because you then try to guess where in the show’s run each occurred. But twelve hours of USA does not come without a price. Lessons are learned.
1. USA has only eight ads, and three of those are for their own shows. My god, I thought Hulu was bad, but you will see the same set of ads at every single commercial break for the entire run of the marathon. On the fiftieth time through the exact same fucking IHOP ad, you are so far beyond having the words and sound effects memorized that it’s transcendent. Instead you have moved on to the stage of practicing the exact pitch of every spoken syllable.
2. Do you watch Covert Affairs? I watched most of the first season when it was new several years ago, but now Annie Walker is back after four months and is refusing to tell the agency where she was at. She has some killer little calfskin boot things too. At least I think that’s what they are. I really don’t know anything about shoes, but that’s what I decided they were the fiftieth time that the camera zoomed in on them taking a step over the title card.
3. I swear that Graceland was a show that Dustin had talked up once upon a time as being a fantastic show. Apparently it’s about a group of pretty people looking for drugs on a Greyhound. When you don’t know anything about a show, then your opinion of it gets pretty myopic when you see the same ad for the same episode fifty times.
4. Rush is about an amoral surgeon who plays by his own rules! It really wasn’t that exciting when it was Nip/Tuck either.
5. Satisfaction is an astounding original drama based on the revolutionary idea that people like to have sex. The fictional part of it is the fact that they’re all rich, attractive, and paying each other for it.
6. IHOP’s summer specials look as appetizing as vending machine pastries fucked by raccoons.
7. If you’ve wished everyone involved with Royal Pains would die in fire before, you have no idea the hatred waiting for you after the fiftieth time watching Mark Feuerstein dance through a thirty second spot.
8. Local political ads are not more endearing when you’re only visiting the state they’re targeted at. Did you know that your share of the national debt is $800,000? Here’s some fun, multiply that number by the population of the United States and you get the number $240 trillion, which is off by an order of magnitude. Maybe we should borrow more money to pay for basic math classes for Colorado.
9. You won’t believe what happens next on RAW.
10. At no point in fifty viewings does the trailer for Tammy wrap back around to being funny. It just gets worse. Every. Single. Time.