The Things You Learn Marathoning USA
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Ten Things You Learn While Marathoning the USA Network

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Seriously Random Lists | July 7, 2014 | Comments ()


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.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • llp

    I don't know any of those shows but I watched the ad to get a look at the boots, because that is just how I roll. They are pretty cute.

  • bdog

    The only thing you missed were the endless credit karma ads

  • Nathan Convey

    I gave up on Covert Affairs after they killed off Simon. Also, Suits is really testing my patience this season and I was already on the verge of dropping it. USA network has nothing left to offer me!

  • Three_nineteen

    Sirens. Watch Sirens. No new episodes right now, but there might be reruns.

  • e jerry powell
    ...after the fiftieth time watching Mark Feuerstein dance through a thirty second spot.

    Yeah, the promo can wear on one's nerves; but Feuerstein (the Jewish Breckin Meyer) can still beta-male me into a mild testosterone uptick every now and then.

  • Erin S

    I feel like when I watch SVU marathons on USA, I get a really accurate picture of their target weekday demographic. Vagisil ads, local attorneys who cater to people injured in auto accidents, and infomercials galore.

  • HasenKlub

    That promo with the dancing absolutely deserves a harsh "Good god, Lemon!"

    And trust me, it only took one viewing for the idea of death by cleansing fire to creep in.

  • alannaofdoom

    I mean... you do have to admire the utter abandon with which he just... GOES for it, no?

  • HasenKlub

    I admire it in a sick Joffrey-esque "Dance for me even though you know deep down I'm going to still kill you" sort of way, I suppose...

  • Coolg82

    All the yes. The last time I paid any attention to USA was when the Dead Zone was on, and the last season of that was an atrocity.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    things to do in Denver when you're dead?

  • Lord Inferno

    Here is the thing about Colorado. Denver is a fairly large, somewhat liberal metropolitan area that accounts for a disproportionate percentage of the state's population. To the north and west we have The Peoples Republic of Boulder, which leads the country in pot sales, Birkenstocks, and triathelets. Further north is Fort Collins, which regulary tops the country's most livable cities lists and has a huge microbrew industry. Even further north people have already legalized the hunting of aerial drones and have been threatening to break away and create a new state because of gun legislation. Down south we have Colorado Springs, home to the Stargate, the Air Force Academy, the national Olympic Training Center, and the "Evangelical Vatican" (remember Ted Haggard?). And that is just scratching the surface. We have the only town in the country where funeral pyres are legal, festivals like Nederland's Frozen Dead Guy days and Fruita's Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, both of which are based on actual people/things (fun things to google).

    Long story long, if you can figure out what is going on in this state let me know. Whoever that was probably just decided to invent a new kind of math. That happens too.

  • Maybe he was using Scott Steiner's math:

  • Kala

    I know this is random as hell, but that IHOP commercial bugs the crap out of me simply because of the chick at the end who chirps, "Whatever a cannoli is, it's really good!"

    HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT A CANNOLI IS? What horrible rock did you crawl out of? You know what? Just--just go. Just. GO.

  • reaglowe

    leave the gun though

  • lowercase_ryan

    you leave Reshma Shetty out of this.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Almost worth watching Royal Pains for.


  • "IHOP’s summer specials look as appetizing as vending machine pastries fucked by raccoons."

    "Oh, good, you caught the, uh, oh wait, I had something good for this... the... "Pita Predator." Oh, and if you want some food that's SUPPOSED to be cream-filled, I have some delicious doughnuts here..."

    Also, as someone who has watched wrestling for twenty years unless Bruno Sammartino shows up and wins the title again, I'm fairly inured to shocking twists.

  • John W

    I was watching Covert Affairs although I may have removed it from my DVR to make room for something else.

  • Ian Fay

    If you gave up on it during the first two seasons I'd understand but it really improved in Season 3. A lot more serialized, a lot less breezy. I'm really enjoying it now.

  • Martin Holterman

    It would be a lot more enjoyable if they had any remote idea of what the CIA actually does.

  • John W

    I caught the third season. I liked it, but there's so many good shows on that I have to constantly juggle my DVR slots.

  • I swear that Graceland was a show that Dustin had talked up once upon a time as being a fantastic show.

    Dustin does that a lot. I wouldn't think too much of it.

    /deletes Tyrant from Season Pass

  • Target_Blonde

    It's Fourth of July weekend and you marathon *only* USA!? No wonder your brain is fried, you gotta diversify that portfolio, son.

    I spent all day Friday flipping between Twilight Zone on SyFy and The Walking Dead on AMC plus occasional check-ins on World Cup and TNT and FX. Because God loves me and wants me to be happy, at one point TNT was airing Hulk with Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly and Nick Nolte while FX had The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt.AT THE SAME TIME. I could barely contain my glee until I remembered that the end of Season One of TWD was the balls and flipped back to that just in time for the gang to get to the CDC.

    Holiday weekends are the tits.

  • Wow...they're still doing Twilight Zone marathons? I think I watched my first TZ marathon when I was 8 or 9....not saying when that was, mind you...

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