We watch... so you don't have to.

UPN: Counting Is Hard

Okay. Look. I'm willing to meet the television industry halfway, all right? I just don't see why they go out of their way to make it impossible for me to watch the shows I want to. And before you tell me I should invest in a PVR, keep in mind I've got two Tivos. If it airs, I can watch it.

Now here's the deal. As you know, we're waist-deep into rerun season, which means that except for Pardon the Interruption and Jeopardy!, I don't have a great deal on my television schedule. Normally, this is where I'd be catching up on the good television I missed while I was watching reality shows and generally goofing off. My theory is that the bad shows only air once, while the good stuff shows up again in the summer.

The specific show in question today is Veronica Mars. I hear (from highly respected websites) that it's a fine show. And when they announced reruns a few weeks ago, I was quite pleased. I tuned in the first night for the reairing of the pilot, and I quite liked it. Ms. Mars has an entertaining turn of phrase and seems quite resourceful. That gang leader, Weevil, was funnier that would have been normal for a guy in his position. And it looked like the season-long plot was going to be almost as interesting as everybody said.

The next week, the show moved from Tuesday to Wednesday. Hey, no skin off my nose; that's what the aforementioned Tivos are for. The weird thing was that instead of Episode Two ("Credit Where Credit's Due," apparently featuring Paris Hilton), they showed Episode Six: "Return of the Kane".

So that's a little weird, but I left the show on my Tivo and waited for the next week. I mean, hey, maybe they just got the running order messed up in the move to Wednesday, right? Maybe the next week would straighten things out.

Well, maybe it wouldn't. Because the next episode was Episode Ten, "An Echolls Family Christmas." Followed up, this week, by Episode Eleven, "Silence of the Lamb." So let's recap: after UPN scored big with a critically appraised show that the critics went nuts for. They got lots of great press and ratings. Lots of people (by which I mean "me and a few people I know") got excited and tuned in to watch.

And then the episodes were shown in a random order. Good one, UPN! Because why would you want to use this complete lack of competition to build your audience for the next season? Yeah, that would be crazy! Let's make people wait until October when the hype has completely subsided! And if we can force them to shell out cash money, that'll just make it even harder to build an audience. Brilliant!

Look, like I said at the top of the article, it's not like I'm not willing to try. I've got episodes six, ten, and eleven on my Tivo, and if the Random Episode Generator ever turns up number two, I'll give it a try. But by that point, I'll have forgotten what happened in the pilot.

Is it supposed to be this hard to watch television?


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