Thursday, July 21, 2005

Why I need my HBO back

Sure, HBO has great envelope-pushing dramas and comedies like The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, and Entourage - shows that put everything on network TV to shame. But here's the reason I like HBO...

if you're curious:

At least once a year, but sometimes two or three times a year, I can count on them to run a documentary about strippers. (They do prostitutes too, but those make me feel dirty.)

And really, isn't that the reason we pay for premium cable channels? I don't know about the rest of you, but when little Ian was, well, little, back in, er, a different decade, getting a channel like HBO meant one thing: naked women late at night. (It made me very popular with my friends in elementary and junior high school.

Now, Comcast is telling me I can't have HBO unless I get a digital cable box. And I'm not sure if I want a digital cable box if I don't have digital cable. Is that silly of me? Those boxes are huge and clunky, and there's only so much room on my TV stand. One channel doesn't seem worth all the trouble, does it? Why don't I just get digital cable? Well, that's a great question. The easiest answer is my current lack of a regular paycheck. The other is that I've realized that I watch, like, eight channels - ten, at the most. Do I really want or need another 100, 80 of which are just other versions of HBO?

But see, here's the thing: It's been about a year, and I haven't watched any HBO stripper documentaries. And thanks to this article in Slate, I discovered that they ran a new one called Pretty Things on Tuesday night. I have no idea what it's about. And I really don't care. All that matters is I didn't get to watch it because I don't have HBO anymore.

This isn't about titillation, either. (Or other things, which certain red-headed bloggers have implied within the last 24-48 hours.) This is about the natural order of things. This is the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. And at least once a year, HBO runs a show about strippers (which they will call a "documentary"), which I will watch at some point, either intentionally or accidentally. Or used to watch at some point, because I don't have HBO anymore.

I need my HBO back, man.