“The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.”– Ray Bradbury, famous author
As noted in this column before, I’m not quite as down on TV as the talented Mr. Bradbury seems to be. Granted, there’s no shortage of mind-destroying content in the televised universe – I’m still trying to spiritually atone for watching The Littlest Groom in 2004 – but there also are some highly worthwhile programs that can enlighten and expand the mind, such as PBS’ Frontline, PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal, and PBS’ Now.
(Side note: if somebody ever asks you when exactly I copped to being an old codger, me referencing three PBS shows is the correct answer.)
The NHL Network also has its good and not-so-good aspects. On one hand, it employs some of the best journalists in the game, including THN blogger Brian Duff. But I’m only being honest when I say the channel could use some lighter programming fare as well.
Dirty Sexy Money: Featuring Ryan Hollweg, Carrie Milbank and the Maple Leafs’ profits.
30 Rock: A tale of the true-life, New York-based heroics of Henrik Lundqvist.
Lipstick Jungle: Veteran NHLers take time away from the ice to provide a sobering glimpse into their survival techniques during the 2004-05 lockout, when they were forced to endure more than 300 days spent almost entirely with their wives.
Mad Men: Noted goons Andre Roy, Colton Orr and Ben Eager reveal the secret methods that help them turn frothy-mouthed seething into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salaries.
America’s Next Top Model NHL Franchise: Commissioner Gary Bettman narrows his search down to three U.S. cities – Franklin, N.H.; Wamsutter, Wyo.; and Bald Knob, Ark. – in his efforts to relocate one of the “highly successful” NHL franchises decimated by the economic crisis.
Law & Order?: The cast is new – and so is the punctuation at the end of the series title. But hey, if you want to air a reality show about the NHL’s disciplinary program, you’ve got to use a question mark, lest somebody sue you for false advertising.
The Dog Whisperer: New Lightning coach Rick Tocchet valiantly attempts to turn around Tampa Bay’s pooch of a season.
Will And Grace: Nicklas Lidstrom quietly leads the Detroit Red Wings to a brilliant start to the 2008-09 campaign, adding yet another highlight to his nearly unparalleled career.
Without A Trace: The image of the late Robert Stack is misappropriated to add an air of Unsolved Mystery–like ambiance to the search for Marty Turco’s mojo.
Real Time With Bill Maher: I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘How is Proteau possibly going to connect that show with the NHL?’ Well, he’s not. He just really likes Real Time With Bill Maher, and since he’s the one doing the programming, he gets one non-NHL show on the list. He also gets to refer to himself in the third person every once in a while, strictly for his own amusement. Oh, live with it.
My Own Worst Enemy: Former Senators goalie Ray Emery sends along video diaries from sunny Russia, where he often spends his free time watching reruns of Rhoda and Barney Miller.
Worst Week: The Ottawa Senators attempt to out-stink their seven-day performance from the previous episode.
The Mentalist: Ducks enforcer George Parros alternates between demonstrating why he graduated from Princeton and going mental with his fists on an opponent.
Meet The Barkers: Hey a$*@#%! Wanna know what your girlfriend told me during breakfast in bed this morning? She said this show – which follows peerless agitators Sean Avery and Steve Ott as they crusade to offend every NHLer not on the Stars – is @*&!#$ awesome and you should watch it. You *#$!@.
Celebrity Fit Club: John Tortorella, Bob Hartley, Pat Quinn and Pat Burns converge to discuss some of their most memorable temper tantrums behind the bench.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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