By Alan Pergament
My “annoying” column in Saturday’s Buffalo News apparently struck a chord with some of my readers who also get irritated by some things they see and hear about television.
After it ran, I received a marriage proposal, a lunch date offer and an email from one of my former bosses.
Here are some of the more amusing responses I received. I edited them for space and use initials to identify those who contributed some of their own pet peeves. They were all addressed to me in some very nice way, which I deleted to save space.
“I love you so much right now I could marry you. Together we could torpedo our way through WNY and get thrown out of multiple supermarkets for pointing out their refusal to respect those folks who really DO have 7 items or less in the express lane. I do have a couple of peeves: The stupid red
jackets that Channel 2 thinks set it apart from the other channels. They look ridiculous and do nothing to improve local newscasts. Add their theme song to the mix and that gives me two reasons not to watch local TV news. And does every story have to have a WNY connection? And a usually obscure one at that? My kids are usually mortified to be with me when I see people breaking sensible rules, so you're not alone." B.A.
Dear B.A.: My kids are often mortified by me, too. It is a badge of honor.
"Thank you and thank you again. I enjoyed it. You may be annoying, but I think you'd be fun to have lunch with. You're not supposed to be watching TV at the dinner table! I think you are a curmudgeon." C.H.
Dear C.H.: Guilty as charged. I often eat dinner alone, which I believe makes it acceptable to watch TV. But I get your point.
"Lots of the things that annoy you do the same to me! I wrote something several weeks ago about news anchors constantly 'thanking' their reporters on the WGRZ TV Facebook site and other 'Facebookers' jumped all over me! Seems like "MAD" (Maryalice Demler) on channel 2 spreads the gratitude to the reporters more than any anchor! Like you, I also switched to channel 4 and 7 after the MAD self-serving "commentary." Also hate the new graphics as it reminds me to much of FOXSNOOZE! And, don't get me started with "Pope" Don!" B.S., Tonawanda
Dear B.S. I purposely left MAD’s commentaries off my annoying list because I feared it would have felt like piling on.
"TWC notified its customers in WNY that the CBC and the CTV channels would be offered in HD within the next year. That notification came about three years ago, if I remember correctly. I'm still waiting. I've pretty much given up. I realize that in the world of TV transmission, we are totally at the mercy of the providers and how much we are willing to pay. It's absurd how high the cable bills have gotten. It's also absurd how many useless (to me) channels I must pay for in order to get the handful that I actually watch. I hope you keep hammering away at the idiocies (and the idiots) in the industry, as well as handing out the well-deserved praise to those who excel at their jobs." Just Joe.
Dear Joe: Don’t give up. After all, TWC eventually got The NFL Network.
"You left out the 'Happy Holidays from Channel 4' song. They played it so much the first couple of years it became like nails on the chalkboard. Now it must be at least 15, maybe 20 years old, and they still insist on torturing us with it every December. Retire it already!" J.W.
Dear J.W: I understand where you are coming from, but Channel 4 has so many new staffers that last year’s promo with that song seemed like a good way to introduce as many of them as possible. Besides, I didn’t want to be accused of being anti-Santa Claus.
"I can't agree with you more regarding long weather reports. That has long been a source of irritation to me. The weather report on my scanner is about 30 seconds and Channel 4 expands it to 4 or 5 minutes at least! Thanks to humorous Don Paul (whoever told him he was funny??) Thanking the weather people for their overblown verbosity only adds insult to injury! I agree with everything else you had in your column." Cordially, R.G.
Dear R.G: I’ve also decided not to pick on Pope Don Paul for a little while. Except for calling him Pope Don.
"You need to go more low tech for your CBC in HD. Turn off cable and use an antenna! We've been watching all of our playoff hockey, and truthfully a lot of regular season hockey, over the air! All you need is an HD tuner found in most newer televisions and a good antenna that can be pointed at Toronto. We use our old roof top antenna. And the best thing is, it's all free! P.S. Yes, Mike Emrick is super annoying." E.M.
Dear E.M.: Thanks for the advice. It won’t help me because I can’t put an outside antenna up where I live. But hopefully it can help others who aren’t big Mike Emrick fans and can do that.
"Who cares if anyone smokes in that nuthouse (The Ralph)? It's an open air stadium. They've done a lot worse than smoke - urinate, fight, vomit, argue, throw stuff, have sex in the stands, etc. They go there to act like barbarians because no place else will tolerate it. I hate the anti-smoking commercials too, so I change the channel or hit 'mute.' The Geico and NYS Lottery commercials would insult the intelligence of a 10 year old… And what if an 8 year old asks his father, ‘Daddy, what's male dysfunction?’ I suppose daddy can always say, ‘Well, when you get older, you'll know.’” Jan
Dear Jan: I understand your belief that worse things happen at the Ralph. But I care about smoking at the Ralph. An open air stadium doesn’t help when someone is sitting in front of you, behind your or next to you smoking.
“One thing that bugs me is the sports on the news. There is no time. But I can see the weather report constantly. I have emailed Channel 2 and all I got was thanks for the comment. I think the only ones worth anything are Channel 7 and Adam Benigni on Channel 2. Channel 4, forget about all of them. They are the worst. Is there any hope for us sports fans?” M.H.
Dear M.H. Is there any hope? Probably not. The stations are told by consultants that few viewers care about sports.
"I want to say 'thank you' just like the news anchor says to a reporter. There was one that you didn't mention that annoys me and that's the idiot who every Friday yells and screams about the deals for a furniture warehouse in Tonawanda. For months their ad mentioned that it was located next to Melody Fair. I emailed their corporate office and advised them there is no longer a Melody Fair. I think they finally got the message because now they say it's next to Wal-Mart. Now if they could only stuff a sock in that big mouth. The commercial that NY State is running about smoking is, although true, disgusting especially at the dinner hour. I like nothing better than to look at a lung ravaged by cancer while eating a medium rare steak. I loved watching 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' on HBO until my wife and I had to cancel the premium programs on Time Warner because of financial constraints. They broadcast it on a basic cable channel but after they bleep all the good stuff it's not worth watching. It's like watching 'Blazing Saddles' on AMC. D.G. Wheatfield.
Dear D.G: Thanks. Understand the financial constraints. I’d rather eat steak than pay for most cable shows, too.
"OMG... Please let me introduce myself....Ms. Larry David as I have many of your pet peeves. Oh, here is my BIG pet peeve is when watching the news and the newscaster says 'to read the rest of the story, go to our website at blahblahblah.com.' Why can't I just watch the so-called news without having to search it? Not like the way I remember watching news." Ms. Larry David/ Karina
Dear Ms. David: I guess there are a lot of Ms. Davids around. I hear that a lot.
"Here's one that really annoys me: 'Coming Up Next.' Practically all the time that phrase is used, then followed by commercials, more stories, another utterance of 'Coming up Next,' more commercials and then the story. Sometimes there's a change in anchors before that story comes up." A.W.
Dear A.W.: Sorry I missed that one. It might be coming up in my next annoying column.
taggedTelevision | TV news