What an efficient way to catch up on ‘Law & Order’

The Chinese subtitle probably doesn't say "gruesome."

The Chinese subtitle probably doesn’t say “gruesome body” in this CSI photo from my TV.

If you still haven’t tired of CSI Miami reruns with the insufferable David Caruso, failed to catch the other repetitious variations of the show or missed endless loops of Law & Order at home, well, Phnom Penh is the city for you.

We have no alternative to the cable TV offered by our apartment building and so are saddled with whatever the English-language stations provide.  Let me just say it is as though the AXN Asian, Fox International crime, Fox action and other channels provide all violence all the time.

There also is a Fox movie channel.  And more violence along the lines of the end of the earth, the walking dead and Robocop this or that.

Jerry Orbach (You knew that, right?)

Jerry Orbach (You knew that it’s him, right?)

So old are some of the grainy programs that they look like kinescopes. They make Jerry Orbach in his early days look like the actor at his end.

When I am truly cursed, I get to see the thankfully canceled Without a Trace with a cast more painful to observe than a diseased mongrel in prime time.

To be fair, there is an Australian channel that occasionally offers a program here and there that might tempt me.  I once happened upon half of a Downton Abbey episode that left me in the dark, having missed the rest of the season because I have no idea of the schedule.

Every now and then on what I perceive to be an erratic schedule, a decent episode of a popular series I actually enjoy pops up.  More often, I am treated to a sophomoric recent Franklin & Bash on Fox.  Ah well.

Too, National Geographic and Discover programs also are available, but the story lines don’t tend to be gripping.

Why don’t I just download programs from the Internet?  Theoretically, I could. Theoretically. My problem is the WiFi to which my building has held me hostage.  I don’t think I’d live long enough to download a 60-minute episode of Elementary or White Collar, however much I might miss those programs.

Our cable TV is included in the rent and is a veritable bargain in contrast to Time-Warner back in New York.  Of course, that’s like saying free weekly dinners with Rush Limbaugh also could be considered to be a bargain.

I suppose I could purchase bootleg discs for a few bucks, play them on my computer and show them on my TV.  However, the technology is needlessly complex for this soul.

While I am on the subject of TV, let me here lodge a complaint about the CNN version available in this part of the world.  The network seems to have no shame in endlessly assaulting viewers with the same features, even the same news, over not only days and weeks but months as well.

A prime example: the melodramatic “Everyday Cambodia” special with a weepy Mira Sorvino hectoring impoverished and uneducated mothers in English about selling their children to sex traffickers.  That program aired frequently in December and now it has been offered again, so far only once.

Richard Quest

Richard Quest

This probably is a good opportunity for me to declare how offensive I find the profoundly pompous Richard Quest on the network.  His inflamed delivery is unbearable to me, and his arrest for possession of methamphetamine in Central Park 16 years ago strikes me as consistent with his TV persona.

I also used to find annoying Christine Amanpour’s promo, in which she insightfully proclaimed ceaselessly that “information is knowledge, information is power, information is security.”

That height of banality rivals in measure the depth of depravity to which the Fox channels plunge daily.

I directly tweeted Amanpour to say that I knew she was better than her message insistently repeated on CNN.  That promo now seems to be off the — what? — air, and I flatter myself by fantasizing that I am responsible for the change.  I don’t care if that’s so, but I’m elated that I don’t have to be barraged by the inanity of it all.

Now if they’d only get Richard Quest off caffeine, off the air or both, I’d be in heaven, relatively speaking.

E-mail: malcolmncarter@gmail.com

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