Star Wars - The Phantom TV Show.

As I write this, it's late night June 3, 1999. I should be watching ZDTV's "The Screensavers" But I turned it on and what did I get - a show from last week! A little scroller-text at the bottom of the screen informed me that they were all out watching Star Wars Episode 1, and to enjoy the rerun. I went to their site for an explanation, and I found it from a link off of the main page.

Why is tonight's show a rerun? Where are Kate and Leo, and the rest of us who put on The Screen Savers each night?

Greg Drebin, also known as The Boss, finally made good on his promise to take the entire ZDTV staff out for a private screening of Star Wars: Episode I-- The Phantom Menace. It was early in the morning, so we got back at 12:30 P.M.-- not soon enough to make an hour of live TV at 6.

We'd have loved to have brought all of you with us, but we're in California, and the theater only holds 1,000. So here's the next best thing we could provide: all of the Star Wars-related content we've had up over the past few weeks. Enjoy!

So, for many weeks they had been hyping this movie like they were on the Lucas payroll or it was the best thing since the blue G3s/Linux/Palm Pilot/BeOS/Office 2000/Python/whatever's cool in the managing editor's idea of "geekdom" this week. It got to me after a while, and I started saying REALLY stupid things in public. (For which I apologize to some gamers I know. You know who you are.)

Then, the movie was out and all the hype would be over, except for the tolerable fast-food contests and other such things. (I will admit, that KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell commercial bunch is really funny, especially that one where the fast-food-representative-trio are fighting those battle robots and I keep thinking the actor playing Col. Saunders is going to accidentally decapitate the Pizza Hut delivery girl with that light saber he's swinging around.:)

Anyway, life settles down and I think it's over until Episode 2. And then I get slapped in the face by my once-favorite TV show.

To the folks at ZDTV:

Packing up and playing hooky for a day to go watch a movie is very unprofessional, especially something that's being played to death like Star Wars. You're not going to become a major TV network if you keep giving the viewers the finger like this.

To "The Screensavers", specifically: Some on-air warning would have been appreciated, not a tiny scrollertext after the fact. Then, to add insult to injury, you show a rerun from last week! An older rerun would almost be forgivable, since most of your viewership hasn't been with you since day one when no cable carriers wanted to carry you. It gives me the sneaking suspicion that you were on your way out the door and you couldn't be bothered to go into the archives to find something that 95% of your viewers hadn't seen, so you just grabbed the first tape from the top of the pile and threw that into the control room at those sad sacks that didn't get to go with you and see the movie, the dedicated ones who stayed and kept the station from going to a test pattern.

So for the wonderful thank you you gave me, I'm giving you one back. You know how you tell everyone to nag their local cable companies into carrying ZDTV? I'll ask for the Golf Channel instead. Or home shopping. Or somewhere else where the people running the place give a damn for their watchers.

Believe in technology - it doesn't screw you half as much as the people behind it.

The Archon

Go back! Back I say!
Run along home.
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