Not quite the same

Friday, May 26, 2006

Apparently Canadian television and American television are not the same.

We found this out as I sat down to choose our digital cable package.

Now, I only have a few shows to which I have pledged undying and eternal love. Most nights, if the television is on in the bedroom, I am watching Comedy Central. What can I say? I like the funny. I thrive on the funny.

My other "go-to" channels are National Geographic, TLC and Discovery. I already confessed several times that I am a shameless nerd. I mean, I did see the new X-men movie -today- to taste the yummy Wolverine goodness. But I digress.

So, down I sit to peruse the cable channels. I scroll down the first set. Hmmm. No Comedy channel. No Nickelodeon. No National Geographic channel.

All right, so they are with the more expensive packages...I can do that. Nope. Don't see them. I go to the Ultra high end package, cause I am NOT moving with no access to Jon Stewart. There is only so much I can take and a life without JS is no life I want to have!

What? What? Where the fuck is Comedy Central? Seriously. I start to get loud in front of the computer. Terrance walks in. I begin to gesture toward the screen. There is NO COMEDY CENTRAL!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO??? WHAT SICK LAND ARE WE MOVING TO? I REFUSE TO LISTEN TO CELINE DION AND WATCH NON-STOP CIRQUE DE SOLEIL!!!

"There is an online question spot - why don't you just ask them if they have it."

Oh. Well. OK. That seems reasonable.

I type my query into the box. I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
Jesus. Is the entire country asking questions about their digital service right now?
Terrance sits on the bed next to me and we both watch the screen. Waiting. Waiting.

A tech comes on-line. Let's call him "Rene", for the hell of it. Rene writes that these channels are not available in Canada. The Canadian government wants to protect the Canadian industry and so these channels aren't "Authorized".

"What about Nickelodeon?" I type.

Nope. Not authorized.

Terrance says - "Ask about HBO!"

Nope. Not authorized.

"Do you have Canadian equivalents", I type. Like Splenda instead of Equal.

"Kinda" is the response. He gives us some website addresses and tells us to go look at them. We do, while staying on line with him.

Sweet Baby Jesus - There it is. On the Canadian Comedy channel - Daily show and Colbert Report. I am saved. Emily does not fare so well. Some of the Nickelodeon shows are on the Canadian version - but not all. Terrance finds a Canadian Movie network which shows some of HBO's stuff, so he breathes easier. Rene seems to sense our stand down of panic on the US end of the internet. He tells us to call when we get to Montreal and they will be there within 24 hours.

Why does my cynical American nature refuse to let me believe that?

17 Baleful Regards:

Catherine said...

Maybe because in America, "24 hours" can mean anything from "sometime this week" to "sometime before your eighty-first birthday"... at least in my west-of-the-Mississippi experience.

Oh, and glad to hear the TV gods were shining down upon you! Life without the Daily Show and Colbert Report is a life hardly worth living.

Anonymous said...

Are you moving to Canada for the free medicare? becuase it sure sounds like you'll need it.

Mommy off the Record said...

Thank GOD you'll have access to the Daily Show. Talk about a close call. Pheww. I was about to offer to tape each episode and mail you copies each week.

Mom101 said...

itunes, baby. You can download broadcasts of whatever on HBO. Plus they're all coming out on dvd like minutes after the season ends so at least there's that. Sometimes we actually prefer it because no commercials, plus you can watch like four in a row. Hate the cliffhangers!

Keep your American pop culture sensibility burning bright, darling. Just say no to Anne Murray.

Tiffany said...

Best of luck to you I know I couldnt live without my stories

mama_tulip said...

Are you going with a satellite company or just with basic cable? We have two satellite systems, because we're all about quality television programming, one of which is StarChoice. Several of the channels that you talked about in this post are available on StarChoice. Check it out.

mama_tulip said...

Okay. I just re-read your post. Gimmie a break, it's early and I've only had one cup of coffee. Maybe not "several" channels -- but you can get National Geographic on StarChoice and Discovery. And Show Case plays a lot of HBO shows, too. Show Case is a good channel to have.

Mr. Mommaamme said...

Just thought I would step in with a technology solution. If you have a friend in the us who wouldn't mind hosting it, you can get a Slingbox. That should get you around the Canadian goverment. It is basically a device that lets you stream someone's television on the internet.

That person would have to:

1) Have a cable subscription that included the channels you wanted.
2) Have an extra cable box to hook to the slingbox.
3) Have a decent internet connection to support your watching of the shows
4) Have a tivo to make your life complete, so you can watch tv your way (tivo is optional, but it would allow you to record the show when you wanted to. Might be able to get away with a cable dvr and combine this and requirement #2 together. I personally love the tivo.)


The Sling box is basically about $200. The tivo could range in costs from free to $100, but would cost $12.95 a month. Cable boxes are $5 a month. The cost add up, but might be worth it to watch what you want.

Just thought you might want to know.

Sugarmama said...

Mmmmm, tasty Wolverine...

I have no technology advice to offer, but I dare say that Emily will be adaptable? As long as there are SOME cartoons? At least, mine would be after her initial shock at no Sponge Bob. But what a relief that you got the Daily Show and Colbert Report matter straightened out. That might've been worth moving south again for!

Jess said...

There is a way to get any show you want---regardless of what you get in your cable package. Not that I would know anything about it.

Izzy said...

Mama Tulip beat me to it...I was going to suggest satellite because the eye in the sky knows no borders :)

Jaelithe said...

Hey, you watch exactly the same channels I do. Exactly.

And I would totally be sinking my teeth into some Wolverine hotness right now if it weren't for the fact that I do not watch movies in the theatre because I have a two-year-old.

Are you sure you weren't supposed to be my big sister or something?

I would panic if I thought I'd have to live without the Daily Show, too . . . Thank heavens they do have it there. What are those silly Canadians thinking?

Elizabeth said...

As I type this my husband is at X-Men III with a bunch of friends and where am I? Home with the baby. &%$^#&@ jerk.

But I digress-Satellite TV! You must have Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to keep you warm on those cold Canadian nights!

Nancy said...

You can see my hubz is way ahead of me in blog reading today. Sigh.

I am surprised HE didn't suggest this, so I will: become a hockey fan. You won't have any shortage of that on Canadian TV.

You're welcome. ;-)

Anonymous said...

o.k. calm down, I'm Canadian and I've watched all of those shows including Sponge Bob!!Most of our t.v. is from the U.S. We have the comedy channel and they have all your shows on it plus all the Canadian shows so you will have double the laughs!!

Melinda.

mothergoosemouse said...

Having just seen DVDs of a fabulous Canadian comedy show last night, I can assure you that your addiction to the funny will only grow stronger.

Andrea said...

I'd have shipped you DVDs burned of shows on TLC, Discovery, National Geographic, and all that if you hadn't found suitable alternatives that show the important ones. I'm breathing with relief on your behalf.

 
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