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Marathon T.V. Viewing... on Line

Updated on May 27, 2022

Living In the 4th World

It was over 50 years ago Jamaica gained television. There was one station.

It did not broadcast 24 hours a day, but between about Four and Ten.p.m.

The programs were of some value.

In 1990 Jamaica got its second television station. This one was supposed to 'correct' the mistakes of the original station; (JBC...Jamaica Broadcasting which was a limb of Radio Jamaica and Rediffusion) and present more 'quality' programs.

After all, they've had experience, knew the errors, knew what people wanted, and so, should be successful.

I admit, during the earliest days of the CVM/JBC competition, many first run dramas were shown. Often in competition. There would be CSI on one station while another ran House, and broadcasting went to Twenty Four Hours.

This halcyon time was of short duration.

Today, Jamaican television is a mush of local rubbish, an occasionally aired First World program, but if there are eight seasons, we are lucky if we see two.

To cut corners and keep the crap coming, many local bits of garbage are presented.

To see real television, to see complete episodes or presentations is not possible in Jamaica, unless one pays for Cable. But as this is Jamaica, many cable stations have had to trim their offerings as a lot of the better programs have been aired without copyright permission, payments, or any of those legal niceties.

In Yard

Imagine turning on your television to TVJ (the incarnation of JBC) to view a drama that was first aired in 2011 in the United States.

Bits are missing, a lot bleeped out. Commercials are stuffed in, one two three four five of them, back to back, whenever, often stealing a few seconds of show time..

Yet, it's a good show. It has gone six seasons in America, and is highly rated but in
Jamaica, only one seasons of this drama is aired in 2014.

CVM has the same practice. It ran the first season of a particular show in 2013. It began running the same first season again in 2015.

If television only reached Jamaica in the year 2000; one could make a condescending smile at how unprofessionally it is managed.

But television was in Jamaica from 1963. Programs still don't start on time, the full compliment of a series is not presented, episodes are often scrambled.

Do not mention local programming. It is of lower quality than a college station.
Much lower.


Imagine being able to see a real television series. Every episode. All the words. No commercial breaks. Being able to start and stop when one desires.

I thought this is what happens if you are good and go to heaven. I didn't realise it was here. Now.

That I could hear about a show on some chat board, go to a website, find the show, and sit and watch it, watch every episode, complete, uncut, unscrewed up... I was astounded.

I could watch these programs free, whenever I wanted.
Every episode.

[be still my heart!]


Oh yeah, I know about pay. But when it takes over $150 of Jamaican monkey money to buy $1.00 US; you understand that what is pocket change for you is a weekly salary here.

Free. Completely Free is the only way to go.

And I've gone.

I have watched the complete set of Graceland. I have watched all episodes of House, Burn Notice and am viewing NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles.

I will be viewing other shows, those for which we only got a half season or heard about.

For the first time I can actually watch television like those in the 1st World!

The Strange Change

Seasons no longer go for 38 episodes. They are often around 20. Then one has to wait for months before the next season begins.

Some shows have intelligent people in production, so don't end a season with a cliff hanger.

In ancient T.V. days, when there were reruns one would have 'refreshers' so they'd remember the characters the plot lines, etc.

Online, when the show ends in May it won't be until October it returns... so who remembers what happened in the last season?

Often, when a show comes back I read the recap before I watch, and often don't bother to waste the eyesight.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who doesn't have the show as the centre of my existence so can not recall every nuance of the last episode aired four months ago.

Another facet is this 'woke' argument. I'm not sure what it means. But I know I watched a police procedural to see how a crime was dealt with.

If I wanted to watch sex, there's always porn. If I wanted to watch a gay drama or comedy, they are available. So why does this show suddenly focus on the sex lives of their characters? Especially same sex?

Since this is supposed to be a show about (police/firefighters/hospital/etc) I'll stop watching, because that is not what I logged on for.

Reading comments of others, it is not what they logged on for either, and like me, log off.


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