Monday, November 02, 2009

weather schmeather

I find the Weather Channel to be a grave disappointment. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say: "I'm such a nerd! I love watching the Weather Channel!" But I'm not buying it. THERE IS NO NERDY VIRTUE THERE.

The Weather Channel actually misses an opportunity to be a repository of nerdy obsessive fun. As I once heard somebody say at a research conference, any time you need a news story, open up the census report and you will have it. Certainly weather is the same? It is always, by definition, happening. The fun is figuring out what is happening where. There is a whole planet full of weather every day!

The Weather Channel doesn't show that off well. It's very huckstery for a channel devoted to such a previously decided topic. The anchors are jolly and feeb and vague and the graphics don't well serve the data management--it's like bad local news weather segment 24 hours a day. I wish it were smarter. There is so much to know about what's happening in the world and the Weather Channel never makes me curious about it. Not to mention (on the other hand) I can sometimes have a hard time getting local weather on the station when I'm on the road, depending on where I am. I think in lots of areas of the country you actually can't use the Weather Channel to get your weather--you just wait hopelessly as they talk about the rain expected for this year's Masters in Augusta. That's neither nerdy fun nor, actually, remotely helpful. Seems pretty lame.

The worst part are the one-hour shows, such as When Weather Changed History (the title of which continues to bother me--don't they mean "Affected"?) or It Could Happen Tomorrow. It could happen tomorrow--really? It could? Earthquakes sunamis floods fires? Don't they already happen? It's revealing that the first episode of It Could Happen Tomorrow was about the potential of a hurricane hitting New Orleans and made just before Katrina--and still there is a need for this show. Weren't there 1,000,000 stories from Katrina? Aren't there still? I just don't get the appeal of watching Ends of Days shows on the Weather Channel. It's like 2012 without the expensive CGI when the real news is happening elsewhere unattended.

Maybe I'm missing a corner of real nerdy fun on the Weather Channel, other than drinking games. Maybe I need to play a drinking game to find it.

No comments: