Summitlake Does The Discovery Channel

Here at, we don’t watch TV much. In fact, chances are, you don’t know many people who watch less TV overall. But, there are some good shows out there. Even a TV-phobe has to make time to decompress once in a while. Yes, books and magazines are a big part of life here, but we’re spending more time exploring music, and the vast outback wasteland that is TV, when time allows.

Listen up, armchair surfers of the world. To break out of the rut of Internet and Sudoku, we’ve made it our mission to find those good shows.

We find some of those shows on PBS. Network news is usually just too shallow and frivolous, which has its own entertainment value for some – but honestly, how many times a day do you want to hear what Karl Rove said or Oprah might not have said? When you just want to find out what’s really going on in the world, most often, I turn to PBS.

For almost everything else, I turn to the Discovery Channel.

I think I do remember the name “Discovery” and its occasional Nature show from the eighties. This seems to have grown into a veritable explosion of Discovery Channels and shows: Google shows me Discovery: Asia, Science, Canada, Health, Theater, Military, Travel and more. Obviously there is heavy popular demand for real content beyond Dr. Phil and the dysfunctional family life depicted by Hollywood.

If you wonder how a high-growth, for-profit company can turn out consistently high-quality programs with a science and nature orientation, the answer is that even Discovery can’t always do that. There are a lot of repeats. There are a lot of ads, and a few of them are as obnoxious as network ads. There is evidently not enough fresh ad revenue yet, so ads are recycled to the point of aggravation. Discovery is growing fast, and the rough edges show sometimes – a small price to pay for the high quality of most of the content. I will often watch a re-run of a top favorite rather than switch channels.

Over the next week or so we’ll do mini-reviews of some top Discovery shows. Stay tuned!

[to be continued as a series of mini-reviews]

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