I’m a shameless history geek, and so if there was any TV channel that should draw my attention, it ought to be the History Channel. Much to my disgust, however, HC seems to have a permanent Hitler fixation, with an occasional segue into UFO conspiracies. The average person would probably gather from watching HC that world history consisted entirely of:
Ancient Egyptians building pyramids, followed immediately by:
Romans having orgies and their empire collapsing, followed immediately by:
Nazis, nazis, and more nazis. Oh, and nazis. Did I mention the nazis? And some dude named Hitler making lots of impassioned speeches. Don’t forget the nazis! Poland gets invaded (again), followed by:
JFK getting his head blown off, and the CIA-Mafia-Illuminati-Greenpeace conspiracy responsible for it.
99.9999% of their programming concerns nazis and military technology, with little to nothing on such minor events as the Renaissance, the Mongols kicking damn near everyone’s asses, anything to do with India, Visigoths, Prophet Muhammad, or, heck, even World War I. Not II, I. That’s one Roman numeral after World War, mind you.
I find myself with a derth of good expletives, so instead I’ll resort to stamping my foot, pouting, and whimpering “It’s not fair!”
Why do you think we call it “The Hitler Channel”?
I was momentarily distracted by the concept of chocolate salty balls but I have recovered sufficiently to agree that the History channel seems to have taken a nose dive in quality.
I feel your pain. I call it The War Channel. Lifetime is The Victim Channel.
What about pirates and cavemen? That’s history too, dammit!
At least the Nazis always lose.
Sucking on chocolate salty balls does not sound that bad to me–I like chocolate, I like salty and I like round candy.
Hairy, sweaty balls would be a different matter.
“Ahhhh, the Luftwaffe…the Washington Generals of the History Channel…”
Actually, they’ve been doing more than Hitler lately – it was much worse a couple of years ago. I think a lot of it has to do with cheap stock footage – doing much of anything before WWII probably requires more re-enactment, and hence more dollars, than sticking with the Nazis.
And any network that puts on Mail Call and Conquest back to back is OK in my book.
I loved Mail Call. I can’t wait til our cable gets turned on Tuesday so I can watch it again. Anything that has Ermey doing crazy shit and yelling at people is quality.
Well, if ol’ Temujin had had the sense to put some embedded film crews in his horde, he’d get more air time on the History Channel.
Exactly. Who wants to watch the losers on TV?!
Those bastards cancelled “History IQ”.
I shall never watch the channel again.
Hmmm, I haven’t seen a whole lot of Hitler on HC in our neck of the woods, but I’ll agree with presidebt’s nickname of “the War Channel”.
Seems like they are always doing some war or another, or if not war, war items, like warships, guns, rockets, weaponry…
Although, they did have an interesting special on the other night (it was about 1am, so that would be about 5am for the east coast people).
It was about Sex and the Civil War. All about the “camp followers” etc. Pretty interesting. Not much about war, but a WHOLE lot about hookers.
“Chocolate salty balls” is a reference immediately identifiable to any hard-core * South Park * fan.
I enjoyed their history detective show, where they forensicly examined historical events. I haven’t seen it on my guide lately when I channel surf, so maybe it went the way of “History I.Q.”
Occasionally, they have a good series, like Simon Schama’s * History of Britain, * which I really enjoyed. More often, though, it’s Hitler, the Pyramids, or the aliens.
I realize they’re in a sticky situation. The majority of Americans are relatively uninterested in history, especially if it concerns an event or people with which they are not familiar. The History Channel must walk a fine line of retaining the attention of those who just want entertainment, and yet not lose the history buffs. Sadly, a show about the Renaissance is likely to be eclipsed by one about Bigfoot. It’s hard to balance the needed “brain candy” for the masses with the desires of those seriously interested in history. They need the ratings, and there just aren’t enough people who care to watch an in-depth special on Elizabethan society/politics.
[Homer] “Ah, the Luftewafe. The Washington Generals of the History Channel.” [/Homer]
I’m curious as to why the History Channel, which from the name I would surmise is supposed to be about factual events that actually took place, would have any programming revolving around UFO’s. There has been no proof, scientific or otherwise that they exist or that aliens have visited the Earth. If you want to have that kind of crap on, throw it over to Sci-Fi, m’kay?
Get digital cable, and watch the History International channel.
Life can be good again.
The Louisana Purchase
Modern Marvels: The Colosseum
were pretty good recent shows, IMHO.
The H Channel has certainly took a plunge into the murky waters of “What the hell? This again?” I’ve been on a Discovery kick lately…they did a series on Neanderthals that I found pretty amazing.
History International is also quite good. Props to elmwood for mentioning it.
Eh, my father likes the Hitler Channel well enough, and it keeps him off the streets. He’ll watch anything having to do with WWII. Besides, the more of that channel he watches, the less Fox News he watches, and that’s a good thing.
The history Channel tries to sell ad space like all television. So what do they do? They try to get programming that will pull in the maximum amount of viewers per unit of time possible. So they probably figure. Well, we can either please a small minority of people wanting to watch the history Channel 24/7 or we can hopefully attract a large but shifting group of viewers. how do they do that? Just like a radio station. They constantly replay a select group of “Hits” trying to lure the most amount of people possible. Hitler, Wars, and the Roman Empire are the topics that get the most people to watch if even for a short amount of time.
That’s why I say Television makes you stupid. I don’t think its the medium, but just the advertising-based nature of the programming. For them its better to get all of the people some of the time than some of the people all of the time. Plus they have to creat less programming that way so its less expensive.