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UPN 8 Sucks

The local UPN affiliate in my area sucks donkey gonads. This isn’t anything particularly new, since they’ve always really blown (I mean, when your call letters are “WEVU” and you make jokes in your bumpers like “We View TV!”, you have to be pretty far down on the totem pole of TV station professionalism). But after last night, I officially hate the local affiliate’s guts more than I hate the UPN network in general.

This past Wednesday, what was regarded as the best-yet episode of Star Trek: Enterprise aired. I only saw the first fifteen minutes and the last ten, because I was busy with some urgent business that came up. So I was all excited to check out the weekly rerun on Sunday at 10:00 pm. Enterprise is always rerun during this time. Except it wasn’t yesterday.

Yesterday, instead, when I turned on the big screen TV and got ready to settle in, I saw some blonde bitch giving an extemporaneous speech about a truly amazing new exercise method in which you—get this; I bet this has never been tried before—follow along “on your VCR or DVD” and get some kind of smashing new workout seemingly by magic. Of course, given that there are few things in the world that I hate more than having fitness promotional tripe shoved down my throat, I was incensed.

I don’t know what “WEVU TV’s” problem was, but they simply decided—arbitrarily, I suppose—not to show Enterprise last night. They had no problem showing a six-year-old rerun of The X Files at 9:00, and they already had an entire night’s worth of paid programming slated to begin at 11. But I guess the network honchos just couldn’t live without that extra hour of paid bullshit, so they aired it instead of their flagship property. Although sadly, upon reexamination, I’d probably have to admit that America’s Next Top Model is probably UPN’s flagship property now.

The fact that UPN is so desperate to cancel Enterprise despite the fact that, like every other modern Trek series, it has gotten phenomenally good in its third season after two dismal ones, is now revealed to be clearly a biased opinion. They don’t want the show to succeed. They’re like General Motors, hiding the F-body under the rug and then complaining that no one’s buying it. Even if Enterprise was the next TNG, UPN would still want to boot it out the door because it costs more to make than any shitbag reality show ever could, and requires more cognitive thought than anyone in the reality TV audience could ever muster. Dumbed-down TV is all the rage.

In fact, next year’s UPN lineup is comprised totally and completely of reality TV and black comedy. It barely even makes sense that Enterprise is on that network, and frankly I wish it wasn’t. I wish it would air somewhere like the Sci-Fi Channel, somewhere that would appreciate it. That would be a kinda sad commentary on the whole state of the franchise, though, that Paramount can’t even air its number one cash cow property on its own network! That is what the “P” in “UPN” stands for, lest you forget. Not “Pap”, although the latter is more appropriate nowadays.

I should have seen this coming back when the executives at UPN decided it would be a good idea to cross over Voyager with WWE Smackdown! back in 2000. It was like daddy dressing up his nerdy son in shoulder pads and sending him out onto the football field in some desperate attempt to get the kid to act like a jock. It failed. Voyager fans hated it because they saw it for what it was, and…c’mon, do you honestly think any Smackdown! fans tuned in just to see The Rock steppin’ out on the set for all of five seconds, which was literally the amount of screen time he had?

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I guess I’m annoyed because it’s popular to badmouth Enterprise because it started off so lame, and I feel like no matter how good the show gets, people will still badmouth it on principle. It could be the next 24 and no one would care because it’s Star Trek—which, obviously, is why Brannon & Braga got rid of the “Star Trek” title from the show when it first aired. (They’ve since brought it back, I guess in some last-ditch effort to get viewers…like there was anyone out there who knows Star Trek but didn’t realize that Enterprise was part of it!)

At least there’s a sorta-happy ending to this story. About sixty seconds after realizing I’d got the shaft from UPN, I went to my computer and searched some various networks for people sharing Divx captures of the episode. I quickly located one, and as of 8 a.m. this morning, I’ve got about 20% left to download. I won’t be able to watch it on the big TV, and the picture is likely to be less than optimal, but at least I’ll get to see what the fuck is going on before the next new episode airs on Wednesday.

Or is scheduled to air, at least. If UPN had their way, they’d try to sell us a workout video instead.