The TNT channel is by far the easiest way to lose 48 hours if you know how to work the weekend right.
I'm infatuated with the movies they play on that channel just for the pure repetition that goes on in their programming department.
I wonder how they decide what to play? It's probably a excruciatingly complex process given their penchant for reruns. They probably sit in the scheduling meeting and say OK next month we've got two premieres and Law and Order. Then someone at the end of the table likely chimes in and says, "Ok hold on. How are we going to fit in The Shawshank Redemption, A Few Good Men, and As Good as it Gets."
I'm willing to bet that in every TNT boardroom they have cardboard cutouts of Andy Duphresne. To TNT programmers he must be God.
People like Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins (if you can even call him that anymore ? to me he'll always be Andy Duphresne) make it so basic cable networks like TNT blow FX out of the water. When the best FX can put out is John Travolta in Swordfish, how can they possibly hope to compete with three doses of Andy Duphresne in one weekend. They can't because people like me cannot get away from the screen when they calibrate the right mix of TNT staples into a weekend.
First I'll probably get off work on Friday and see the advertisement for The Shawshank. You know the one where Duphrane climbs out of the stream and rejoices to the storm in his new freedom then the screen pops up a list of five or six playing times that weekend. Well, I usually pay little attention to that one. That just plants the seed because basically, I'm not going to stay in on a Friday night.
I usually get back to TNT on Saturday morning after a late night out. Usually I start off with an afternoon with Jack Nicholson in either As Good as it Gets or A Few Good Men. The next thing you know. It's Sunday at midnight, and I'm wondering why I'm watching Shawshank for the third time in one weekend.
The truth is the perfect clich? that these movies present allows me to dissolve into their simplicity and completely forget that a world exists outside of my couch.
I know could do better with HBO. Or at least be more stimulated, but I like gentle pace of Shawshank or A Few Good Men. The dozens times I've seen these movies has developed an subconscious connection with the lines, allowing me to sink into the plot without even paying attention.
TNT is my therapy after a hard week and even though it's low brow, they do know drama.
Justin Boron covers government for the News Daily. His column appears on Mondays. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 281 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org