And I say that with love and affection, as I occasionally make money from one of their subsidiaries.
However, the cable system they operate in Manhattan has been pissing me off for the last week or so.
It started several days ago. I was flipping through the channels and saw a blurb for a movie on Showtime On-Demand called “Where the Truth Lies.” The description in the little on-screen menu read (and still reads): “A reporter who sets out to learn the true story of a legendary comedy duo's breakup uncovers a scandal involving murder. Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman.”
Now, I had heard about this movie when it came out last year. It was said to be very loosely based on the infamous Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis partnership, and then bitter feud and breakup (the murder thing notwithstanding) and I was somewhat interested in seeing it. So I hit play.
But, what looked like a really, really cheesy movie started. The credits were rolling and I didn't see Bacon or Firth in them. I see Kim Catrall (!) and some other people whose names I didn't even recognize. Huh?
And, as the movie begins, I see what looks like a bad, low-budget, made-for-TV movie playing.
Well, obviously a mistake. So I hit stop and go back to the menu and hit play on that movie again.
Same thing. The cheesy movie. And now I notice the title on the credits is actually “Where Truth Lies,” not “Where the Truth Lies.” Well, that's weird, but, frankly, I don't have the interest or energy to obsess about it, so I move on.
Cut to a few days later. I'm bored yet again, and flipping through the channels. Nothing interests me, but, once more, I come across “Where the Truth Lies” on Showtime On-Demand. Hit play – ugh - same thing! Same bad Kim Catrall movie.
And now I'm slightly fuming: “Did they never realize that mistake? Did no-one call them to complain?”
Whatever, there are 300 other damn channels. I can find something else to watch, so, once again, I move on.
But now, people, it's personal. So, here I am, Friday night, I'm clicking around yet again (and that's quite a life, I have, huh?) I'm at the On-Demand menus again, and, yes, there it is. “Where the Truth Lies” - “A reporter who sets out to learn the true story of a legendary comedy duo's breakup uncovers a scandal involving murder. Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman.”
Okay. I figure, by this time, SURELY, they must have realized what was going on. They probably got a ton of complaints. It's been fixed by now, right? So I hit play.
Same goddamn thing. Same goddamn cheesy Kim Catrall movie begins.
Now, working in the biz, (as we say in the industry) I actually know what's happened. The cable systems subscribe to a show-description service for their on-screen menu guides. Sometimes it's run by the TV Guide people, sometimes it's the Tribune company, or United Features, and there are others too. They have descriptions for each movie or TV show, coded by a number for its title or episode, which they plug into their system when they get the schedule from each network. The description for that particular title then appears on your screen when you hit the guide button on your remote.
Obviously, there are these two movies with VERY similar titles. Some idiot has got the title of this movie from Showtime (the Kim Catrall one) but he's looked up the other title, punched in the wrong code, and inserted the description for the Bacon/Firth movie.
And no one, not ONE goddamn cable subscriber in all of New York, a city of 8 million, noticed it.
Or, if they did notice, they never bothered to call Time Warner Cable to complain and get it changed.
Now I have to do it.