Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"The Trek To 'The Tick'"

Rambling Preamble  (Probably.  Because that’s what I do.):

I read a review of a new TV series called “The Tick.”  It seemed interesting to me and I wanted to check it out.  The trouble was “The Tick” was on Amazon, and I am only adept at watching TV shows where you turn on the TV and press the numbers for the appropriate channel.  Amazon requires you to do more than that.  First, to just get to Amazon, and then to wade through the bazaar-like cacophony of offerings to find the specific program you are trying to locate.  I have done this successfully before.  But not frequently enough for it to become routine.  And never… alone.

Today, I am undertaking a risky and dangerous adventure.  (That’s how perilous this is; the task requires two words that mean exactly the same thing.)  I shall attempt – in “real time” and without editing to access Amazon and find – and then watch – “The Tick.”  I shall do this entirely on my own.  (Or not, and fall flat on my face before a pissed and incredulous readership, “flying without a net” with the distinct possibility of “Splat!”)


I am now leaving the comfort and security of my office along with my laptop, walking the handful of feet to my nearby bedroom, to take on this never before attempted – by me – solo journey into the televisional “Unknown.”

Wish me luck.  I am going to need it.


I forgot my sustaining bottle of “smartwater.”

Okay, I’ve got it.  Now, off to…


I have to first rewrite my rambling preamble.


Okay, done.  And now…


My laptop – which I also don’t use much – just went crazy.  I must seek ameliorating assistance from a more tech-savvy family member.


Okay, it’s fixed.

And now... trembling with trepidation.  Or possibly excitement.  No, it is definitely trepidation…  

I head into the bedroom.

“Jumping-Off Point”…

I am sitting on my bed, three remote controls (or it is “remotes control”) lined up beside me.  I am ready to begin.  Soon.  I think I’ll just sit here a minute, pondering the momentousness of my impending safari.


I take a deep, departing breath, and set off on my journey.  I reach for the “cable” remote.  I click confidently.  (I use the cable remote every day.)  The TV screen comes successfully to life. 

I am satisfactorily under way. 

10:07 and thirty seconds…

I deliberately hesitate – a game show contestant, facing a challenging, loftier plateau.  I take a bracing swallow of smartwater.  And I am ready to press on.

10:08, or so…

Setting the “cable” remote aside, I take hold of the “television” remote.  I am aware that I have to press the “Source” button, but I am uncertain whether I have to press the remote’s “Power” button first.  It is my initial of what I am sure will be many decision-making conundrums (actually, conundra) yet to arise.  I take a quick breath, and I courageously press “Source.”  (Though why would that work when I hadn’t previously pressed “Power”?)

Anyway, it did.   

I heave a relaxing sigh of relief, imagining a a canoe-traveler, choosing the fork in the river that wasn't the waterfall.

10:13  (I must have dozed off for a moment from the fatigue.)

I use the TV remote to “scroll up” from the HDMI3 setting, which is the Cable STB outlet, to the HDMI1/DVI setting – Look at me, talkin’ like an expert! – and press the… button you press after you do that… he said, crashing headlong into the “expertise” wall. 


The screen goes ominously dark.  And I have the creeping feeling it shouldn’t have.  With no thoughts on how to move forward, I scroll back to the HDMI3 Cable STB setting, then scroll back up to HDMI1/DVI.  That is my typical M.O. when I hit a mechanistical roadblock.   I do the same thing over and over again.  It’s like kicking the appliance.  Sometimes, it works; sometimes, it doesn’t.

This time, it doesn’t.  The screen remains funereal. 

I cradle my head helplessly in my hands.  I feel hopelessly lost in an alien terrain.  I reach once again for my water bottle, taking what I hope will be a invigorating swig.

Then I get an idea.  (That smartwater is good!)

Commandeering my last remaining remote, the… I don’t know what it’s called but it’s supposed to get you to Amazon, I click on that, hoping to erase the stymying darkness from the television screen.

And it works.

Though I am not exactly sure how, I have reached the distant, exotic “Land of the Streaming Services.”  What I see is a wonderland.  I feel like Marco Polo when he arrived in Cathay, my mind agog with the menu of tasty delicacies, unavailable on broadcast TV.


Without pressing a button, I see a billboard for “The Tick.”  Just like that, the needle in the haystack jumped up and said, "Hello."  I click on the billboard.  I watch a short promo for the show.  My heart pounds with excitement.  I am so close to my destination I can taste it.  (And if I watched the Top Chef series I actually could.)


I click on the box for “The Tick.”   There is a brief pause.  The screen goes dark.  Then a written announcement appears, saying,

“We are unable to connect to Amazon services.  Please check your Internet connection and try again later.”


I cannot believe what is happening.  Clear daylight into the end-zone, and I get tackled on the one yard-line.

I click “The Tick” box again.  (Repetition.  Maybe it’ll work this time.)  I get the exact same answer.  I am directed to “Network Settings.”  It tells me my “signal strength” is “marginal.”

How frustrating is this!

Not to mention anti-climactic.

I can click on “The Tick.”

But they will not let me watch it!

Am I a failure?

Well, I got there.  It’s not my fault…

Wait!   It’s starting!  They are playing the first episode of “The T…

Nope.  It stopped.

“Internet Connection Error.”

Curse you, “marginal signal strength!”

Oh well.

I know how to do it,  I guess I’ll come back and try again later.

It’s okay, though.

I won’t blame you if you don’t.


How do I get back to “television?


Pidge said...

I get the same results on Netflix. I click on the poster for the show I want and watch the little red upload line start creeping its way along the bottom of the screen and then a sign pops up to say the choice I've made is unavailable at this time and I should try later! Then I have to click a box that says "OK". Well, ITS NOT OK,
And why is it always unavailable? What am I paying for?

Edward J. Anonymous said...

I watch "The Tick" on my computer at https://gostream.is/film/the-tick-2016-season-1-15563/watching.html?ep=999553

You're welcome.

JED said...

I think it is an apocryphal story but "they" say that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the sign of madness. Well, computers and machinery have forced us into this. Turn the key, push the gas and the car doesn't start. Try it again and it still doesn't start. Try it again and it works. Who is crazy and who is on their way to work?

I liked this story, Earl. The bottom line is that you did everything right and the "tech savvy" jerks that built the system failed. They should FIRST check that your connection is OK and then let you see the menu of choices.

Todd Everett said...

Like Edward J. Anonymous, I just go to Amazon on my laptop or desktop, find the show and (as an Amazon Prime customer) watch it on my computer. Your way sounds like more fun.