Tuesday, March 18, 2014

'Chicagoland' ratings that bad? Missing airplane overtakes documentary

I haven't commented on the 'Chicagoland' documentary being broadcast in eight parts by CNN because I've hardly seen it.
Will I forevermore be 'Part Two'-less?

I watched the initial part the day it was broadcast, but missed the second part when it aired Thursday night of last week because I had to work. Earning a living struck me as being more important at that particular moment.

BUT HEY, THIS is the 21st Century. These cable channels air programs over and over and over. Particularly something like this documentary, which CNN is making a big deal of.

It should have been no problem for me to catch a repeat airing some time during the weekend. In fact, it was scheduled to be a rerun both Saturday and Sunday nights, along with early Sunday and Monday mornings.

Believe it or not, I tuned in each and every time -- only to find out that it got pre-empted every single time. The latest trivial details of that airplane that went missing somewhere over the Indian Ocean were put on live every time.

Now before some of you get offended that I characterized it as "trivial details," keep in mind that I say so because we still don't really know what happened there in that incident that caused an airplane, its crew and passengers to suddenly vanish.

FROM WHAT I gather, officials now suspect that the pilots themselves were "in on it," so to speak. But what "it" is, we don't know.

So I really don't feel any more educated about that incident. And I still haven't seen Part Two of the documentary series -- which from the little blurb I read is supposed to continue the tales we in Chicago are all too familiar with.

You know -- 2013 was a particularly violent year, particularly in select South and West side neighborhoods, while there are those who think Rahm Emanuel is Satan incarnate for those inner-city neighborhood schools that were closed.

Although it seems that the most recent Chicago Black Hawks Stanley Cup championship was thrown into the mix in Part Two -- giving us a few moments of happiness while enduring an arrogant mayor and senseless violence.

THEN AGAIN, I also suspect that those people who most got into the whole hockey championship thing were the ones who were least affected by either urban violence or school closings.

I know that the reports indicated the ratings weren't so good for that first part of 'Chicagoland.' They were considered disappointing -- although better than the ratings that most CNN-aired documentary programs get.

Could it be that CNN has that little faith in this series that they're cutting their losses? Why keep re-airing a program that will only be watched by the random few like I who managed to miss it Thursday night?

Even the latest non-details that only slightly advance the missing airplane story were considered more interesting!

THERE MAY BE a few people out there asking why I don't just turn to my laptop computer and the CNN website to watch a program. Part of it is that I don't want to.

I'd rather watch a program on my television screen (26 inches), compared to that (16 inches) of my laptop. I really don't comprehend those people who think that a smartphone's dinky screen is at all suitable for watching anything on video -- not even some self-shot video of one's friends in some way acting stupid.

But there's also the fact that when I go to the website to try to find it, all I can find are little samples and snippets. Which is probably the only practical way to handle video off a television screen.

Definitely not ideal for viewing an hour-long program.

SO WHAT DO I think of 'Chicagoland?' By and large, I feel like it is telling me a story I already know -- because I (and many of you, I presume) have been following it in detail. It's not adding much of anything new to the mix.

I suspect most of those people complaining about it are the ones who want a program that indicts the reputation of Emanuel, and that anything that isn't super-critical will be considered a "whitewash" by them.

Such a review of what is happening in Chicago might be intriguing if it were helping to spread the story amongst more people.

Yet the fact that the ratings have been sub-par, and that it is becoming something not easily watched, makes me wonder if it's failing on those grounds, too.


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