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Annoyances abound on television

I’ve mentioned before that I’m often asked whether there is ever going to be another episode of one of my favorite programs, HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Larry David, who stars and writes the series, assured HBO programmer Michael Lombardo recently that he isn’t finished with “Curb,” which last aired a new episode about David’s annoyances three years ago.

David’s assurance reminded me that it has been more than a year since I found the Larry David in me and wrote about things in the media that irritate me.

I recently crossed one annoyance off my list.

I had been very annoyed about how often local television and radio decline to give proper credit to this newspaper when it breaks stories. But I have noticed recently that the local media has given this newspaper more credit for breaking stories.

However, I’m sure I will be annoyed again shortly.

Here are my recent and continuing irritations in the past year plus.

Political Ads: They are silly and insult voters’ intelligence. It is hard to believe the claims in the negative ads that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is running against Rob Astorino and it is hard to believe Astorino’s ads. I think Cuomo’s team is making a mistake in even mentioning Astorino’s name because most people probably think he is a New York Mets pitcher. But the really annoying ad is the one in which Rep. Tom Reed listens to his sister talking about their childhood. Now there’s a campaign slogan to remember: “My Sister Loves Me.”

Network promos for new shows: During the Bills preseason loss to the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, NBC ran a series of annoying ads, topped by the ones for Debra Messing’s new light police series, “The Mysteries of Laura.” The ads gave away the two key plot points of the pilot, including the final twist. The pilot is such a mess that it is hard to understand why the show will air. There is one reason: It stars Debra Messing.

Channel 4’s refusal to allow its reporters and anchors to be interviewed: It is an odd stand for a news station. Former anchor Diana Fairbanks wasn’t even allowed to talk after she left the station because of a separation agreement that she signed.

Channel 2’s promos in which so-called ordinary viewers mouth the station’s slogans: Where do they find these people? Are they relatives of the station’s staff? Are they members of a local theater production? Channel 2 is doing so well that it doesn’t need to do this.

Channel 7’s morning musical theme: It tries to wake me up but puts me back to sleep.

The Jon Bon Jovi ban on local radio: This one may surprise you. His singing doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s his moneyed friends we have to worry about.

WBEN talk shows: Can’t it find one liberal talk show host to try to balance Rush, Sean, Sandy and Tom?

The Sabres morning show on WGR in the summer: Let Kevin Sylvester and friends play golf until training camp starts.

Channel 7’s weather on the 7s, Time Warner Cable News’ weather on the 1s: I suppose we’re lucky that Channel 2 doesn’t do weather on the 2s and Channel 4 doesn’t do it on the 4s.

The speedy delivery of Channel 4 meteorologist Todd Santos: I like him, I really do. But can’t someone tell him to slow down?

Time Warner Cable’s commercials with Bill Cowher: They made the 2013 list, too. I wish he’d return to coaching.

Memorial Day, July 4th and soon Labor Day ads: They often air a week or so after the holidays are over. Can’t someone tell the stations to stop running them?

Teachable moments: The favorite term for TV news stories about salacious stories that really don’t teach us anything but the length stations will go to get an audience.

Two-hour episodes of reality shows: I’d rather watch a 0-0 soccer game.

Station self-praise: Another recurring annoyance. I don’t know who told anchors that they should thank reporters for doing their jobs – or for just updating what the newspaper did – but it remains really irritating.

The end of newscasts at 6:26 or 6:27 p.m.: Is it really that tough to deliver a full newscast? Ending early to run three-four minutes of ads is the TV equivalent of an hourly worker punching out the time clock early. And they usually get docked for pay.

4:59 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. starts: What’s the hurry? We can wait another minute to find out what the weather is going to be like.

On demand commercial policy: I wish I could demand they stop airing the ads.

“Last Ship” ads: I’ve never seen the TNT series from Michael Bay but felt like I had before it even premiered. It has been renewed so stay tuned for more ads ruining next year’s NBA playoffs.

Mike Milbury: I don’t think I need to explain why to any NHL fan.

Old health care ads featuring a teenager dribbling a basketball: Couldn’t they have found someone who looks like he wasn’t dribbling for the first time in his life?

The Bruce Springsteen Pandora Channel: You hear Springsteen about every fourth or fifth song if you’re lucky. It’s the same with all the Pandora channels headlined by artists. If you are going to call it the Springsteen channel, let it be Springsteen all the time.

ESPN carrying the Wimbledon finals: Even I stupidly turned to NBC before I realized that tennis’ biggest event has gone exclusively to cable.

Maria Sharapova and the Russian national anthem: After the tennis star won the French Open, the Russian national anthem was played on United States television. In a way, it is admirable that she honors her birth country. But my grandfather was from Russia and I find her musical selection irritating. That is especially true now that Vladimir Putin is causing so many problems. After all the time Sharapova has lived and trained in the States and all the money she has earned selling products here, I think she is about as Russian as I am.

Movie ads that give away the jokes: I’m thinking primarily of Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” The previews gave away all the good lines. And there weren’t that many.

Summer predictions of the National Football League: I heard on a TV preview show in July that the Bills were likely to finish 3-13 – and that was before Kiko Alonso was hurt. Can’t they wait until late August to ruin the fall?

If you agree with me on any of this, you can play anchor for a day and thank me.


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