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Home at night where Olympic coverage rocks; more TV Time – Santa Rosa Press Democrat (blog)

There’s still no better way for NBC to cover the London Olympics than with the bulk of the day’s best moments featured in a pre-packaged, four-hour block of prime-time programming.

We complain that we can’t find live events on TV. (NBC doesn’t gripe that most people work during the day when they show events as they happen.)

We complain when we learn that if we could only figure out our computer that we could watch every single event streaming live at

We complain that we find out in the morning and afternoon who won events we won’t be able to see until that prime-time block of coverage, but we refuse to stay off  Twitter or the the hundres of other websites that we know will have updated results. (In other words, we know we’ll enjoy that prime-time show … but, we can’t stay offline … we see the results … then blame NBC for ruining our Olympics experience.)

After a daylong bout with a migraine headache heading into a series of days off work, I’m sitting here watching the 2012 London Olympics … in prime time on NBC … and enjoying it every bit as much as I’ve enjoyed the Olympics in prime time since my first Olympics in 1968.

I had no idea that American beach volleyball star Keri Walsh had three children until I saw what used to be called an “up close and personal” interview with her and Misty May-Treanor in prime time. Three kids and still kicking butt in the sand? Incredible.

I’ve taken advantage of Comcast (Xfinity?) cable services that give me access to live basketball, live soccer and all sorts of live events during the day. I use the Comcast listings guide (cleverly made available by pushing the red button with “Guide” on it on the remote control) my friend. I set my system to record live events during the day. It’s so much easier to use the cable guide than any website or newspaper listings, by the way.

While I watched U.S. men’s basketball and Thursday’s U.S. women’s soccer win over New Zealand during the day (loopy on migraine medication and flat on my back), I fell really quickly back into the prime-time groove. NBC knows what I want and it delivers.

I’m not that guy who couldn’t care less about swimming or track and field for four years, then suddenly needs to know immediately whether Michael Phelps advanced in the 400 IM qualifying heat.That’s really important to note here.

What interests me is the Olympics competition and the pressure the athletes are under … the color of the different venues … and the pre-taped features where I can get to know people I only care about for a couple weeks every four years.

So, naturally, I’ve avoided seeing any results so I can sit on the sofa in the evening and let NBC take me from women’s volleyball to swimming to a pretty intriguing piece about the 1996 U.S. women’s gymnastics team looking back, all grown up.

(Spoiler alert! I stopped writing for a couple minutes here to watch Missy Franklin set a world record and win gold in the 200 meter backstroke. I know she’s tweeted with Justin Bieber, but the 17-year-old seems like a much better girl for my own 16-year-old son. They’re both 6-foot-1, both athletic … both … oh, sorry, back to business …)

Gabby Douglas’ winning the all-around gymnastics gold Thursday night only mattered to me because, as has always been the case, I find the things the elite international gymnasts do absolutely amazing. I could’ve gotten the results on Twitter at 2 p.m., but why would I do that and miss experiencing the drama of the competition, of seeing the athletes react to winning or falling short?

I need it to be 1968, 1976, 1984 … and to sit in front my great big TV and imagine that there really isn’t any dead time at the Olympics. It’s just one swim final, before a track heat race, before the final set of a volleyball match and so on. And, I can experience it all as though it’s live.

If you can’t stay off Twitter or stay away from ESPN during the day, don’t then make like the prime-time coverage I’ve always loved is somehow suddenly a mess.

TV Time

This is just a terrible TV summer. I got the last 4 episodes of “Love In the Wild,” where men and women pair up to compete for a trip around the world and, ideally, everlasting love. While I’d like to tell you it was really interesting competitions the couples took part in that caught my eye, I’ll admit that I was attracted by a brunette who turned out to be Miss Hooters Dream Girl 2011. (Really.) … Tried getting into “Duets” where ABC paired prominent singers (Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, John Legend and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles chose and mentored amateurs who did stuff with the stars and I … lost interest despite really enjoying Clarkson and Legend. … “Weeds” has worn thin, despite my finding Mary Louise Parker one of the most appealing actresses around and the full-time presence of talented Jennifer Jason Leigh. Nancy Botwin as mom who sells marijuana deep in the world of drug crime made MLP unappealing. I didn’t think it possible. “Showtime” ought to develop a show where Parker (as Nancy) and her Leigh (as the older sister who torments her with that sibling love-hate thing) are alone at its center.

Ted Sillanpaa covers sports for the Press Democat. Email him at ted.sillanpaa@pressdemocrat. Follow him on Twitter @TedSillanpa.

1x1.trans Home at night where Olympic coverage rocks; more TV Time   Santa Rosa Press Democrat (blog)
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