Saturday mornings are one of the few times of the week where, usually, I don’t have to be anywhere. I often find myself unwilling to leave my bed and catching up on television. Over the past few years, I’ve used the time to delve into trashy Friday-night TV. In the past it was NBC’s Lipstick Jungle or ABC’s Women’s Murder Club. (I know, I know—laugh all you want. I don’t care!) And now, inexplicably, it’s ABC’s long-running and now often Barbara Walters-less (boo!) newsmagazine 20/20. Random, right? 20/20, really? But seriously, it’s so good this season. Let me explain.
I had always been a 20/20 fan growing up, mostly because, like lots of folks, I sort of idolized Barbara Walters. She was in her prime when I was young. I used to watch her and Hugh Downs after the TGIF programming block as a child (yes, I was a weird child). Anyway, my point is that 20/20 already had a place in my heart. But over time, it’d fallen by the wayside—I haven’t been home on a Friday night in years.
But this season, after Michael Jackson’s death, 20/20 booked a Barbara Walters-LaToya Jackson interview. I had to watch, of course, because LaToya is fascinating and, hello, Barbara was back. I tuned in on the Saturday after it aired and was instantly sucked back into the 20/20 fold. And I haven’t stopped! A subsequent episode focused several women infected with HIV by the same man, who have now formed an informal support group for each other. Last week was all about albinos and, specifically, how they’re hunted in Tanzania because their body parts are considered magical. This week, as the photo above illustrates, was all about the saga surrounding the late New York City socialite Brooke Astor, which has pitted her grandson Philip against her son Tony. Riveting stuff, really!
What I like about 20/20 is that it’s sort of tabloid-y, but presented in a classy way and totally reported legitimately. Every weekday morning, I spend my subway ride leafing through trashy NY tabloid the New York Post—one of my great daily indulgences. And I think 20/20 is basically the broadcast version of the New York Post, only maybe just polished up a little bit. Honestly, the things that get top billing on 20/20 have made some of the most sensational covers for the New York Post, too. Anyway, what I’m saying is that you should give 20/20 a try again. It’s super good. If you’re into that kind of thing. And especially if you’re looking for some good Friday-night-DVR-shifted-to-Saturday-morning television.
Which brings me to my question for you on this fine Saturday, PopWatchers: What do you watch on DVR on your lazy Saturday mornings? (Let’s be honest—there’s really nothing to watch live!) Could it be 20/20, too? Is it CBS’s Ghost Whisperer and Medium? Are you catching up on shows leftover from the week? Or, wait, could you possibly be one of those people who actually gets up and does productive things on Saturday morning? Eww!
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