Product Type: Sky TV channels
Newest Review: ... show does exceptionally well on another channel, chances are it will end up on Sky1. Which is good for Sky customers, but can be a pain fo... more
Reach For The Sky
Member Name: stoffy
Date: 24/01/03, updated on 24/01/03 (327 review reads)
Advantages: 'The Simpsons', 'Family Guy'
Disadvantages: Too many chat shows during the day, little variation
Sky One is the most watched of the hundreds on non-terrestrial channels, and has been providing entertainment programmes to the UK through various means since 1990. Available as a free channel on Sky Digital and NTL (although not on Freeview, which former users of the defunct On Digital/ITV Digital can now use), it broadcasts around the clock.
Where as all terrestrial channels have an element of news and current affairs, Sky One merely contains programmes to entertain rather than educate. Rather than documentaries and culture, you tend to get chat shows, comedy and gossip. Whilst not necessarily as ‘quality’ programming can be accessed from other channels, it does give the station a rather empty feel to it.
The undoubted jewel in the crown is ‘The Simpsons’. In fact, it wasn’t until towards the mid to late 1990’s that terrestrial TV could actually show any of the episodes of the classic programme, as Sky One had acquired the rights to broadcast them first.
With viewers regularly in excess of one million, they are showing the current series, which is unlikely to be screened on Channel 4 (who have recently beaten BBC2 to gain the rights to show the newer programmes) for many years to come. At least two episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ are shown every day, although four in go is also not uncommon
Other comedy highlights include ‘Family Guy’ which charts the exploits of the Griffin family in Quahog, Rhode Island. Making the Simpson family look more like the Waltons with their confrontations and weird adventures, it is arguably more adult and nearer the knuckle than their yellow counterparts. Sadly it has fewer episodes due to it having been decommissioned by the US TV bosses a few years ago. Another Matt Groening creation, ‘Futurama’ is another regular in the schedules, although this lacks the consistent laughs of the other two animations.
tay in the schedules is ‘Stargate SG-1’, which Sci-Fi fans assure me is quite good even if it’s not my cup of Darjeeling. Episodes of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’ are also shown first on Sky One, and well in advance of the terrestrial screenings, which are rearranged around sports events, much to the annoyance of their fans. The popular ‘Roswell High’ is also regularly shown.
Daytime on Sky One is dominated by the chat shows of Sally Jesse Raphael, a woman who is a ‘Guess Who?’ card come to life, and Jenny Jones. However, these are inferior to the forerunners in the genre like Oprah and Ricki Lake, and are best glossed over.
There are the odd British made programmes which make it onto the American dominated channel. ‘Kirsty’s Home Videos’, presented by Kirsty Gallacher, is Sky One’s version of ‘You’ve Been Framed’, although it is a million miles away from Lisa Riley’s japes with animated video cassettes with its saucy continuity sequences and often violent clips. There also seems to be a lot of nudity, something that you definitely would not want to see on its ITV1 equivilent...
‘Dream Team’ is one of the few non-American dramas shown on Sky One. The Sunday night serial charts the ups and downs of the fictional Harchester football team, as they battle against relegation. Usually at the end of every series there is some kind of accident which means that a whole new cast can be wheeled in the following series, and the player-based stories are consistently ludicrous. However, it man ages to be one of the most popular non-terrestrial shows for some unknown reason.
Elsewhere on Sky One, it is possible to find a smattering of children’s programmes like Pokemon as well as WWE, which allows big fat men to play-fight each other whilst masquerading as sportsmen.
The presentation of th
e channel is quite downmarket, although unlike ITV1, it doesn’t try to dress it up as being anything that it isn’t. Instead of Mary Nightingale trying to look as intellectual as possible, pouting into the camera as is swoops down on top of her with some soothing music in the background, you’re more likely to see a naked butt-cheek on Sky One’s continuity sequences.
Sky One is merely there to provide the entertainment wing of the vast Sky network rather than serve any other purpose. Whilst it’s one of the better channels of the hundreds on offer thanks to ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’, there is an awful lot of rubbish which fills the schedules, particularly during the day. There are also ad breaks are also longer and more frequent, which is never a good thing.
If they ever lost ‘The Simpsons’, you get the feeling that they really would start to struggle. Until then however, my Sky Digital box in the evening is always firmly locked on channel 106...
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