Filling Your Post-'Sopranos' Sunday Nights

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Our humorist says Sunday night's Sopranos finale represents the end of appointment-TV viewing as we know it. He offers some suggestions on what to do with your Sunday nights in the future.


Some of us, however, are ready to move on with our Sunday nights. Here with some suggestions to help fill the void is Brian Unger with today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: TV executives call the behavior of people who approach watching TV with the urgency of a haircut appointment viewing. It is TV as ritual. Appointment viewing defies the VCR, the DVR, or any other R&R. Instead, it is awareness of the moment, in the present, in the body. It's not TV; it's yoga. From fireside chat with President Roosevelt to therapy session with Tony Soprano, our national communion with an electronic appliance is enduring and special.

(Soundbite of them to "The Sopranos")

UNGER: That elusive holy grail of TV habits, appointment viewing, disappeared into the electromagnetic ether, as the curtain fell on "The Sopranos" last night. Sure, there's "American Idol" and that dancing television program with all the stars and whatnot, but now millions of people with premium cable and satellite TV are left wondering, um, what do I do now on Sunday nights?

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: Go with your gut and head out to a strip club, conjure the spirit of the bada-bing, ask a stripper if Tony's in the back. You'll sound like a nut jock, you might get thrown out, even punched in the face. That's the point. Then on your drive home, whack somebody.

The following Sunday night, go to therapy. You'll need to talk with a professional about icing someone because your favorite show is no longer on TV. Or you can't handle cliffhanger endings in life. See a Dr. Melfi or just find a good shrink. But next Sunday night, see a shrink.

Now that you've freed up an hour each Sunday night, you finally have time to smoke some peyote. This helped Tony get it, providing for him a nuanced to understanding of life. It might do the same for you. After a trip to a strip club, whacking someone, therapy and getting high, you're going to be hungry. Pick up some salted cod and whip up some baccala.

And if you still can't get a life on Sunday nights, as a last resort...

(Soundbite of song)

UNGER: Make an appointment to meet your family. That young man playing videogames upstairs, that's your son. And that young woman who acts like she hates you, she is your daughter. And yes, that is your dog. Say hello to everyone, introduce yourself, you're related. And that is today's...

(Soundbite of song)

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