The HBO/Cinemax Winter Heatwave

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I love everything about this ad. That it’s pimping late 80’s pay cable. The take “Chase away the cold” tagline. The graffiti-like font for “Winter Heatwave,” which is so 1980’s that I half-expect a wall to be shattered by a cabal of electronic percussion beats to reveal Jessica Hahn shuttled a generation ahead to bed me.

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These come from a TV Guide from January 1988, highlighting great movies (Lethal Weapon, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) and ones whose merits are questionable, like Over the Top and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (and I sadly have affinity for both). I also recently grabbed Light of Day—written and directed by Paul Schrader!—on VHS at a flea market for $2 and look forward to seeing it.

“Heartthrob Mel Gibson.” Mike Tyson in his prime. Ron Reagan, comedy great. 1988 was a crazy time, man. Note as well that Temple of Doom‘s presence is an indicator of how languid the wait for big movies to get to cable and beyond, let alone video, was—it came out in 1984 and took four years to get on TV! I’m continually annoyed to the bone by how movies will be massive hits nowadays, then take not even three months to hit disc. Maybe it’s my age starting to talk, but VOD, Netflix, Amazon—spoilers, these things. Today, people would cry crocodile tears if they had to wait two years before the last Hunger Games was released on Blu-ray. Hell, seeing a movie at a hotel or on a plane in the theaters-video interim has no advent anymore.

Educate your children, your grandchildren, people who never experienced the era of pay cable, and marvel. I was barely born on the cusp and only knew these older days barely, but by god do I respect them. Great times.

WARNING: Having cable TV, HBO or Cinemax is not a proper means of heating your home.

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