SUDDEN job losses, buy one/get one free deals and tall tales about foreigners trying to take over the country.
That's Ireland in 2008 all right, but it's also a good description of RTE's new schedule. There was devastating unemployment news for Caroline Morahan and Pamela Flood.
The former Off the Rails presenters have been told by RTE they're so-o-o last year, and are being replaced by Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon. The early signs aren't good as Brendan sported a V-neck at the launch, making him look like a secondary school pupil on a day off.
RTE also unveiled a spectacular two-for-one deal that any discount store would be proud of -- the Seoige sisters. Besides keeping it in the family, there will also be significant cost savings for RTE in not having to generate the name O'Shea on the show's computer graphics.
The only hope for entertainment from the Seoige love-in is if some childhood feud between the sisters about a Barbie doll is revived during the series.
RTE has also promise (or threatened) a multi- part documentary about Cromwell's invasion of Ireland. It's going to be a long, hard winter of telly viewing with Cromwell documentaries and credit crunches.
To paraphrase Cromwell, if it's a choice between telly or Connacht, we'll take Connacht.