Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Goggle-Box

I am a child of the television. I grew up with television, I enjoy sitting in front of the television and I believe that television is both the saviour of our bored little minds and the sinner that makes them so.
If you’ve had a busy day hiking across the Andes, wrestling crocodiles or sitting on the settee, a good way to relax is to put your feet up and watch the telly. Strange that it can make me so bloody angry.

Living in TV Australia, the first thing you notice is that the adverts are louder than the programmes they (very, very frequently) interrupt. Now I know the TV companies claim they aren’t really and it is only a matter of pitch but so is dragging your nails down a blackboard. The truth is the volume (or pitch) is annoying and any advertiser that pays for that lucrative first spot is an idiot – I spend the first ten seconds looking for the remote to turn the volume down and then watch the little bars shrink until the aggravating pitch is at an acceptably low level. Did I see that ad for so and so? Nope, and I wonder how much that cost them?

And why oh why do the ads end up being where they are? Whatever happened to continuity? I well remember watching Clint Eastwood merrily killing Gene Hackman in a bar room shoot-out in Unforgiven. Part way through Clint’s quest for justice - bang – an advert break!
Then of course there is the dreaded advert two minutes before the end of the movie. You know that when it comes back all that will happen is that the end credits will start scrolling up the screen. They know that you know too, they just don’t care. And if you wanted to hear some nice music to round off the viewing experience, forget it. Someone thought it was cool to split the screen into three, self advertise another two upcoming programmes and talk over those credits and nice music. It’s even worse if the credits include outtakes because the programme you bought into watching is now squashed into the top left corner of the screen while someone tells you about the next “controversial” episode of some reality TV pap they show.

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