Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Hmm, I don't have TV ramblings today... I went to North Carolina two weeks ago for work and got really behind on my TV. So then I finally caught up this past weekend during the tornadic storm system. But my marathon TV watching didn't leave time for thoughts or processing. I was just trying to get through the DVR list. You really need time to process the show or movie you've just watched, but instead we immediately get dumped to a commercial. It drives me crazy when you have a climactic or meaningful ending to a show and it fades to black and POW! - Coke commercial or a cell phone commercial. Where is my breathing space? Where is my pause to contemplate what I just saw? Of course this is a little better since they started regulating commercial volume so at least we aren't always inundated with the loudness of the commercial. But I still need a visual pause. I want a few seconds for the powerful images of the TV show to sink in before I have commercial images fed to me.

Don't get me wrong, I actually really like some commercials. I think they can be brilliantly executed and effective. Like this lovely Old Spice one.

I know this pause issue is a result of the way shows and commercials are designed and sold. Programs have to be a very specific length (seconds and frames) with specific commercial breaks built in for network and then affiliate spots (down again to seconds and frames). But geez already! I need a breather. I'll never forget the season 5 ending of LOST with Juliette hitting the hydrogen bomb and the screen goes to white and COMMERCIAL! I needed a second to deal with the impact of what I'd just seen.

This is why I prefer to stay through the credits at movie theaters. I need a moment to process. I fall into the movies. So the credits give me the moments I need to conclude if I was satisfied or not with what I've just seen (that and I like to show a little respect for the hundreds of people who put their effort into the movie making process). I don't want to immediately hop out of my theater chair and walk out and ask my movie companion "did you like it?" Gimme a second!


Chad said...

Good points. I too like staying for the credits in movies for just that reason and have enjoyed watching TV on DVD (or watch instantly) due to the lack of commercial interruptions taking me out of the moment.

Lindle said...

Maybe there should be a "new rule" that involves movie theater ettiquette. No one is allowed to ask how anyone likes the movie they just saw together for at least2 hours.(?) You're right--some require processing and making connections. Some are so exhilarating that you feel the rush immediately, while others creep up on you days later (I'm thinking of In Bruge...) But how can you solve the dilemma unless you watch everything on DVR and hit "pause" before the commercial break? I agree--it does take away the beauty and impact of a moment when it cuts to an inappropriate commercial for erectile dysfunction right after a powerfully moving scene.

Mil said...

One good thing about France is the reduced commerical breaks. I have to adjust when I go back to the US from the constant bombardment. And I hate the increased volume, too. It's so grating. Remi lunges for the remote to mute it. Maybe this is the advantage of DVRs, fast-forwarding.

Mil said...

ps: thanks for informing me about that hilarious Old Spice ad! You need a new category on your blog: interesting commercials that Milam has missed out on.