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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



I am vindicated!

Well, possibly not, as the following relies on information acquired from people in Chicago and as people in Chicago are known to vote for people multiple times well into rigor mortis, and as the consumer research industry is about as trustworthy as Amy Winehouse working as night watchperson at...well, a wine house...I regard the following information with a grain of salt that weighs a couple of couple kilograms. However, I will write the following as though it is 100% irrefutable fact and will not accept arguments to contrary.

I do own a DVR. This is important to know. I have a DVR and I rarely use it to skip over commercials. And not because I believe there is a certain duty to have to watch a few commercials now and again in order to keep us from having to pay for each and every channel, if not each ad every show, we watch on a case by case basis.

Perhaps I'm a little biased in this case, because this would mean, for me, that I would have to work so much to pay for the shows I watch that I would no longer have time to watch them. Sure, there's downloading, but there's a point where that's just obnoxious. In fact, in most cases where I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY KIND OF television program, I either decide it's total crap and never download another one or I go on to purchase the inevitable DVDs (regardless of region) to add to my stupidly huge collection of TV on DVD.

I also do it because, to a certain extent, I prefer it. The shows (that have commercials) are written around them. Every act out is designed to keep you hanging around through the ads and get the resolution on the other end. To that I end, I argue that commercial breaks are actually a part of the pacing of the show. I don't want my act outs resolved to quickly, otherwise they feel like little bumps in the road. Make me wait. Even just a minute. Even just thirty seconds.

In fact, I kinda wish that on the discs for 24, they would include an option that would insert the appropriate amount of black screen between acts to make the episodes actually play out in real time. Just an option.

Now comes this report from the Chicago Journal of Consumer Research, a wholly unimpeachable publication from the same great city that gave us Rod Blagojevich, Al Capone and a third guy.

In short, it says that commercial breaks make programs more enjoyable and that programs shown to study participants sans break reflected a decline in enjoyment in later half of the program. I trust this is not because they were shown recent episodes of Heroes.

Adam Avitable, whether he recalls or not, once impugned my sanity for not skipping through the ads on time shifted viewing. In fact, he waits a few minutes before watching any live airing specifically so that he can skip through them later.

He's missing out.

This is not to say, though that I believe that all programs should have commercials. Dare not infer such a thing. The Wire was not written to have them and therefore, 'tis good as it is. Also, I'm all in favor of Fox's attempt to charge a premium for advertising on shows with reduced commercial breaks. Unfortunately, perhaps, one of those two shows was Dollhouse, which isn't going to be breaking any new demo ground on Friday nights. They still doing that with that?

Anyway. I watch commercials. And with good reason.

Besides, sometimes...though not nearly often enough, the commercials themselves can be enjoyable.

Peter Storemare. Teh awesum.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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