Outta Hand Ads

Been a slow week news wise to comment on, at least for me anyway, so I’m going to chat about something that has been bothering me for a bit.

I’m a TV watcher. I watch shows to get sucked into the stories, to enjoy that bit of escapism you can achieve from hearing a good story or rooting for great characters.

Now commercials are bad enough, we’re getting quite a bit of them now. In fact I’m sure there are those out there who have DVD sets of shows from times gone by. Watch a show from the 70’s or 80’s and look at the play time for a single episode. Then pop in a DVD of a current show and do the same thing. They were different weren’t they. In some cases the running time is as much as 5 much minutes different on an hour long show. But this I can understand and as it was a gradual and slow progression I got used to it.

I know I’m going to be skipping a few ad types here, but I’m on a time limit and need to move forward.

Few years ago we started seeing what could basically be considered pop-up ads coming on doing the shows themselves. Little graphics that would advertise another show on the network you were watching. It’s things like this that in my opinion hurt the storytelling aspect of TV. Some shiny graphic coming up can really take the viewer out of the story that the writer was trying to tell. Now I grant you, once again I’ve gotten used to those and can pretty much ignore the stupid things when they pop up on my screen.

What has really gotten to me though is now they actually will make a commercial out of part of a show. We’ve all seen them do this with American Idol where they had the Ford music video of the week with the contestants. The Voice hawks Sprint and whatever new phone is coming out. But these are reality shows, it doesn’t really hurt my enjoyment of the show by seeing these things. However in scripted shows, that’s a whole different story.

I like the show Bones, the characters are compelling, the storytelling is top notch and it’s a fun show to watch. But they were a bad offender, for some reason, last season with basically having a commercial starring the main characters during the episode, within the story. Several episodes in a row they were schilling for Ford and the car that could park itself and had all the great flashy buttons on the console and stuff like that. The sad thing is, I remember that crap more than the stories that were being told. This was product placement on a whole new level.

I understand there’s money involved. But to completely destroy….Speaking of destroying things, get Halo 4, you get to destroy all kinds of things in it…..the continuity of a story by placing an ad in the middle of it is just sad.

I have continued to watch Bones and will say they seem to have stopped this practice of doing a mini-commercial during episodes. Thank you to the writers and creators for putting an end to that bad idea. But I really worry that now that the sanctity of the story has been breached we won’t be able to get it back.

So, until next time….


Originally posted November 9, 2012