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Everything King will return after this ridiculously long commercial break

In this week's column, Wendy rants about long commercial breaks and shortened seasons
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Last week, we were talking about all the TV reboots on the air. It got me thinking that there's a few other things I've been noticing about TV watching. 

I'm sure it is different from what it used to be or at least from what I remember. Perhaps you'll think so too.

We've all got about 300 channels but only about six things worth watching. So much repetition for so much money.

Are commercials now just unbearably and ridiculously long? Are there not a whole slew more of them now?

I remember one to two minutes of ads per commercial break, tops. It was just enough time to run to the fridge for a quick snack. Now, I swear – and I am not exaggerating – I can go upstairs and have a shower, come downstairs and make some microwave popcorn and feed the cat and be back on the couch again and they'll still be droning on about Trivago and BelAir-Direct.

There are times I am watching a program and literally forget where the scene left off by the time they come back. Sometimes I forget what show I was even watching.

Plus, there are fewer commercials in the first half of the show than the second half. Right?  

You might get a good 11 minutes at the start if you're lucky but that second half hour is just commercial after commercial. I now see why people are PVRing shows and watching them later when you can fast forward through the ads. For an hour show you likely only get about 22 minutes (so, that's where that show name came from!!) 

Not only are the commercials endlessly long but they are super loud. They are way louder than the show itself. I know the CRTC, FBI, NCIS, or some other powerful agency that goes by its initials will swear this is not true but I proclaim "fake news." When a commercial blasts and sends you two feet in the air off the chair with fright, it is too loud.

It is obviously louder because I don't normally change the volume. Well, except for the fact you HAVE to increase it when the acting begins because you can't hear the dialogue at all.

Everyone seems to be walking and talking and talking really fast. There's a excess of mumbling. I used to find that low raspy delivery very sexy. Now, its just sort of annoying!

When you enjoy a lot of suspense and mystery shows, legal and medical programs, the characters are using really big words and doing that very fast and very quietly. 

This begs a lot of questions: 

"Wait... what's he dying of?"  

"Who shot him?"  

"What did the mysterious note say?"

My family spends half the time asking, "What'd he say?" Thank goodness we have the 12 minutes of commercials every segment to explain the storyline before the whispering resumes.

And why is everything shot in the dark? Everything is in shadow. Everyone is wearing black.  

I actually have joined a few forums dedicated to certain TV series so the next day we can all ask each other, "What the heck happened?" Almost everyone says they had to watch twice to catch everything. 

While I'm on a rant, what's with the shortened seasons? A few years ago, didn't the new shows begin in September and run through May? Then we got some summer replacement shows to take us into the fall and then it all started again.

I am watching a few shows that didn't even start the new season until the end of January and are now preparing for the cliffhanger season finales in May? 

The other thing I noticed is that the shows rarely run straight through the season. By the time they take time off for Christmas vacation, awards ceremonies and pre-empt for sports or political events, we are lucky to get six solid shows in a row.

I am quite sure Hollywood doesn't much care about my opinions, but then don't come crying to me over poor ratings. You are making people crazy with your overly long hiatuses.

Maybe it's my attention span that is lacking. Maybe it comes with age and I am feeling more agitated by the long lapses.

Maybe we are now so programmed for everything to be fast and furious that we can't settle down for an hour and just let things play out. Modern day consumers want what they want when they want it and served up how they like it. 

If people get frustrated or aggravated, it's just too tempting to press the "off" button. 

If you do that, don't worry because when you turn it back on, chances are it'll still be in a commercial break.


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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