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Jun 4, 2008

Not "Very Funny" at all

A revolution is coming. There are only slight grumblings of it currently, but the noise is getting louder. To use the phrase from the bottom rung of the Fletch Film Rating System, people are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it anymore.

Perhaps you're one of the lucky ones that hasn't noticed the problem. You're sitting there blissfully unaware of something pure evil that is festering in the world somewhere. Perhaps you never watch TBS. I can't say that it's a regular habit of mine, but they do show Seinfeld and Family Guy re-runs after all, and who can complain about that?

Well, I can now, and so can many others around North America. The Turner networks have always been horrible when it came to commercials, and I can only assume they were the innovators for such annoyances as Kyra Sedgwick taking up half the screen to pimp The Closer. But this time, in what can only be interpreted as a battle against DVRs and commercial skippers, they've gone too far, and just might get some retaliation.

Here's what happened:

So there we are, watching Family Guy. The show is moving along nicely, closing in on a commercial break no doubt, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Bill Engvall (and family) popping up onscreen, hitting "pause," pimping his show for 10-15 seconds, then "unpausing" the show just in time for another 10 seconds of airtime before the "real" commercials hit.

You've got to be effing kidding me.

Over the past few years, we've seen TV go from "nothing onscreen but what you're watching" to "small logo inhabiting the lower right corner" to "logo taking up 1/6 of the screen" to "animation appearing for the first 5-10 seconds upon return from a commercial break." But stopping a sitcom right in the middle of a joke for a pop-up ad? What's next?


14 people have chosen wisely: on "Not "Very Funny" at all"

Moviezzz said...

I saw the same thing.

VERY annoying.

I thought it was an act break on the show (was it the football episode of FAMILY GUY you saw?). But then the show restarted.

Mrs. Fletch said...

That fake remote "pause" was sooo offensive. Also, they were HUGE, taking up 1/2 the screen.

DJ Heinlein said...

Oh my god! I was watching the same episode as you were. Talk about living in the Twilight Zone. That pause and unpause feature pissed me off as well. What the hell, bro? Weak, bro!

Rachel said...

And this, among a million other reasons, is why I don't watch tv.

WaywardJam said...

OMG! I haven't had the 'pleasure' of this yet. I have had a third of my show blocked due to fliipin' banner ads!

Another sneaky thing NBC was doing during 30 Rock - having the cast pimp other shows and stuff. If you do the DVR FF you wind up stopping and since these ads are just before the show returns it's more trouble to FF than to just watch it and wait.

Shifty, sneaky #$#!#@*&^#!

Nick said...

haha, what the heck. I haven't had this experience yet, either... but that sounds weird. It's MTV syndrome. First Music Television loses its music. Now Television is losing its Television (it'll be pure commercials before too long!).

Clive Dangerously said...

I witnessed this myself yesterday, and was also astounded at the audacity of whomever it was that decided this was acceptable. On top of the 'never would I dream of this happening' show pause, they also had several 'take up half the screen' animations of Bill Engvall and his family playing frisbee.

If this were some new, groundbreaking show, or a returning cult favorite or something, maybe (big maybe) I would shrug it off, but it's the second season of a really unremarkable family sitcom. If you have to pimp it like this, there may be a reason no one's watching

Fletch said...

Now, if they were creative enough to plaster Bill Engvall's face onto Peter Griffin's for an entire episode, I might accept it also - just because that would take a lot of work.

It really does just go to show that there are no limits.

One kind of cool idea I read about (in that it's a smart idea) was that for some commercials, some people are either thinking of or already using still images, as those would still be effective to people fast forwarding. Inoffensive, too, unlike the Engvall crap.

It's never a good sign when people's reaction to your advertising is to switch the channel...and never come back.

Jason Soto said...

Dude, you're totally right. I was watching it Monday night and it kept happening and I was like "Wtf is this??" It's just better to get whatever show on DVD to watch it uninterrupted. That's what I say anyway.
-Jason

Daniel G. said...

WOW. Not cool. I only catch TBS for The Family Guy and occasional weekend movie, but this is ridiculous. Fortunately any of their programming can be found on DVD, but still...

Also, when did they decide to become Comedy Central 2? They just took a couple of sitcom reruns and now they're the "funny" channel?

Nick said...

daniel: they also try their hands at a bunch of their own sitcoms... 'my boys' and 'the bill engvall show' being two of them.

Daniel G. said...

Hmm, good point. Seems like an odd identity for them to seek so wholeheartedly. They could just as well call themselves "The Only Cable Channel That Doesn't Show Two Hours of Law & Order for Every Three Hours of Other Programming."

Bobbi said...

Between product placement in a lot of TV shows, and now this atrocious infusion of commercialism is going way too far. Yet another reason why I only watch one hour of TV a week, while my son watches enough garbage to rot the brain. TBS has gone way too far. There are too many inane commercials as it is, and I, for one, hate all commercials equally.

Fletch said...

Bobbi - you have much more restraint than the common person (myself included). TBS has gone overboard, and I remind myself not to watch when flipping channels these days - how ludicrous.