Effect of commercials on the show

DotheBartman

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So, I've been thinking recently about quitting watching the show....that is, quitting watching it on tv. I stopped watching syndication ages ago, but now I'm finding it harder and harder to actually sit through the show and specifically the nine goddamn minutes of commercials that Fox crams into every showing, and having just gotten a dvd recorder as a gift, I think I can safely say that I might be through watching any episodes of the show on broadcast period. In the past couple years in particular, I've noticed that it's getting really hard to sit through the commercials, and though watching episodes through recordings doesn't drastically affect my opinion of them or anything (episodes I've watched this season without commercials have ranged from the very good "Monkey Suit" to the dreadful "Wettest Stories Ever Told"), I've found that it's just....easier to watch them that way lately. I don't feel as distracted and detached from the show.

Am I alone on this, though? Anyone else finding it harder to sit through the show as a result of commercials? The weird thing is, it's actually the hardest example....maybe it's just because The Simpsons has a narrative in each show and the commercials distract too much from it, but I actually don't find it as hard to watch other shows (namely Comedy Central, the only other channel I watch regularly) as I do The Simpsons lately. Anyone else think the commercials themselves might be really hurting the show in some way?

And for the record, this thread is NOT about the issue of commercials making it harder to fit the story in...this is purely from the standpoint of the person watching, not how it affects the production of the show.
 

Jerry P.

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I've found that recording and either pausing out the commercials or fast forwarding generally takes care of the problem. Though, yeah, I don't watch the show with commercials except to record it.
 

Binky

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Ha, who actually pays attention to any of the commercials? What I usually do is lower the volume and do other stuff while the commercials are running. And occasionally you'll get the rare good commercial, like the X-men/Simpsons crossover stuff they were airing last week.
 

DotheBartman

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Binky said:
Ha, who actually pays attention to any of the commercials? What I usually do is lower the volume and do other stuff while the commercials are running.

Oh, I do the same thing...it's been a long ass time since I haven't muted the commercials while watching anything on tv. But when I actually watch the show on tv, I don't usually leave and do other stuff because I don't want to miss any of the show when it comes back (plus when I record, I often stop the tape for a couple minutes during commercials so as not to waste the tape, and I don't want the show to come back without me recording again). And plus just having to wait and wait for the show to return is making it really difficult to watch, and even when I leave to do other stuff, I just feel detached from the show by all the commercials.

And for the record, it's also been a long, long time since I've watched even network repeats of the show. I record every episode.
 

Imperciph

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Nope, personally I don't mind commercials that much. I've been desensitized to commercials thanks to the locals tv channels here in my country because they easily cram in about 15 minutes of commercial to approximately 22 minute long episodes of local programs I usually see. Compared to that, 9 minutes of commercials during a Simpsons episode seem like a breeze to me.
 

Your_Hero

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i find commercials funnier than the latest seasons of the simpsons, its half the reason i stay tuned, so i can laugh at what people are sucked in by and how they are sucked in.

That said every commecial break is a source of much annoyence especially when the story is engaging. Breaking tension with adds for burger king isnt how i would keep viewers tuned in. but you gotta make money somehow
 

Veryjammy

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My experience of commercials while watching the show (in fact any show) in the US is that they're incredibly disorientating. Everything seemed to run together; commercials, trailers for tv shows, the actual shows themselves, and a lot of the time I wasn't sure whether something was a commercial or the tv show restarting lol. There didn't seem to be much warning about anything, just a string of visuals. I guess I'm just not used to it but I found it hard to sit through them and odd that programmes would restart seemingly without warning.

Do they still show commercials after the couch gag? I thought that really sucked, as if the opening sequence was somehow worthy of having its own commercial break. Anyway what I'm saying is, I didn't like watching the show in the US and found it hard to concentrate on any show in general so I wouldn't blame anyone who recorded it and watched it afterwards.
 

grissom

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Commercials suck during any show. Occasionally you get a good one, like a new movie trailer or something, but most of them are just advertising crap no one wants to buy. Especially on a show like Lost or 24 during a really tense scene, commercials really kill the suspense
 

bluemoose

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I agree with grissom, commercials suck anywhere, and they suck even more so if it's a really tense show. But even though I hate commercials, I wouldn't stop watching a show just because of them. They're really just something that you have to deal with if you're gonna watch TV, and besides, they give you a chance to make a sandwich, go to the bathroom, etc.
 

Simpsons Forever!

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I've seen The Simpsons in many different countries, on many different channels. The best was on the BBC where they had no adverts and the worst was in America where the advert breaks themselves weren't that long (like on Sky) but were just so frequent you couldn't concentrate enough on the episode you were actually watching. I was getting confused seeing repeats, so I imagine brand new episodes would be hard to get into. I guess I agree with Veryjammy, in that the show and the adverts go straight into each other, without any warning, several times and at the most unlikely places in the episode. It really irritated me when they had a break, then came back for the credits, as I wasn't sure whether the episode had actually finished or not.
 

Adam R

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I hate "commercials", or adverts as we say over here :silly:. Especially on Sky One because they're so long. I lose my concentration on the show. I remember when I was catching up with OFF last year and since I was watching about 4 episodes at a time, sometimes I was just thinking about how many more adverts I'd have to sit through before I saw all of tonights episodes. Channel 4 are bad as well because they don't even have them in logical places like ends of acts, they just shove them in anywhere.
 

That Jerk

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You know... they complain in the commentaries that the ads cut the show short, but it's obvious when you watch the show that they are deliberately stretching out gags and segments to make time. It won't happen, but I'd like to see the show now in a 18 minute block with ads coming later and filling the rest of the half hour.
 

DotheBartman

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Veryjammy said:
Do they still show commercials after the couch gag? I thought that really sucked, as if the opening sequence was somehow worthy of having its own commercial break.

On network, yes. For syndication, they usually remove that break and insert a new one between the third act and the ending credits. Incidentally, this ruins a lot of jokes and moments where the show continues into the credits in some way (think Homer sitting on the car at the end of "Mother Simpson" and Professor Frink's theme music in "22 Short Films About Springfield). They also usually talk over the credits or split them in half to advertise something else, which ruins them even more. Thank god for the dvds because I used to actually get mad watching my tapes from syndication....

Bluemoose said:
But even though I hate commercials, I wouldn't stop watching a show just because of them. They're really just something that you have to deal with if you're gonna watch TV, and besides, they give you a chance to make a sandwich, go to the bathroom, etc.

I've actually known people who quit watching tv entirely or almost entirely as a result of commercials. One person I know once told me they quit their cable because there were so many commercials, and started sticking to dvds exclusively (another I talked to refused to ever buy cable because they didn't want to essentially pay for commercials). I kind of have to wonder if the networks are gradually shooting themselves in the foot by putting in so many commercials and especcially so many disorienting breaks. I have to admit I'm finding myself wanting to watch tv less and less, and largely as a result of commercials. With so many other options out there (dvd players, internet, video game consoles, etc.) I have to wonder how much longer network tv itself can really sustain itself.
 

grissom

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DotheBartman said:
On network, yes. For syndication, they usually remove that break and insert a new one between the third act and the ending credits. Incidentally, this ruins a lot of jokes and moments where the show continues into the credits in some way (think Homer sitting on the car at the end of "Mother Simpson" and Professor Frink's theme music in "22 Short Films About Springfield). They also usually talk over the credits or split them in half to advertise something else, which ruins them even more. Thank god for the dvds because I used to actually get mad watching my tapes from syndication....
At the Fox station here they do the commercial after the opening credits with certain episodes, like the ones you mentioned. I hate when they do that on Sundays though. They always start the episode about 2 minutes before 8 o'clock so whenever I have to watch an episode on my Tivo the couch gag is cut off
 

TheFlandersMan

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Do they still show commercials after the couch gag? I thought that really sucked, as if the opening sequence was somehow worthy of having its own commercial break. Anyway what I'm saying is, I didn't like watching the show in the US and found it hard to concentrate on any show in general so I wouldn't blame anyone who recorded it and watched it afterwards.

They do. I never liked it. But it's not done in syndication, so that's a good thing.
 

bluemoose

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I've actually cut down a lot on how much TV that I watch, and commercials was one of my reasons. I often end up turning off shows because the commercials really started to irritate me. However, those were only shows that I just happened to catch, and didn't really care about watching them or not. I've never turned off a show that I really like just because the commercials irritate me. I just try to deal with them, but I don't see the point in doing so if it's a show that i don't have that much interest in.

But you're right, they are essentially shooting themselves in the foot. I've found myself watching less and less TV, and I often turn it off because of commercials, unless (as stated above) it's a TV show that I really like. Instead of watching reruns of The Simpsons, Futurama, and others, I just watch them on DVD. And I have to say, it is a lot better not having annoying commercial breaks.

EDIT: This was to DotheBartman. Didn't realize that there were two posts in between.
 

Wonderlicious

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Adam R said:
Channel 4 are bad as well because they don't even have them in logical places like ends of acts, they just shove them in anywhere.

Are you sure? From what I've seen, it seems as though Channel 4 always place the adverts after a certain act.

Anyway, I too find the adverts to be rather irritating and rather distracting to the flow of an episode, especially to someone who was spoilt by the fact that I grew up watching The Simpsons on the BBC where there weren't any adverts. If an older episode is on TV, I'll now not bother as I can watch it uninterrupted on DVD, as it seems pointless watching something slightly messed up when you can have it so much better.
 

Heub

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Veryjammy said:
Do they still show commercials after the couch gag?

I just can't believe they dared doing that, I find this quite insulting...
Anyway I was going to talk about commercials in the airing-time problem thread but I guess this is more appropriate.
When I went to California 2 years ago and *tried* to watch a movie I was really struck by the number of commercials they showed, with no exaggeration it was something like a 4 or 5 minute break every 10 minutes of movie. I really couldn't believe it, I'd have had to waste a whole afternoon if I had wanted to watch the goddamn thing. That was quite unendurable.I don't remember what channel it was on but is it like this all the time ?

Concerning the Simpsons, I really sympathize with you American (and English) people who have to go through 2 or 3 act breaks. You sure must be detached from the show after every break. That also explain why you can so easily rate and review each act separately, the show doesn't flows out as smoothly as it should...
I'm glad we don't have any commercials in the middle of the show here in France. (for comparison we only have 1 break (or 2 at the max) during a movie)

Rupert and all his greedy friends should burn in hell for wasting the best show on TV.
I wonder why they do not play commercials in the middle of the songs on the radio yet. That would be exactly the same thing.
 

Homer Jay

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I don't really mind some commercials, but they have gotten to extreme, episodes now seem rushed. I don't mind the break after the couch gag or between the three acts, it helps to break up the episode, and really seems to free up the writing of good shows. The problem is when each break has an additional two 30-second commericals.
 

jim prime

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I gave up on TV years ago. I honest to god have not watched any television in over three years. My TV isnt even tuned into to any station. Im all about DVDs. I just wait for shows like Lost and 24 to come out on DVD. I just cant stand sitting through the commercials, it totally ruins any enjoyment of a show.
I did attempt to watch Lost season two after watching the first season on DVD and couldnt wait until season 2 came out, but the commercials totally ruined it for me and I stopped watching at the second ad break.
 

Veryjammy

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Heub said:
When I went to California 2 years ago and *tried* to watch a movie I was really struck by the number of commercials they showed, with no exaggeration it was something like a 4 or 5 minute break every 10 minutes of movie. I really couldn't believe it, I'd have had to waste a whole afternoon if I had wanted to watch the goddamn thing. That was quite unendurable.I don't remember what channel it was on but is it like this all the time ?

Concerning the Simpsons, I really sympathize with you American (and English) people who have to go through 2 or 3 act breaks. You sure must be detached from the show after every break.

Yeah I noticed that about movies, it took hours to watch anything. And all the swearing was dubbed over lol.

In the Uk we didn't used to have any ad breaks but since it changed stations we have one in the middle of the episode which is annoying but at least none after the couch gag which I have to say I found utterly bizarre. Just start the show already!
 

Maddog53

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Because of my job, I am not at home for most of the shows that I watch on a regular basis. Therefore I began downloading episodes onto my computer which is a lot better. I agree that commercials can really ruin a show for you because it messes up the flow. I have to wonder if the commericals influence people's reviews, at least after the initial viewing. It's been a long time since I've a watched a show with commercials and I can say that I don't miss it at all.

I think if more networks were smarter, they would allow you to download their shows from their website the night after they air on TV. I know NBC has done this with a couple of their shows. It would allow people who really like the show, but don't want to sift through all the merchandising and advertising crap to see the show uninterrupted. Plus, it would allow a larger market to see certain shows and networks would not have to rely exclusively on ratings to judge populairity.

Maddog.
 

Homer Jay

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You are aware that commercials are how networks make money. If they are to allow people to download episodes, they will force them to download them with commercials. I really don't think that watching tv shows with commercials is really any different than reading a newspaper or magazine with ads. You just ignore them, and go to the bathroom or get something to eat.
 

jim prime

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Homer Jay said:
You are aware that commercials are how networks make money. If they are to allow people to download episodes, they will force them to download them with commercials.
Not if they charge people to download them with a service similar to Itunes.
 

DotheBartman

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^Yeah, and I think they could also find different ways of putting in advertising. For instance, they could certainly put one advertisement (that you couldn't skip) at the very beginning of the show, and make it clear on the website that the download/stream was sponsored by one particular company (who would pay more than for usual ad space) and really play them up, but otherwise let the actual content be break-free. I'd certainly sit through one or two ads at the beginning if it meant that the show itself was uninterupted. I don't know if that's the absolute best option, but the point is that there are other possibilities here.
 

jim prime

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Yeah, there have got to be better ways to go about it. I'd prefer one long break in the middle or something.
 

Patches O'houlihan

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Normal, 'product' commercial don't irrtate me, it's the damn Fox ads for thier own shows that get on my nerves.

DTB: I use a DVD recorder and it's much quicker at recording and pausing than my old VCR. But if you think about it, the best way to remove advertising is to record the show on a TiVo, or other hard drive, then watch it and edit out the commericals with a DVD recorder.
 

Charlie

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In Australia, we have the opening/couch gag/first act, then 2/3 minutes of commercials, then act 2, then a commercial break, then about 3/4 of the 3rd act, then finally another commercial break before the last 2 minutes of the episode and the end credits. It's actually not that bad here, because the network actually puts the commercials in good places here, and doesn't butcher the episodes by putting them between the opening and the 1st act or the 3rd act and the credits, etc.
 

Simpsons Forever!

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ivan_simpsons said:
In Australia, we have the opening/couch gag/first act, then 2/3 minutes of commercials, then act 2, then a commercial break, then about 3/4 of the 3rd act, then finally another commercial break before the last 2 minutes of the episode and the end credits. It's actually not that bad here, because the network actually puts the commercials in good places here, and doesn't butcher the episodes by putting them between the opening and the 1st act or the 3rd act and the credits, etc.

Does all that fill half an hour? In the UK, The Simpsons is shown in a half hour slot with only one advert break, lasting 4-6 minutes, usually about 10 minutes into the episode. There are also breaks of the same length before the episode starts and once it has finished, to fill in the rest of the time. It's not that bad, really, as it's quite easy to watch an episode in two parts.
 
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