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Quick! Hand me the TV remote

August 30, 2020
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

I think I understand why so many people are no longer watching "regular" television and have switched instead to streaming services.

You know, streaming services like hulu, pholo, fubo, sling, Periscope, Showtime, Netflix, CBS All Access, YouTube TV, twitch, veoh, tubi, Crackle, HBO Now, Fandor, Mubi, Disney Plus and Acorn TV.

Heck, there is even a streaming service from Amazon called Amazon Prime TV. And I thought they only delivered packages.

Now anybody my age who is reading this thinks I made up half of those names in that second paragraph. And, I have to admit, I had to look them up and I believe at least half are made up names.

But, they are not. Subscribe to them all and you are probably going to spend a thousand bucks a month to watch TV. And who on earth has that much spare time to watch TV? Well, maybe in the winter in Minnesota.

But I digress.

I think the answer to the question of why people subscribe to streaming services is not because the content is better than broadcast TV, but is instead because there are no commercials.

What's that you say? There are ads on some streaming services? OK, forget that thought. Obviously, I don't watch many shows being streamed. Like none.

However, back to my original complaint.

There are way too many commercials on regular, broadcast TV. And, there are way too many stupid commercials on TV.

Need an example? If you time the show Big Bang Theory for both the program and the commercial times, you will see it is almost 50/50. Fifteen minutes of show and 15 minutes of ads.

My solution is to only watch shows I have previously recorded. Or, I now have the ability on my Bevcomm cable TV access to start a show in progress back to its beginning. Then, when commercials come on I can zap through the ads and get back to the show.

Some movies on those cable channels, and some shows like Bar Rescue, have a lot of commercials during their commercial breaks. I have learned that I can put the remote on double speed fast forward, and count "one, one thousand one, two one thousand two" all the way to "12 one thousand 12" and stop the fast forward and I am right at the perfect spot for the show to start up again.

Go ahead and try it for yourself.

Football games are great for this too. It is easy to watch a full three hour Vikings game in an hour and a half or less just by "zapping" the commercials.

And just why do we need to "Zap" these commercials? Well, not only are there too many of them, they are obnoxiously stupid.

You know the ones I mean. I don't have to list them all for you. But if you need some examples, there are these:

Skittles commercials where the giraffe is being milked for its Skittles by a creepy Caribbean dude.

Geico Insurance commercial with the half man, half motorcycle creepy thing going on.

Any Charmin toilet paper commercial with those bears keeping their hineys clean.

Liberty Mutual Insurance ads with this Limu Emu character and his goofy sidekick. Makes you want to turn the channel as fast as you can. The other Liberty commercials with the Statue of Liberty are nearly as bad. Who comes up with these ideas?

Progressive Insurance with the new whiny girl makes already annoying commercials now really bad. Maybe it is just that insurance ads are all grating on my nerves.

Well, you get the idea. There are dozens more, including those ones on local television that feature Joe Namath selling medicare insurance and Bill Shatner is selling a machine to clean your sleep apnea apparatus.

Thankfully, those commercials seem to have gone away for a while. Maybe to be replaced by the dreaded political advertising which I expect to flood the airways soon.

Everybody probably has their favorite worst TV commercial. (Is that an oxymoron?) A friend of mine cringes and gets nauseous when a commercial for a plumbing company in the Twin Cities comes on. It shows a plumber cleaning out a sewer line and it looks like his gloves are covered with spots of you know what. Actually, I think it is just brown rubber grip spots. But even so, why would you use those gloves in that particular situation in a commercial.

Actually, it is sort of apropos, since most of the commercials on TV these days seemed to be something which should be flushed down the sewer.

In the meantime, grab that remote and "zap" all the commercials. Or sign up for a streaming service.

Or better yet, turn off the idiot box, get up off your recliner and head outside and do something fun.

There will be time for TV watching when the snow flies.

 
 

 

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