Monday, October 26, 2009


Advertisers finally did for me what I could not do for myself: they made me give up television. I couldn't take it anymore, the unyielding yowling of advertisements, be they in the form of 10-minute commercial breaks, 4 minutes of programming between commercial breaks, product placement (on Dexter! sob.) or this jaw-dropping thing where the people in the program actually promote the product, such as the Colbert Report which was supposedly once scathing political satire and now shills mayonnaise and beer.

Apparently, TIVO's to blame for this mess of advertisements. Advertising dollars pay for show + no one watches advertising = advertiser a bankrupt sucker. What a crock. If they're putting the commercials in the programming, why are there still commercial breaks? And why when I buy a DVD or pay for cable, do I still get a bargeload of commercials?

It was time to make a break with Forensic Files anyway. I've seen about a thousand episodes and I've got the formula. 95 percent (I'm guesstimating here) of the time it is the spouse, 2 percent of the time it the gardener/roofer/painting contractor and the saddest 3 percent of the time, the victim, usually a woman or child, runs into the wrong stranger at the wrong time.

If it's a poisoning, it is almost certainly the spouse. If not the spouse, it is the person the deceased let live on the property in exchange for odd jobs here and there. Many murdered people kept these sorts of characters around.

If it is a sexual/fetishistic murder, it is probably not the spouse.

If the surviving spouse is having an affair, he/she probably did it.

If the dead spouse was having an affair, the surviving spouse probably did it. Or the spouse of the boyfriend/girlfriend did it.

Etc. etc. Of course Forensic Files is less a whodunnit and more a how do we prove whodunnit, but with 6-7 commercial breaks in 30 minute time slot, I just don't care anymore.

The only other show I watched with regularity was Chelsea Lately. As much as I salute her deadpan comedic genius and I love John Caparulo, I was discomfited by the constant references to Chuy's size, like we were all still in 8th grade. Let's make fun of the short guy then blow pizza out our nose. But again I could have put up with that if it weren't for the 5 to 6 commercial breaks, all of which giving me ample minutes to ponder: why am I still watching this show? I should be working on my novel.

Bye bye TV.