Monday, 11 August 2008

Things that annoy you on tv

OK, so here are a few tv things that I find annoying, plus the alleged justification for it, and what I think the real reasons are. Feel free to send me some more.

Really, really, really irritating. Worst on Living for some reason...

Technically, you are not allowed to have higher volume in ad breaks, but due to compression of audio it just seems that way.

(SECRET ACTUAL REASON) We do all we can to make the ads louder so you take more notice of them, otherwise we'd lose money. Compression is a good excuse for us as no viewer knows what it means.



Voiceover: "Welcome back to Property Ladder. Toby and Jocasta Idiot-Posh are looking for a townhouse in Bath for around a million pounds, and a crash-pad in Kensington for under half a million." Over this we see clips that we've seen before. There's ten minutes of the Idiot-Poshes rejecting everything and Phil'n'Kirsty making faces, then: "Coming next, have we found them their ideal pad at last?" over footage of them jumping up and down for joy. Fast forward through the commercials and start again. "Welcome back. This time, we're following Toby and Jocasta-"

No. Stop it. STOP IT! I haven't forgotten what I was watching thirty seconds ago. Just get on with it. Don't show the same clips that you showed straight after the title sequence, at the end of part one, start of part two, end of part two, start of part three. When the clips turn up on the actual programme content I want to SCREAM.

Just leave it out. Assume I have a memory greater than that of a goldfish.

(REASON GIVEN) People drop in and out of shows. It's important that new viewers know what's going on.

(SECRET ACTUAL REASON) Oh, how many do you want? Us producers think the audience are stupid. They've forgotten what was happening five seconds ago, to be frank. If you don't trail what's coming up they'll switch over to watch something else. Oh, and handily it fills up ten minutes of airtime for free.


A Sky thing but very irritating. Last night it was 'Press RED for GLADIATORS MULTI-START'. For quite a bit of The Simpsons, although it did go away eventually. I'm watching the best sitcom ever, and would rather shove a pugil stick up my nose than watch that regurgitated game show. Often it stays there all the time, and whereas if you're watching live it goes away with pressing BACKUP, it doesn't if you've SKY+'d or Tivo'd it. Grr.

(REASON GIVEN) We're offering our viewers extra choice.

(SECRET ACTUAL REASON) We're advertising the next show whether you're the target audience or not. It's our channel and we disrespect you so much we'll spoil the show you've chosen to watch by spraying graffiti on it.


Last night I sat down to watch some stuff I'd recorded. Top Gear on Beeb2 at 8pm, followed by Britain From Above on Beeb1 at 9pm. Dead straightforward, two shows with a fairly similar audience profile I'd think, surely they'll flow into each other? What with it being Aunty BBC and that?

Oh no. Top Gear started at 7:59 or so I think. It was in full flow when the recording played. And ended at well past 9pm as there was plenty left (ie no credits, at the end of a report). The recorder switched to BBC One and there was Andrew Marr already going with his new series. OK, it was a special series trailer thing, but still - er, why is this happening? I want to see BOTH shows ONE AFTER THE OTHER. Is that so hard for our lovely BBC to organise?

(REASON GIVEN) We engineer the programme junctions carefully to minimise viewers switching channels, and maximise our audience for our shows.

(SECRET ACTUAL REASON) We faff on with everything like this 'cos if you switch over to ITV and something's already started you might think, oh bollocks with that, and switch back. And we don't care that much about you lot with Sky+ and the like as you bugger up our live ratings anyway.


The latest marketing wheeze is to push a small amount of shows at almost every promo junction (ie the start and end of breaks). So if you watch, say, two episodes of Frasier on Comedy Central- er, I mean Paramount Comedy, and switched on a bit early, you'll see eight or nine promo breaks.

And they'll show three trailers max in those breaks. They often don't consider the target audience at all - ie intelligent, wordy Frasier was packed with trailers for moronic kiddycom Two and a Half Men.

(REASON GIVEN) We focus our marketing on key brands, and research proves more promos for less brands delivers eyeballs.

(SECRET ACTUAL REASON) We have to make less trailers which saves us money. Our average viewer only watches fifteen minutes a week (ie one episode a fortnight) or something - if we're lucky - so they won't realise this.


A small selection of gripes there, mainly culled from watching the tv on a rainy Sunday. I will no doubt return to it.

No comments: