Watching TV shows on DVD is a remarkable experience. You can breeze through four hour-long episodes and not feel like a whole lot of time has passed. It’s amazing how quickly the time goes.
The reason for that is each episode is down to about 42 minutes, max, after you remove the credits and the commercials. (I watched one recently that ended at the 39 minute mark.) Remember — and I’m assuming you’re older than 25 or so here — the days before time shifting, when you had to get up and walk to the TV to change the channel or the volume? People used to stick by one network for the entire night. Human laziness is a remarkable thing. Commercial breaks were used for snacks or bathroom breaks, I suppose, but they were part of the deal. You got used to it. It almost didn’t bother you.
But, those shows were 50 minutes or more. The commercial breaks didn’t run every 5 – 8 minutes. With TV shows down to 42 minutes (or less) of entertainment per hour, you can’t blame humanity for using DVRs and skipping shows for their eventual DVD releases.
The networks respond, of course, by adding MORE COMMERCIALS (or as many as the FCC will allow) to increase ad revenue they say is lost by people changing channels and not watching TV. They just don’t get it, and so they dig their holes deeper. One of the reasons pay cable shows like SOPRANOS appeals to people is more than just the cursing and graphic sex; I believe part of it is the lack of commercials making it so much easier to lose yourself in the world you’re watching.
Speaking of which, has the writer’s strike made anyone else feel guilty about watching TV shows on DVD?