When FFWD isn't F enough

I wish there was Mythbusters feed that omitted the interminably long and redundant "coming up next!" and "before the break!" bits. Do they think that people only watch the show accidentally while channel-surfing? I think it's a 20 minute show that they pad to an hour. (Ok, 42 minutes plus commercials.)
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17 Responses:

  1. mtbg says:

    I think it's a 20 minute show that they pad to an hour. (Ok, 42 minutes plus commercials.)

    And yet, a couple times an episode they also play blurbs about how they filmed more than they had time to show on TV and you should go watch the extra footage on the Internets. You'd think these problems would cancel each other out.

  2. gths says:

    Cut it down to the cool explosions/crashes/whatever, you'd probably be done in five minutes.

  3. editer says:

    I've noticed too often the difference between shows today and shows 10+ years ago. Late-90s hourlong shows on DVD or Hulu clock in around 50 minutes; ones from the '70s at 51 to 52 minutes; today, 42 minutes tops.

    As for Mythbusters and other shows doing the same, they probably do expect that their audience is tuning around during commercials. I certainly prefer that to sitting through the ads and endless promos.

    • elusis says:

      For the first time in probably a decade or more, I'm watching half-hour comedies ("Community" and "Modern Family"). Except that they're 20 minutes long. It's... disconcerting.

  4. ydna says:

    This alone is the reason Mythbusters dropped off my season pass list. I think I was hearing "bwoop" (TiVo 30s skip) close to thirty times an episode.

  5. cetan says:

    Each season seems to get a little worse in this regard. More "re-cap for the 100th time" then "let's have a mini-play where the audience is embarrassed by the poor acting and even worse writing" followed by 5 minutes of actual show then "coming up next!"

    I noticed they have done away with the teaser cuts when they go to commercial and now just let the explosion/crash/failure roll right under the announcer. That probably doesn't bode well.

  6. legooolas says:

    This seems to be becoming more and more prevalent on TV in the UK as well, with loads of shows having the spoiler-ridden and repetitive "after the break" and "previously" chunks.

    These are even more annoying if you watch them on the catch-up/video-on-demand services provided by cable here, as they have the show splash-screen when there are adverts, but they remove the adverts, so you get the next/previously part immediately before/after you see the previous/next part (if that makes any sense).

    In fact, it's got so bad that now there are plenty of shows (Doctor Who, especially) where there are huge spoilers in the "in the next episode" part at the end. Does no-one who makes these things seems to think it's a bad idea and removes any last ounce of surprise for watchers of weekly series? :(

    Arrrgh :s

    • lionsphil says:

      Indeed. The opinion appears to be now that not only are viewers morons, but they have a attention/memory span usually attributed (incorrectly) to a goldfish.

      I seem to remember that the single episode of the new Scrapheap Challenge that I put up with before realising that they'd destroyed everything that ever made it good actually spent more time playing itself out of order with recaps and coming-ups than it did just letting the program play.

      • badc0ffee says:

        Speaking of treating viewers like idiots, I noticed that both of Craig Brewer's recent movies (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan) have a recap montage about 3/4 through the movie. It's as if they expect the audience to be too stoned to remember the first half of the movie.
        (BTW I still enjoyed both movies)

        • belgand says:

          The only times I actually watch those "Next Episode" bits are usually in anime where it's usually done fairly well and has been such a fixture that there's often a desire to do a good job with them.

          This ended up really screwing me up in early episodes of Arrested Development when I hadn't yet learned to actually watch them. It wasn't until I accidentally sat through one that noticed they were playing with the format.

  7. detritus says:

    Cut out the inane Tori/Grant/Kari bits and you're down even further.

  8. ywwg says:

    "Do they think that people only watch the show accidentally while channel-surfing?"

    Yes. The idea is that you can hit the channel on any act and know what's going on. This means, of course, that the content has to be so high-concept that you can reintroduce the plot in 5-10 seconds.

  9. mark242 says:

    Worse: "Coming up next, can the Mythbusters use duct tape to lift a car?" (shot of car lifted off the ground by crane and duct tape)

    "On this episode, can cheese take the place of a cannonball?" (shot of round of cheese being fired off from a cannon)

    Part of the original appeal of the show was the mystery; could the plane really take off from the moving runway? Now the show is all about trying to hook in people every five minutes.

  10. gthing says:

    Funny .. Adam Savage actually addressed this question on the last Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast. He was a bit offended and pointed out that at least they stretch "like five things per episode" into an hour whereas other shows "only do one thing and stretch it out to an hour."

  11. jered says:

    Do they think that people only watch the show accidentally while channel-surfing?

    Actually, yes. I have a friend who starred in one of the adjacent Discovery Channel shows, and this is exactly what the producers and network think.

  12. HGTV does the same thing and I've totally wished there was a way to cut it out before. Opportunity here for some DVR mfgr to differentiate themselves by offering a way around these.

  13. gryazi says:

    Continuing this trend: PBS out of New York City has added ads. Ads. Not even the gigantic end-of-show "sponsorships" they've been running for a while, but they've actually started cutting them into programming. The 'trick' is that they'll pad one short ad with two-minute-long promos for PBS itself and upcoming programming (here's what's coming up tonight, here's some inspiring imagery to convince you that PBS makes you smarter, blah blah blah). It's easy not to notice because it's all part of the cadence of regular television.

    But then they still shut down for pledge drives begging support for their ad-free programming. Because they'd never let their dependence on sponsorships influence their content, right?