Good Grief–Commercials!

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Patty and I haven’t watched any regular television for years. We play discs or videotapes, or watch movies and shows streaming on the computer. In none of these activities do we have any contact with commercials.

Well! Yesterday we wanted to watch an old Rockford Files episode that had some bearing on a book I’m going to review. We couldn’t find it on YouTube or amazon, but eventually we found it on a new streaming service. And so we settled down to watch.

[Special effect: screech of brakes]

Whoa! Stop! What the hell is that?

It’s… commercials! They’re showing us commercials. They kept the show’s original commercial breaks and filled them with brand-new commercials. Mostly for gadgets and assorted medicines.

Aagh! This is supposed to be a freakin’ drama, you nincompoops! What drama can survive these stupid interruptions? Okay, it’s not Medea or Hamlet–but it could be; and you’d still have these lilliputian hijinks interrupting the grim flow of the story.

After going so long without them, we found commercials truly shocking to see. Appalling! What–you mean millions of people watch this stuff every night? No wonder we can’t think straight. At some level of the subconscious mind… are there commercials playing?

It’s too horrible to contemplate.

8 comments on “Good Grief–Commercials!

  1. I would agree completely. As bad as television content may be, the commercials deliver the knockout punch to one’s sensibilities. I watch YouTube, mostly for documentaries and news sources I can’t find elsewhere. Recently, I started paying for YouTube Premium, because I was tired of the ads. Even though many of them were very short, there were far too many that I found either offensive, or insulting to my intelligence. The fee for YouTube Premium was worth it to me, just to be spared the content of these ads. Among my DVDs are several television series. While I wouldn’t dream of watching them on cable or satellite, without the ads, these older shows aren’t bad.

    The Rockford Files was a favorite show, for many years. Anything with James Garner appealed to me, because of his characterization of independence and self-sufficiency, which he brought to Maverick, Jim Rockford and the heroes of Support Your Local Sherriff/Gunfighter. Then I read his autobiography and he revealed himself to have values which were pretty much the opposite of his on-screen persona. In his autobiography, he came across as self indulgent and having a strong sense of entitlement. He whined incessantly about how little he was being paid during the Maverick series, blithely unaware that his income, even in those early days, was many times that of the average working person.

    He bragged about his street racing on public roads, but supported authoritarian politicians. He bathed in self pity at having to borrow Natalie Woods’ Cadillac, because his own car wasn’t opulent enough to be driven to an awards ceremony. Oh, boo hoo! During that same time period, I remember literally praying that the car would start so my father would have a way to work, while poor James Bumgarner had to borrow a Cadillac, or risk not looking wealthy enough to impress his cronies. At the same time, he could not poor enough praise upon politicians whose agendas stand in absolute opposition to independence and self-sufficiency.

    I don’t believe that I’ve been able to watch anything he acted in, since reading his book.

    1. You’ve mentioned this before, and I have to say (because I believe you) that it took away some of the fun I’d always had with The Rockford Files. But gee, he must’ve been a good actor, not to let any of his whiny self-indulgence come across over the screen.

    2. I think that Garner was probably an old-school Dem, and followed his party into its new agenda, without realizing how much things have changed. He probably started out as a person quite similar to the characters he created. I have always believed that actors put a bit of themselves into the characters they create, so perhaps Mr. Bumgarner was not completely phony back in the Rockford Files days, but, in my humble opinion, he allowed himself to be led away from his core and into the “progressivism” of the current Dems.

    3. I know someone whose core beliefs can change 180 degrees instantaneously, depending on what the Party says he should believe.

    4. … and that’s the problem with Bumgarner. He made a career of portraying an individualist, but then he let himself be turned.

    5. P.S.–I remember when Dave Winfield refused to show up to receive an award because they wouldn’t provide him with a limousine. Dale Murphy came to the same event in his beat-up old car and was mighty gracious and humble about getting that award. It sort of took away a lot of the pleasure I used to get from watching Winfield play.

  2. I just ordered season 5 of the Rockford Files; glad you could find that episode for free! I will NOT miss having to watch the commercials!

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