How My Love of Traditional TV Died in America

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My very first television was an old Soviet TV set that looked more like a huge tractor. At least, that was my association at the age of 4. It was big and square, and very heavy and scary. It would also produce noise when working for a few hours. I  was always afraid to touch it. But I loved watching it, especially on Sundays, when Soviet programming would include Disney cartoons, such as Chip and Dale.

Soviet TV

Growing up, my love to watch TV hasn’t changed much. Living in Armenia, I enjoyed coming home from work and watch TV while drinking a hot cup of tea with chocolate and chatting with my family.  By watching TV, I just used to kill my stress and relax.

But since moving to America, I started watching less and less TV and more on-demand programming. One of the main reasons is because I felt more and more frustrated watching TV. Instead of feeling relaxed, I just started getting more annoyed.

Three annoying things about U.S. TV programming

Drug commercials top the list of the most annoying things about U.S. TV programming. Sometimes it seems to me that there are no other commercials on U.S. TV. Every other commercial is a reminder that you can get one of those horrible diseases out there and you will need this or that drug. How ridiculous is that? Watching TV is my way to escape stress, not to increase it!  And the most ridiculous thing about these commercials is when they, for example, advertise a Psoriasis drug and say that it can cause suicidal thoughts, depression, internal bleeding, and a sudden death. Really? How are people supposed to buy this drug after such a scary commercial?  No, thank you, I won’t be asking my doctor about your drug!

Another killer of my love to TV is when the live programming and news are being interrupted for commercial breaks. In Armenia, live shows were my favorite, because there were no commercials during the entire air time! I also adored watching sports like soccer that would always be aired live. You only watch commercials after the first half of the game ends. Just imagine my cultural shock when I first watched American football on TV! A live game is being interrupted almost every 5 minutes for commercials! And  a game that should only last for an hour (there are 4 quarters, 15 minute each) turns into a 3-hour game! And then people ask me why I fall asleep when watching American football!

My final problem with the U.S. television is when U.S. networks stop their TV shows half the season. For example, if a show starts in fall, it will be stopped for most of the winter and resume  in spring. Of course, the mid-season finale always has a cliffhanger. But we have to wait for almost three months to finish just the first season.  That’s why, I like watching Netflix and Amazon original shows. At least, I don’t have to wait for a year to finish the first season.

Obviously, I understand all the marketing strategy behind U.S. TV programming choices. But honestly, that’s just annoying marketing that has no respect for an audience.

 

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