The clever people in the television have come up with an instrument of torture; it’s called the ad break. This tension building device has been created to frustrate loyal viewers spending their hard earned time sitting on their butts watching shows they are told they can’t miss.

Take Masterchef for a brilliant example. You know, you just know that when the big man is about to reveal the day’s challenge a burst of fire is going to launch itself in your face and conceal the long awaited mystery box or invention test or celebrity chef challenge ingredients or dish or whatever those sneaky judges want to throw at the poor, awesome amateur cooks. That fire – pfoooof! is torture for those meek souls sitting at home, wondering what is going to happen next!

The cliff-hanger is another tv device used to torture us! I remember watching ER when Carter and Lucy were stabbed. We had to wait a whole year to see who had died! And Alias had a few tense cliff-hanger moments like when Sydney and Vaughn’s car was hit by another car in the last seconds of season four. “Nooooo!” we all cried (or was that just me?). I haven’t seen many full-on cliff-hangers lately, perhaps they are left to the shows of the early noughties!? But they stick in my sad little brain as some of the full on moments I have experienced; I’ve been very sheltered.

Television stations also have ways of manipulating their audience in the most frustrating of ways. This torture technique I like to call the ‘When is it on again and for how long’ technique. This tricky instrument of audience torture plays with the time slots of some people’s favourite shows. One week it will be on Channel 9 (yes I’m talking about you!!) at 9:30pm for one hour, the next, on GO at 10:30pm for one hour, the next still on the same channel but for two hours and if you’re really smart, you’ll actually see the end of those episodes. It’s downright disrespectful. My trust in programming has been totally shaken. A-hem.

There are more important things in life, I know. But when the safety and comfort of tv viewing is shaken, well, it’s kinda the straw and the camel if you get my drift! We don’t need anymore torture. Television, please umour your audience, treat us nice and perhaps we will come back next week at the same time and sit down and watch what you want us to!

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