I can be an insufferable purist about a few things -- especially movies and television shows. Show me the message that "this program has been formatted to fit your screen and edited to run in the time allotted" and I'll be excusing myself to another room to catch up on my reading.
To me, that message means that the entire program will not be shown as it was originally intended. I grumbled somewhat about this in a previous post. Pan&Scan will literally cut out a third of what the director wanted me to see while advertising quotas eat up time that used to be the now missing moments of the story.
I experienced this empty frustration anew last night when I decided to back up from my computer screen and passively enjoy a trip down Amnesia Lane with the crew of the Enterprise.
"The Trouble With Tribbles", written by David Gerrold, is among my top ten or so ST:TOS episodes. It's light, humorous, clever, and fun. And fortunately doesn't take itself too seriously.
Unfortunately, I know the episode so well that I was aware - and irritated - every time a scene was clipped short or a sentence or two missing from the dialog in order to allow for the requisite advertising minutes. As we already know, nothing is sacred -- least of all forty-something year old TV shows.
Go figure -- in 1967 there weren't as many things to cram down our throats as there are today, so twelve minutes out of the hour was sufficient to inundate us with those "must have" products. Now we need about twenty minutes an hour to pay the piper on network TV.
This is why I'm happy to pay for HBO and Showtime. Maybe I can start a letter writing campaign to get them to show old TV shows in their original format. I'll bet they'd be surprised just how many people would go for it.