Forced Previews

gimme my fast forward

OK, this is a pet peeve. It's not a major thing, just a minor irritating annoyance. It has to do with renting movies.

It was a summer Saturday night. The new TV season had not started yet. There was nothing on TV that wasn't a rerun, or was something I had no interest in watching. I get like 200 channels on my cable and there was nothing on that was worth watching. So I decided to rent a DVD movie. At Redbox. I drove to the Redbox kiosk, selected a movie I thought might be worth seeing, and drove home.

At home, I put the movie in my VCR, started the movie and sat back, hoping to be entertained. But before I got to the main entertainment I had to sit through endless previews, previews of movies I had yet to rent. And, as it turned out, would never want to rent. My remote control would not fast forward through the previews. The DVD had somehow disabled the fast forward function on my remote! What? Yes. I was FORCED to sit through at least 7 previews, 20 minutes of previews of horrible movies I did not want to see - ever - and would not want to see ANY of them - even if they were free! 20 minutes of forced previews? Hey, the average attention span of humans is like 8 seconds! No fast forward? I was annoyed. And bored. And forced to wait endlessly, forced to sit through preview after preview of lousy movies, waiting for the main movie to start.

As a consumer, I paid to rent the movie. I did NOT, however, pay to be forced to watch a bunch of previews for lousy movies. And, as for disabling my remote so I could not fast forward through the previews, that's just outrageously arrogant - and evil. Whoever thought disabling a consumer's fast forward button on their remote and forcing them to sit through 30 minutes of previews (they are ads!) was a good idea? Who's brilliant idea is that? The movie studio? The movie producer? Redbox? I don't know and I don't care, I don't like it! And, as a result, I may NEVER rent a movie again. And anyway, most movies today are not very good and not worth watching, let alone renting. It ain't worth it.

I have premium channels HBO and Showtime and Netflix. I'll just wait for all the newer movies to eventually come to those premium channels. No commercials. And I'll continue to pay to watch Netflix, which has no commercial interruptions either. Instead of renting movies I will continue to do the other things happily. Unless or until those other sources insert forced ads and endless previews into the TV shows and movies they offer.

Several months later, I am sticking to my guns and have still not rented a movie. Not one.

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