We'll Be Right Back ...

I have another gripe on an otherwise gorgeous Friday: commercial breaks on Taiwanese TV. Back home, TV commercials came on in a very obvious way. The show stops on a scene, then quick pass through black before the first commercial comes on.

But not here. There's no fade to/from black, oh no. Here, they pounce on you. All of a sudden, you're no longer watching a show, you're watching some ad about a dog carrying a notebook computer around. And the first few times, you're not even sure where that handover is; maybe there really was a dog in the show carrying a notebook, you can't tell anymore.

Heck, sometimes (on the movie channels) you get instead a 5-second delay where it tells you to "take a break" from the TV and goes to ads. Sometimes it's a picture of a little tropical island with a swaying palm tree, sometimes it looks like a blue-ish screensaver. But more often, you don't even get that courtesy. You get an immediate scene change, straight from movie to ad.

And they choose the most inopportune scenes to change in, like -- in movies I've seen before, so I know -- they put them in the middle of a scene. In a vital scene, one that could be pivotal to the movie plot. And I'll tell you that more than once, I've been shocked to see that they've even cut it in the middle of an actual conversation. Like, one person asks another the no-bullsh!t-cut-to-the-chase question about something, and then the other person ... nothing, they do nothing. Because it's that damned dog carrying the notebook again.

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