September 16, 2005

Why the History Channel sucks

Really, the title says everything. Um, except for the why, I suppose. (We interrupt this blog post for yet another commercial break!) Yes, there is a rationally grounded source for the title (Commercial break!) Something about how cutting a quarter of the words out of anything (Commercial!) and breaking it up into little disjointed segments (Break!) doesn't produce much in the way of either enlightenment or enjoyment.

I'd like to watch the Canadian History Channel, I really would, but the commercials have recently gotten completely ludicrous. This is most obvious with the BBC reruns... Tony Robinson's series debunking Dan Brown appeared to have commercials within the commercials, and I estimate fully a quarter of each ep is being cut out in the case of the current reruns of Battlefield Britain. What remained last night was practically incoherent from a narrative point of view... yes I suppose it was artful to excise the entire Harald Hardrada/Stamford Bridge portion of a show on the Battle of Hastings, rather than just cutting random bits out, but without it the whole historical episode makes no sense whatsoever... at the start Saxon King Harold's waiting with his army for Duke William in the south of England... then he's suddenly wearing his troops out marching rapidly back TO the south from the north of England. I'd say you get some nice ideas for stuff you could buy in the place of a coherent story, but I'll be damned if I can remember what any of the commercials were actually for.

I actually stopped watching Simpsons reruns entirely when I realized how much of some of my favourite shows had been hacked out for extra commercials. I'm afraid I'm going to have to do much the same in the case of History Television... pity.

Posted by BruceR at 06:38 PM