Apparently, there are a lot of things about television that just bug the heck out of you.
I recently went on a rant against the medium I cover by listing 10 things I hate about TV. Among my pet peeves were bloated reality shows, laugh tracks, deliberately misleading previews and an obsession with private parts.
But I didn't want this to be a one-way conversation, so I encouraged readers to vent by telling me what bothers them most about the current state of television. What ensued was an avalanche of venomous e-mail. And, now, as a public service, I'd like to share some of my findings:
It came as no surprise that much of the reader hate was directed at commercials. For example, in an online response, Steve Douglas said he is fed up with seeing talking dogs and babies on his TV screen -- with one exception.
"The baby who keeps throwing stuff at Jimmy Fallon is acceptable," he said.
But the commercial gripes weren't limited to just the content. Many readers railed against the increasing number, and length, of commercials. Others complained about repetitious commercials -- how they'll see the same ads over and over during the same program.
And, of course, there was the gripe that I've heard from many of you over the years: That commercials are just too loud.
"Surely, the sound level and deliberate use of loud sounds, annoying noise, etc. must be on everyone's list of hated aspects of TV," wrote James
Interestingly enough, many of the complaints we received focused on the audio aspects of television, and not just in the commercials. Robert Gruitch griped about "terrible speech transmission" in the shows he watches, and "mumbling" characters. And several people, including Carol Edwards, cited loud and constant background music that "makes it difficult to understand dialogue."
On the other hand, Jeanie Schultz issued a complaint that many have voiced in this era of the DVR: Annoying scheduling by the networks that refuse to start and end some shows on the hour.
"This practice of extending a show by a minute is infuriating, particularly when it causes one show to infringe on another," she wrote.
Many readers agreed with our rant against the logos or "bugs" that pop up during shows to promote another show. And some expanded that complaint to include the moving on-screen "tickers."
"In this multi-tasking culture, what really bugs me is trying to focus on a news story while other news is being sent across the bottom of the screen," said Jackie Costanzo. "There should be a way of turning that off for single-task people like me."
Some readers, such as Sue Linnig and Don Holmes, had so many TV gripes that they sent in detailed, numbered lists. Included on Sue's rundown was a complaint aimed at "shallow reports" about celebrities on news and tabloid shows. Among Don's grievances was the extraordinary salaries paid to some TV stars.
"I read that Charlie Sheen was paid $1 million a show ...," he raged. "Ridiculous! It all gets passed onto the consumer, in part, through the increased number of commercials."
Other readers channeled their criticism directly toward the content of certain shows. Margaret Elliott, for example, said she no longer watches sitcoms in which "one or more bratty preteen kids are making adult wisecracks." And Tara Komar suggested that I could do an entire column on "the way female characters dress."
"Honestly, the amount of cleavage exposed by supposed business women is hilarious," she said.
Finally, some readers are so fed up with TV for a number of reasons that they simply targeted the whole medium.
"We're offered 150 channels and probably 90 percent of it is garbage," groused Joanne Krueger. "Outrageous, trashy, violent and stupid -- those are our selections. ... 'Jersey Shore,' 'Pit Bulls & Parolees,' 'Swamp People,' 'Duck Dynasty,' 'Honey Boo Boo.' Need I say more?"
No, Joanne, you don't need to. But just in case you do, we'll be here for you.