I recently purchased the complete box set of Jeeves and Wooster, by Granada, and contentwise, it is exactly as good as it should be. Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are in amazing form, the dialogue is crisp and does justice to P.G. Wodehouse, the soundtrack is downright enchanting — all in all, it’s easily some of the best TV in the world.
However, all is not well. I am not pleased.
Why? Why am I not pleased?
Because the box set has a certain attribute that offends me. It assaults my sensibilities. Without putting too fine a point on it, it fucks me hard and rough and laughs at my tears. No reach-around is available.
Many of us are undoubtedly familiar with the “you wouldn’t steal a car / you wouldn’t steal a handbag / you wouldn’t steal a movie / movie piracy is a crime” crap we’re shown in movie theaters, among other places. I’m doubtful as to how effective it can possibly be, given that those who are seriously into downloading things are already aware of its illegality, they just don’t care. Perhaps it scares the occasional dimbulb into realizing that good lord, getting all this stuff from the net just might not, in fact, be entirely legal, but on the whole, I remain unconvinced that it does the trick. Just the same, I understand why they chose to make it and continue to choose to show it.
What I don’t understand is why some evil piece of shit decided to slap it on every single one of my eight Jeeves and Wooster discs and made it so that when the disk is inserted, the clip — clocking in at about 42 seconds — has to be watched. I can’t fast forward through it, I can’t skip it — I can’t even stop the fucking horrible and condescending thing; all I can do is switch off the power to the DVD player.
Yes, thank you, Granada, you’ve now explained to me that pirating movies is a crime. You have just eaten up 42 seconds of my life and much of my patience and goodwill with your inane crap, and there’s no way I will ever get any of them back. And it’s particularly insulting, because I paid for these episodes of Jeeves and Wooster. I did not steal them, I paid for them. I worked hard for the money, I received the money, and then I spent it. And when I think about the money I spent on your product, I certainly feel that your subtle and friendly reminder to not steal from you is very much justified.
What, is this going to make me sympathetic to the cause? Or, to put this more bluntly — why did I pay perfectly good money for this crap when I could get a pirated copy of the very same content, only without the annoying eyesore? For the nice box? Sure, sure, it’s only 42 seconds per disc, but it’s my 42 seconds. I paid for them; you’d think they’d at least let me fast forward through them so I can get to the goddamn main attraction.
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