THINGS THAT SUCK. So last night the Insta-Daughter and I watched Casablanca, which she’d wanted to see. That didn’t suck — I hadn’t seen it in years but it was just as good as ever, and the DVD transfer was good. But then she wasn’t ready to go to bed, so I broke out a Fractured Fairy Tales DVD. The material there was quite funny, but the DVD, well, sucked — it forced us to sit through a bunch of lame previews about now-flopped children’s movies from a few years ago, and would not allow us to fast-forward or skip those. It just served to remind me that the Hollywood folks think your DVD player belongs to them, not to you; I was irritated enough that I posted a negative review over at Amazon. I don’t post a lot of reviews over there any more, but I wanted to warn people. I think that any DVD this bossy should get downgraded significantly.

UPDATE: Reader Leland Jackson emails:

I purchased the HBO John Adams DVD set when you mentioned the pre-order date. It was indeed a nice Father’s Day delivery. However, all three DVD’s in the set begin with a required-to-watch trailer for various HBO mini-series including John Adams. The first time was memorable enough. The third time occurred with the TV off for 5 minutes. Message to HBO, I purchased John Adams because of the quality making of it and word-of-mouth advertisement. If I want crass advertisement, I’ll watch American Idol.

Indeed. My suggestion — any time this happens to you, post a one-star review on Amazon, and complain loudly about the mandatory commercials. Maybe that’ll get their attention.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Lee Hutchins emails:

I read Leland Jackson’s email about ‘required-to-watch’ trailers on his John Adams DVD, but in all fairness, I have to report the one I bought last week thankfully had no such imbedded previews.

When I bought the DVD, my wife ridiculed me for being such a nerd: ”who would be interested in watching that?”. Well, I’m glad to say she (and I) are thoroughly enjoying watching the episodes.

And Richard Dyman emails to ask why I gave Fractured Fairy Tales three stars instead of one. Answer: I hadn’t thought it through yet. It would be five stars without the dumb intro, so I penalized ’em two. But on further thought I don’t think that’s enough to get their attention.