The “Cut Warning” trope

I notice this one quite a lot. It goes like this:

A character will be in a situation where something very important to their safety will be explained, when the phone, radio, television…, abruptly stops and the character—and the reader—are left wondering what important part of the puzzle they missed.

This is as powerful as it is simple. The reader is left trying to decipher in their mind just what was the important part they missed. A whole scene plays in my head of how the messenger was ‘taken down’ by a hostile—perhaps alien—force, that danger is now freely lurking beneath every nook, the characters damned to make a fatal error without this crucial information…

As much as it works, though, I also think it’s kind of cheap. It negatively stands out to me when I read or hear it. It seems to me as kind of… lazy? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea itself, rather it has been ruined for me by its frequent use.

Its effect has not diminished for me. Still, every time I read it the same scene plays in my head, and it is as scary as the first time I noticed it. But it does leave a bad taste in my mouth, as I think about just how often this trope has been done.