Is the use of torrent sites to download TV shows wrong? Or is it OK on the grounds that it makes a stand against the invasive advertising techniques used on television?
The "invasive advertising techniques used on television" would make torrenting TV shows justifiable only if we had some sort of right to watch these shows without advertising. But I don't think we have such a right. TV shows are produced or purchased by networks at some cost, and they recoup that cost (and earn a profit) by selling time for advertisements. That you dislike or even disapprove of these advertisements doesn't give you the right to make use of their products in ways that the networks oppose. They own the shows, and thus they can determine the conditions under which they are broadcast. If you want to take a stand against advertising, don't watch the TV shows at all. Or just buy them on DVD. That way you can pay for them without submitting yourself to those invasive advertising techniques.