Friday, December 16, 2005

commercials flanked by commercials

I don't know if it's the season that's getting to me or the place in which I live, but I feel overrun with commercialism these days. I know it is the season, but this year it's affecting me more than usual.

Because I live a leisurely existence these days, working from home without travel, I get to indulge in a little daytime TV. I've seen something that's more heinous than the lace collar on Judge Judy's robe, and that is the 'Favorite Things' episode. I think it's nice that these shows gives gifts to the audience and all, but are we really kidding ourselves into thinking that this is not an hour long commercial?

This year Oprah's "Favorite Things" show was attended by Katrina volunteers. Now this was a nice thought. Oprah really is a great human being and a superb business woman. I thought it was really great of her to reward all the selfless volunteers with lots of fabulous gifts. Two of Zack's friends from Red Cross were invited on the show and received all of the Favorite Things.

I love the sentiment, but watching the show I felt like I was watching one big commercial. Then I caught a couple of episodes of Ellen with her 12 days of Christmas where she unveils a new present each day and totally plugs these gift items. It's great for the studio audience, but is it really worth making your tv audience sit through a 10 minute commercial every day?

The more I thought about this, the more it makes sense. Talk shows, for the most part, really are just one long commercial. Celebrities come on to promote their movies, self-help authors offer psychological advice while plugging their books, and musical guest appearances almost always coincide with an album release. I guess it's appropriate then that during the season of buying and giving talk shows should commercialize themselves even more than usual.

The answer to all of this, for me, is to just turn off the television. So simple. I think I'll start today, that is as soon as Charlie Brown's Christmas Story is Over.

Tomorrow: Is The People's Court a real court of law?

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