Monday, July 13, 2015

Network TV and the Little Blue Pill

I'll confess--one of the big reasons I haven't had any success cutting the cable and switching to streaming movies and TV shows is that I kind of like commercials. The good ones are like little miniature stories told in fifteen or thirty seconds, and from a storytelling perspective, it's fun to see what actually shows up on screen versus what my brain fills in. The bad ones can be just as entertaining, too, from a creative-mockery standpoint. 

For example, who really thinks those two guys in the car are funny, Sonic? Not me. And why do I find Hannah and her horse the slightest bit watchable? 

In addition, it can be fun thinking about why certain ads are run when they are. Okay, so I get the car and auto parts commercials during Top Gear, but the fourth "Enjoy the go" Charmin commercial in fifteen minutes during Rizzoli and Isles? Do they think those of us watching a female-centric crime drama have wiping issues?

It gets even more pronounced when Arizona and I watch programming On Demand, as our cable company (Commie-cast) sometimes takes one big sponsor per show. For Orphan Black, it was Subaru. Okay, I get that. But for The Last Ship, which we just recently got caught up on, it's Viagra.

All Viagra, all the time. If there's a commercial break, whoops, Viagra! Either the old Italian guy trying to chase down a pill while a much younger hottie waits for him back at the villa, or a different hottie telling us that half of men over fifty suffer from ED, blah, blah. Now, don't get me wrong--I'm all for the product. If you need it, have at it! But did the programming folks ever stop to think what kind of a message they were sending. To whit:

Me (groans): It's the Italian guy again. Bet he's going to lose his last pill down the drain, and the pharmacy will be closed.

Arizona: What does this say about the people watching this show?

Me: That they're missing the prized 18-49 demographic, maybe? Or hitting the upper end of it, at any rate.

Arizona: Or that watching it is the anti-aphrodesiac. 

Later that afternoon.

Me: You want to watch another episode?

Arizona: Bring on the Boner Death Show!


  1. This is five- or six-year-old information, but younger guys try to get Little Blue Pills to boost their energy/staying power, etc.

    We also enjoy the Quilted Northern (?) commercials with various ceramic knicknacks reflecting on their hellish decorative positioning facing The Throne.

  2. Ah, so what the ad positioning is really telling us is that when the bio-apocalypse hits, we should have some Viagra in our go-bags for survival purposes? This makes more sense. (Sort of, lol.)

    I belly laugh at those ones, Rhonda! That which has been seen cannot be unseen! They invariably remind me of staying at a friends' rental last summer, where there was a carved bear in the corner of the bathroom, with this look of utter horror on its face. Given that I was four months preggo and either ralphing or wee-ing constantly, that bear and I had a LOT of quality time ...

  3. I was house-sitting/dog-sitting last week and they have about a billion TV channels, so I actually know the commercials you're talking about! (for once - since I don't actually have cable at my house. I like my DVD player lol)

    I noticed that they air the very sad very LONG animal rescue commercial during the day and the brainwashy seaworld commercial at night.

    I always liked the animated Kleenex commercials, myself lol

  4. I like the two guys selling Kona Beer, the "23 hour happy hour vs the one sad hour". For some reason that makes sense to me. Why is there only one happy hour?

  5. LOL.. I've noticed that a lot of the shows we watch have Viagra commercials. I'm not sure what that says.. I shouldn't be interested in the show?

  6. You know, that does seem a little suspicious....ummm.