Category Archives: Television

Awkward Morning Musing of a Sleepy Mind: Advertising

The bedroom light seeps through my half closed eyes, as my wife starts her morning a little earlier than I. The morning news filters into my waking moments. Between the promises of another scorching hot day and the frivolous chatter of the news anchors, the advertisers pitch their wares to what they hope is their demographic audience. According to the commercial, these advertisers believe I am in need of a MRI, hearing aid, a new roof because mine leaks, a new air conditioner because mine is broken, and my ass is suffering from hemorrhoids. I know I can be a pain in the ass but I don’t believe I suffer pains. Just who do the advertisers think are their morning viewers?

The advertising industry is the second largest employer of statisticians, behind only the insurance industry. The statisticians crunch numbers to give the probable age and gender of viewers for each show and broadcast time creating a demographic group. This hypothetical group is then matched to vendors that will pay to advertise their products at optimal times to target the “right” demographic group. According to the numbers, my house and I are falling apart. I suppose that I am the exception to their calculations.

Now, some things should not be advertised during specific shows or movies. One must go beyond the statistical demographics and into the human factor to understand why some products would just be insensitive or awkward-no matter what the statistic say. As I was clearing the sleep out of my thoughts, I came up with some potential advertising fails.

  • Golden Corral buffet restaurant advertising during the Biggest Loser.
  • Viagra commercials during 16 and Pregnant.
  • Clorox Bleach during any of CBS’s CSI franchise.
  • Political adds during the Jackass movies.
  • Closet organizers during the broadcast of Kill Bill or Kung Fu. (wait for the light bulb moment, you will get this one)
  • Shout stain remover after the Bill Clinton Biography.
  • Boy Scouts of America during news coverage of the Jerry Sandusky Trial.
  • Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials during Intervention.
  • Cobra radar detectors advertising during Cops.
  • Ginsu knives during the OJ Simpson Biography.
  • Texaco sponsoring Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Starkist ads during A Dolphin’s Tale.         

Commercials are part of the television experience. Advertising, when done responsibly, can be thought provoking, funny, or even informative. In some cases, commercials can just be annoying. Take a moment to think of a few products that would be a little awkward when advertised during specific shows. I am sure you can come up with more examples to add to the list. My list was composed before the first cup of coffee.

The one plea I have is for someone to convince Trojan condoms to sponsor an ad during Duggar’s 19 and Counting.  

Until next time…




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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Humor, Television


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A Little Advice for Hell…Or Hell’s Kitchen

The summer season of television begins.  It is the time when reality shows attempt to pull in viewers that are a little lazy from the heat to do much else. Around our household, we let the DVR capture the broadcast as we enjoy our summer fun. I have stated before that I am not a huge fan of trash television but everyone has to go slumming once in a while to get perspective. One of the shows that we slip off into the low-rent neighborhood gives us our favorite foul-mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay with Hell’s Kitchen. What better way to relax in the evening than watching contestants belittled, as profanities are thrown at them through a high paced dinner service? Now before we go further, understand this is not one of televisions’ crowning moments but a step into the waste that we call reality television. The competition between the cooking hopefuls is filled with constant stress, conflicting personalities, and a host that pushes them to the limits while rarely handing out compliments. Wait, that sounds exactly like the other reality shows (and a few of my old bosses).


hell advice for the kitchen

What you need to know before you go to hell.


Hell’s Kitchen is in its tenth season in the U.S. and continues to capture audience’s approval. In the competition, the hopeful chefs compete for a chance to continue their hell as the head chef of one of Chef Ramsay’s many international restaurants. In review, you spend the entire competition being humiliated, screamed at, and the prize is … more of the same. Where do I sign up? The show is filled with cleverly edited situations that imply that none of the contestants are competent enough to make a grilled cheese sandwich at a school’s cafeteria.

My only wish for the show is for it to be aired on a cable station, as viewer spend most of the show trying to figure out what nature of profanity was used in each scene. And by each scene, I am not exaggerating. The producers of the show spend hours of overtime bleeping and putting “fuzzy bubbles” over the mouths of Chef Ramsay and the want-to-be chefs. There are so many bleeps that our household created a drinking game where a shot is taken after each foul-mouth epithet. The results were many missed endings and massive next day hangovers. This game should not be played by anyone that wants to keep their liver in one piece. A variation of the game can be played where you have to drink every time Chef Ramsay croaks out “IT’S RAAWWWW!” This might prolong your liver, but not by much.

In order to be on the show, contestants do not need to have a lot of experience but the passion to cook. However, after nine completed seasons, you would think that the hopefuls would figure a few things out before attempting to go for the prize. Let’s help them out with a little Hell’s Kitchen common sense.

  • My first suggestion is to watch the damned show! After nine years, you would think that the people who go on the show would actually understand that they are about to be flayed on a daily basis for five weeks. They must endure no sleep, constant abuse, and bitchy team mates. Just look at it as going to boot camp with food. So quit whining about it!
  • After seeing the show, you should know that no matter how good you think you are, you are a piece of under-cooked dog shit in the eyes of a professional television chef. That is why we watch the show. It gives a reason to feel better about ourselves while watching you be bullied and abused. Thanks for the pick-me-up.
  • If you win a challenge and get a fancy trip to some exotic place, plan on failing the next food service. It is written in the stars that you will find yourself feeling the brunt of Ramsay’s rage. Additionally, refrain from drinking in excess during your time on the show. From personal experience, dealing with hangovers while being screamed at is not conducive to peak performance.
  • We are watching you. After you are finished with the filming and head back to your normal life, these moments will be aired for all to see. Some of these not-so-shining moments will be on the season’s DVD. You don’t want to go to a future employer, love interest, or your children and show them how much of a douche you were on national television. Though from our couch, we find it entertaining.
  • Learn the basic dishes. Every season, it amazes us that people do not know how to cook the show’s staple dishes. If you can’t cook scallops, beef wellington, or risotto to perfection every time, well, Fuck off!

Armed with these little tidbits of advice from a seasoned observer, you too can go on to be ridiculed by Americans everywhere as we sit on our comfortable couches, playing a drinking game at your expense. Here is little advice for the competitors.  After you have had your ass handed to you by Chef Ramsay, the next step in your career awaits, I hear that Denny’s is hiring for the overnight shift. You will be appreciated there.

Until next time…


© 2012

Related Post: The Modern Addiction or How We Killed Imagination


Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Humor, Television


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The Hills are Alive with…Zombies?

October 31st, 2010 was a historical television moment. For the first time, a television series was brought to the small screen based on those loveable, flesh-eaters we refer to as zombies.  Enter the new AMC series, “The Walking Dead”. This six episode season, based on a graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, follows a small group of survivors outside Atlanta, Georgia as they attempt to find some hope after the world has been overtaken by the ever-hungry living dead. Their survival depends on not only out lasting the foot-dragging zombies but also holding on to their humanity as the world they know is turned upside-down. This is not your average horror movie, (though the makeup team pushes the envelope to get the feel of the graphic novel) but a character-driven story line that brings philosophical questions to the audience. How would you act if you woke up one morning and the world as you know it had been transformed into Chez Zombie and you are the main dish?


AMC brings zombies to your livingroom.

What is our fascination with the zombie lore? These mindless, representations of our more basic selves seem to be present throughout history in folklore and fantasy. It took a vision of George Romero in his 1969 movie “Night of the Living Dead” to bring the modern mythology to life as we now know it. His movie showed the base of how we now view the living dead; the continuously hungry, slow-moving lesser part of the used-to-be-human race. Could this be an analogy of our fears of what we could become if all of our morals and conscious were removed?

In most modern mythology, the world ends with an infectious virus that causes death and then reanimation. Only a small group survives and fight against all hope of having what is seen as the essence of humanity. The setting is a place where the dead, or not so dead, walk the earth without a belief in anything except for their need to satisfy their craving for food, in this case, living flesh. In most of these stories, the only way to kill the undead is trauma to the brain. Most prefer the single shot from a Dirty Harry sized weapon. This begs the question:  does everyone become a crack shot once the world ends?

The renewed craze in everything zombie has also had a few positive impacts on the real world. Organizations like the Zombie Squad have been popping up chapters across the country. They combine the fun and appeal of the zombie apocalypse with disaster preparation. The organization uses the fictitious (or is it?) end-of-the-world scenario as a springboard to educate communities on the importance of preparation for natural disasters. Their idea is that if one is prepared for an attack of killer zombies then they will be prepared for anything that might come along. I feel a little safer with the Zombie Squad patrolling my neighborhood, how about you?

Though vampires are all the rage these days, zombies bring more social reflection than the recent sparkling blood-sucker box office hits. It questions our society, the need to survive, and what makes us human. Part of our desire to connect with this unlikely foe is our need to belong to something larger, a need to feel emotionally connected to world around us.  If you are worried on how to survive, maybe some research is needed. One recommendation is to watch Zombieland (2009) for helpful hints and 32 rules, such as #4:  Doubletap. You won’t be disappointed.


Catch AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Sundays at 10 p.m.

Whether you are a fan of the genre or just a passing observer, this dramatic adaptation of The Walking Dead is something to check out. The story draws you in, the cast makes you want to root for the living, and the effects feel like a big screen movie. Catch the first season Sunday nights at 10 pm on AMC network.

Until next time…

What are your favorite zombie movie moments? Over the next few weeks, I will delve into some of the zombie movies and mythology. Why? Because nothing can be as much fun as a mindless, undead eating machine.


© 2010



Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Graphic Novel, Television, zombies


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