Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Breaking the chains of television oppression

....steam room scene and full frontal! Sign me up. I've never heard of this "Eastern Promises" but it sure sounds good.

***

Last night I spent a quiet evening at home with Charlie and my HD as Mrs. Holt enjoyed a well-deserved night out. The night was spent flipping between the Raptors game against the Spurs and "Ross Kemp on Gangs" on National Geographic. The former was an ugly affair with the Raptors never giving any indication that they would possibly win the game despite the fact that the score was very close at the end. The latter was an altogether more entertaining affair. Ross Kemp is a UK actor and star of Eastenders. This series has him travelling around the globe investigating the world's most notorious and violent gangs. It's truly fascinating content which is made all the better given that it is all shown in glorious HD. Kemp is either one fearless bloke or just good at acting like one. I enjoyed the show so much that I decided to honour it with the inaugural "save all episodes" status on my PVR. Perhaps if it weren't for the writers' strike I would have chosen something else but this is the hand I was dealt. Congraulations Ross Kemp. Now go make me proud. After nearly a month I have yet to re-train my brain to adjust to my new PVR life. I still watch appointment television and get upset when I miss something someone says or only catch the back half of a scrolling headline. I can only imagine what it would be like for someone older than I am to adjust to the new relationship between viewer and content. It could take years. Perhaps there is some sort of reprogramming available that would allow us to more fully utilize this wonderful technology. There could be a retreat in the mountains where those of us who grew up with "must see TV" can learn to retake our lives back from the major networks.

The first thing I will do once I fully accept personal video recording into my life is to eliminate all Canadian-produced commercials. I know this is not a unique complaint but last night struck me as unusually annoying. Perhaps it was just my frame of mind, though I was actually in a pretty good mood. Allow me to just mention a couple of the more blatant offenders:

Tim Horton's "Chicken, Sausage, Ham": Here's the premise, the boss at what appears to be a small sporting goods retailer takes sandwich orders from his three employees. One asks for chicken, one asks for sausage and one asks for ham (who asks for a sausage sandwich? That doesn't even make sense). He, being the boss, is such a mouthbreather that he needs to repeat "chicken, sausage, ham" to himself as he walks to the Tim Horton's. Upon arrival he notices a sign for their new sandwich which has chicken, sausage and ham. He then buys three of said sandwiches, returns to his shop and delights his empoyees with their sandwiches, none of which is what they actually asked for. Are we to believe that none of the three would be upset by the fact that their orders were completely butchered by this idiot? They made very specific requests. Now you hand them something that is no longer kosher or halal, not to mention the allergy or dietary issues. Are they so hungry that they'll take whatever scraps you hand them? If that's the case, why go through the whole farce of asking them what they wanted in the first place? This ad is a trainwreck from start to finish..and the sandwich looks disgusting.

Home Depot, "You can do it, we can help": My problems with this are not so much with the ad as much as they are with the slogan. I spent about 45 minutes at a relatively uncrowded Home Depot on Saturday. While I have proven with every home project that, in fact, I can not do it, you (being Home Depot) didn't hold up your end of the bargain either. No one was around and those who were were about as helpful as using a Pickton brother for a character witness. Let me correct your erroneous slogan, "I can't do it, you're of little help, when does Lowe's open?"

Province of Ontario: "There's no place like this..": Really, there's no place like Ontario? Really? You're being serious? Of all the places in the world you could be, you're going to go with what, Sarnia? Oshawa? Richmond Hill? Forget Disneyland kids, we're going to Cambridge! You're bound to bring in the real discerning tourist with this completely unsubstantiated claim particularly when its being delivered in an irritating gingle performed by a poor man's Rob Thomas.

These are just three of many irritants which I will hopefully be rid of one day soon. Only then will I truly be free.

10 comments:

Craig Nall said...

What about those horrible AIM Trimark ads, with rival investment teams touring the floor of some european tire/crumpet/mattress factory?

"Well, you're the one with all the doughnut shops!" makes me want to boycott finance, doughnuts and Ireland.

47_Ronin said...

My personal favourite is the "second onion" commercial from Scotiabank that paints this 8 yr old little girl as a complete idiot who walks around talking cutesy and wearing a tiara. And of course the big man from Scotiabank humours this 'dumb girl' and plays along. We're lucky Scotia lets the mom wear shoes in the ad!

Steve Holt said...

The Head & Shoulders ad where the guys discuss how wonderful their hair is deserves mention. I find the guy who says "dudes aren't supposed to talk about their hair" particularly amusing. Well dude, you clearly asked your stylist for "The Rachel" so the fact that you're discussing it doesn't seem so out of character.

47_Ronin said...

Still on Scotiabank..any and all ads that end with "You're richer than you think". Ahh - No, I'm not. I've looked...carefully, and I'm actually much, much poorer than I thought.

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