I spent Easter weekend giving my Inner Geek free reign to gorge herself on some of the history and science documentaries my cable company offers On Demand. The shows are free, but you have to sit through commercials from each show’s Corporate Sponsor. There’s generally one sponsor per episode, and a 30-second commercial at the show’s beginning, aired again during a couple of breaks.
Side note: when I referred to my “Inner Geek” I was merely indulging in some gently self-deprecating humor, but the ads for each show suggest a certain disdain for the perceived Coolness Factor of the viewers of the shows I prefer.
Consider the History Channel’s series on “The Seven Deadly Sins
,” which delves into the historical, religious and scientific facts behind each of the seven deadly sins listed by the Catholic church. Only four of the seven episodes are currently available; I watched “Envy” and “Sloth.”
The series is sponsored by Viagra. Who does History Channel’s advertisers think would be most interested in a series about the Seven Deadly sins? Guys with get-it-up problems.
Tragically, “Lust” wasn’t one of the episodes offered On Demand. Which is a shame, because a world whose television offerings include “Lust, a Seven Deadly Sin, brought to you by Viagra” would be a slight improvement over the world we’ve got now.
So I learned all about envy and sloth, and involuntarily got that damned “Viva Viagra” commercial song stuck in my memory. Eventually, I lost interest in sin and turned my attention to “How The Earth Was Made
,” a series focusing on geographic history of specific spots on Earth; for example, how Manhattan Island came to have the thick bedrock foundation that anchors its giant skyscrapers.
How the Earth Was Made was sponsored the Oreo cookie company’s 100-Calorie “Cakesters” product, and the commercial showed an entire city full of women who have image issues and no sense of personal dignity, because when a supply truck filled with the little low-calorie cakes drove through the streets they all started screaming and eventually that all mobbed the truck.
I felt no lust for chocolate, though I did pause the show long enough to make myself a slice of ghetto cinnamon toast (plain cheap margarined toast with cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top).
Next I decided opted for some lighter television fare, and browsed through the allegedly egdy cartoons offered by Adult Swim
on demand. Specifically, I watched an episode of Home Movies
and a King of the Hill
rerun, both brought to me by “The Men and Women of the Navy Reserve.” The Navy had a pretty clever ad campaign, featuring a fake commercial for an action figure called “Assistant Manager Man
,” which contrasted the dull nature of most office jobs to the exciting adventures enjoyed by Navy pilots and Navy missile commanders and other Navy personnel who have jobs much, much cooler than the average Navy Reservist. Still, it was a kickass commercial.
So that was what I saw On Demand Easter Sunday. Since I worked Saturday before I had today (Monday) off, and after running some errands and doing some useful-domestic tasks decided to watch another documentary On Demand. This time I picked the disaster-porn afterglow epic “Life After People
,” which shows the back-to-nature decay that would occur if all human beings suddenly vanished.
This fine tale was sponsored by the Covergirl cosmetics company, specifically their brand of special age-defying face makeup designed to appeal to women Of A Certain Age who don’t want their faces to show it. The spokesmodel is Ellen DeGeneres.
Thus we see this show’s target audience is aging women who feel so insecure about this, they’ll turn to Ellen DeGeneres for beauty advice.
I also decided to watch another Deadly Sin episode, this one about greed. No Viagra commercials this time; instead, there was an ad for Lexus. (“The Sin of Greed brought to you by Lexus” isn’t quite as cool as “The Sin of Lust Brought to you by Viagra,” but it’s good enough for free.)