We watch... so you don't have to.


So I'm watching Boomtown. Anyone who's read this site in the last month or so knows I consider this a religious experience. So I'm watching Boomtown and deeply engrossed in the life-changing revelations beaming from Gary Basaraba and suddenly --

-- suddenly there it is --

-- appearing from nowhere --

-- taking up a vast amount of screen real estate at the bottom left of my TV, not warning me of some foreign invasion, not informing me that New York City has just vanished in a nuclear firestorm, not telling me that the moon is about to strike the Earth and I should say good-bye to my loved ones immediately, not actually there for any important purpose. No, this, the most annoying, stupid, obnoxious little animation I've ever seen, is an ad, an advertisement, for the most annoying, stupid, obnoxious little TV show I've never seen, Meet My Folks.

Not only has this mini-ad failed in its purpose -- to make me want to watch Meet My Folks -- it has, like the device in some Marvel supervillain's origin story, had the reverse effect: It makes me want to visit flaming and painful death upon whoever perpetrated this massacre of taste. All I want to do is watch Boomtown and yet I am forced, as if under hypnosis, to view this snotty little poorly computer-animated woman walk over to this slump-shouldered little poorly computer-animated man, turn around, and walk away again.

This reminds me of the travesty of the A&E "watermark" I saw back when Law & Order was still airing there. The usual A&E logo appeared in the lower right corner, then it went away, then -- wonderfully animated -- appeared the words "YOU ARE WATCHING" followed by "LAW & ORDER". Repeat fade in. Repeat fade in. Repeat fade in, like some cheesy Webpage banner ad. And suddenly I realized, no, I'm not watching Law & Order, I'm watching your fucking logo.

And on last night's Ed, what shows up? Tom Cavanagh's goofy face leering at me from the bottom right corner. Why? Was I not already watching Ed? Does Tom Cavanagh have some other show on NBC wherein he plays a dorky nut case with permanent bedhead?

I don't even know why the ghostly visage of Tom Cavanagh, like some Tyler Durden fever dream, appeared in the corner of my TV. I was too busy being puzzled and trying to split my attention between the show and the mini-ad with the result that my mind began to wander into realms of, yes, flaming and painful death. It's the kind of thing that can happen when you fuck with unfulfilled tech industry workers, you know.

So, whatever network jerkwads are involved in this, listen up: Stop. Go find your shame -- I'm sure it's around here somewhere, maybe you dropped it when you sold your grandmother for twenty-four dollars in beads-- and when you do, slap it back on and take a good look at yourself. Then get your filthy ads out of the content. Or someone might show up at your house to shove gasoline-doused Sanford & Son DVDs down your throat.


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