Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Product Placement, Anyone?

I don't know if any of you have caught Bravo's reality show "The Restaurant", but since it's flanked on either side by "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", chances are you may have. And it's just crap-tacular. Actually, Sean doesn't like to watch it with me, because it makes me just irate. Guess it brings back too many memories of my days waiting tables...

But, I digress. First of all, let's just ignore the fact that, by virtue of being what it is (a reality show about a guy opening a restaurant in New York City); it really is nothing more than a giant commerical for said restaurant in and of itself. Hell, we don't even need to talk about what an obviously shitty, clusterfuck of a restaurant it is. Let's just talk about product placement.

In the intro to the show alone, you can count about 6 different product placements. And it doesn't exactly improve during the program itself. And it's NOT, I mean NOT subtle. I mean, unless you really believe that an upscale NYC restaurant sells assloads of Coors Light and needs a free American Express "OPEN" sign for its door. Yeah. Subtle as a dump truck. Then the "actual" commercials are more infomercial in nature. ("You too can fry fish and beans at the same time!!!" That's an actual quote.) This is because, after the amount of product placement in the show, there are no regular advertisers left in the world.

Last night's episode was the coup de gras. While sitting in front of a computer monitor and frowning at a sheet of figures, the owner of Rocco's (let's just call him "Rocco") stated into the phone: "I'm bleeding money. Just hemorrhaging it. What am I going to do? I'll get a loan from American Express Open to bridge the gap."

You would think it was a comedy show, the way Sean and I cackled.

My beef is this: if that much is staged, are we really to believe anything in this joke of a show is not? C'mon, one of the "waiters" was clearly the same guy that had just been remade in the preceding episode of "Queer Eye". C'mon, people!

This is why I hate reality television. And television. And people on television. And fuzzy puppies. And...

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