Friday, August 1, 2008


I won't say I hate product placement in TV shows. I do dislike them intensely. I make the distinction to be polite; I would hate to offend anybody who might wish to pay me off with swag....

But I would rather have fictional products in TV shows, even if there's not much hope for using them to link other shows. Still, it IS possible - Oceanic Airlines, Morley Cigarettes, Playpen Magazine, the New York Ledger, the Los Angeles Tribune.... - for these products to link one or more TV series together.

But when it's a recognizable product, there's no thrill of the game in using that to link TV shows together; it's a bit of a cheat, like saying 'NYPD Blue' and 'The Cosby Show' both are linked because they take place in New York City. And despite the tweaks to the script in order to make the mention of the product seamless and hopefully palatable, it's still an assault on our enjoyment of the story. And as such it ruins the scene.

My favorite example, Claire squeezing her Dad with just a little more "love" than necessary when he gave her a Nissan Rogue.

Tim Kring is finally speaking out against the practice and his show 'Heroes' is one of the biggest abusers of the stunt.

But at least if it's going to be done, at least do it with humor!

That's why I wasn't as bothered by the ending of 'Eureka' Wednesday night. Storage bins with labels marked "Degree" put a corporate identity to the program. Why? The new "Chairman" of Global Dynamics told them all that the order had come down from the D.o.D. that Global Dynamics should begin funding itself with corporate sponsors. And Degree at least kicked off their product placement for the third season by addressing this synergy outright.
And it was a nice touch that at least some of the characters acted like it was as disgusting to them as it is to those who hate actual commercial.

Toby O'B

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