Coffee and Crushed Dreams: The Keurig Ad Katastrophe

January 3, 2013 at 11:23 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 3 Comments
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Maybe it’s because I’ve always been harsh about ridiculous commercials (cough cough Chico’s cough cough) or because I’m a mom-to-be (g-d willing) and extra sensitive about this kind of thing, but the latest round of Keurig commercials is driving me batty.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of Keurig brewers (I even requested one for xmas a few years back, and fought the man in my old job to get one at work, too), but I’m not a big fan of squelching the imagination of children – even children acting in commercials.

Don’t know what I’m referring to?  This series of advertisements features two adults and a kid; one adult asks, “How does Keurig always have my favorite coffee?” or “How does Keurig brew such a great cup of coffee?”  The kid launches into an imaginative explanation of the magical world inside the brewer, and the adults says, in effect, “No you moron, I just push a button.”

Witness:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbuR-Lwu8vQ)

And what’s worse?  These are the company’s holiday commercials!  The ones designed to get us to want to buy the latest brewer and either gift it to friends/family or keep it for ourselves, to make us identify with these fake people and want their lives, or at least want to start our day with the same kind of coffee they’re drinking.

Granted, this isn’t enough to make me give up my beloved k-cups (even though I’m a decaf only girl now – sigh), but it is enough to get me to blog rant.  Come on, people!

Chico’s So Slimming Jeans for the Already Slim

August 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 19 Comments
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As you know, dear reader(s), it’s been a while since I last blogged, so you can bet I have some pent-up inconsequential angst to share.  Today I’d like to take out my irrational wrath on the Chico’s So Slimming™ commercials. 

So Slimming Jeans

Wow! Chico’s So Slimming(TM) Jeans make skinny women look skinny!

As a gal with fairly obvious love handles (I wouldn’t want love to just slip away – it needs something to hold on to!) and who has been pretty open about battling my own personal bulge, I’m the target audience for such slenderizing apparel*. 

You know who doesn’t need said minimizing pantaloons?  The lady dancing like a fool in their commercials (which air CONSTANTLY, I might add). 

Click here for one of the ads I’m talking about…

I can practically see this little dancing diva’s hip bones!!  Honestly, Chico’s, let’s get real.  Advertising slimming jeans on a skinny lady does NOTHING for your target customer except perhaps generate resentment. 

You want to prove these pants are worth their weight in advertising claims?  Put a REAL woman in the pants!  And for Twinkies’ sake, quit perpetuating the stereotype that even the healthiest of women could still stand to lose a few lbs. (or at least appear as if she has lost that last pesky ounce – that she’s sure everyone notices – thanks to these miracle pants)!  Enough!       

Shame on you, Chico’s!

 

* Though granted, perhaps a decade or two too young for this particular brand.

Are you Crazylicious? A Jersey Love Letter

November 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Married Life, TV (The Boob Tube) | 2 Comments
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A few weeks ago, I came home late from work and overheard a woman talking about teasing her hair (“the higher your hair, the closer you are to heaven”) and the power of the smoky eye, so I crept into the living room, ninja-style, to investigate.  It wasn’t another woman; it wasn’t even a cosmetics commercial.  The source of said beauty advice was the Style Network’s “Jerseylicious” – and my husband was watching the reality TV show with rapt attention.

Are you Jerseylicious? How about crazylicious?

If caught watching Jerseylicious, many men would feign ignorance of what was on the screen, or quickly change the channel to ESPN, or even make a lewd comment about only watching the show to gawk at the skanky outfits (of which there are plenty).  Not Andrew.  As soon as he saw me gaping at him (wondering what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks he was watching), he patted the couch cushion next to him and said: “Hon, you gotta watch this!  It’s really dramatic!”

And then he DVR’d the entire series.

Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how deep his love of reality TV ran.  And when I watched the entire series with him, I realized how deep my love runs for him.  Let’s face it: the “reality” show is pretty obviously scripted.  But there I sat, snuggled next to my husband for hours on end, simply wanting to bask in the glow of his enjoyment.

So I guess this post is a kind of love letter to Andrew, because not only is he giving me blog fodder (which, admittedly, has been quieter than I would like lately), but he’s also shown me what an amazing man he is.  He isn’t ashamed of who he is, he doesn’t bow to peer pressure.  He is passionate and silly and has the courage of his convictions, even if those convictions revolve around bad TV, weird taste in movies, and his pledge of allegiance to the WRONG baseball team.  He is kind and funny and brilliant… except when it comes to the idiot box.

The hours (and hours) I’ve spent watching the show haven’t been squandered; as my husband watches the drama unfold, I get to watch him relax, let go of our “real” concerns and simply enjoy a little brain candy.

And who knows, maybe I will pick up the skills to do a killer smoky eye!

Better Than Barney

May 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 4 Comments
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Unless you spend 10 hours each day home alone with tiny humans, you’ve probably never heard of Yo Gabba Gabba! Unless you’re a Soup fan. Or there’s something very wrong with you.

I happened to turn on Yo Gabba Gabba! one afternoon when I really needed to do some work and Max really wanted to not let me work. We have approximately 40,000 channels, but there’s very little toddler-suitable programming. So I was left with a choice between Barney and a show that’s entire reputation (for me) rested on some jokes by Joel McHale. Barney makes me want to stick sporks in my eyes and ears, so I opted for the unknown.

Let me break it down for you. The premise of Yo Gabba Gabba! is that there is an orange-clad man of indeterminable age (20s? 30s?) who wears a fuzzy orange Beefeaters-style hat. His name is DJ Lance. He has a handful of bizarre-looking toys that come to life when he takes them out of their boombox case and places them in Gabbaland. Then the creatures learn about things like going to school, camping and why you shouldn’t eat food that fell on the floor. There’s an awful lot of dancing and singing catchy, repetitive songs. I’m still singing “Try It, You’ll Like It.” And like Sesame Street, there are a lot of celebrity cameos to make parents happy. However, these celebs are a little cooler. Think indie bands like Death Cab for Cutie and The Faint and actors like Sarah Silverman (yes, I know she’s a comedian) and Angela Kinsey (aka Angela from “The Office”). Did I mention the portion of the show in which “Cool Tricks” like jumping over a stack of books on a pogo stick and playing the recorder with your nose are celebrated?

Yo Gabba Gabba! is total kid crack. Max can be jumping off the couch screaming like a banshee, but as soon as DJ Lance grooves onto the tv, Max freezes and stares at the screen in slack-jawed fixation. Even Paige attains a semi-comatose state, contentedly sucking on her thumb and pointer finger while emitting the “ehs,” “ahs,” and “ees” of a happy baby. And I am loathe to admit it, but even I am transfixed. Watch this video and tell me you’re not strangely powerless to resist.

So while I”m fairly certain this show was created while under the influence of quasi-legal mind-altering pharmaceuticals, I’m also fairly certain that I’d rather Max sing “Don’t Eat Me” with some oddly-monikered monsters (?) than “I Love You” with a purple dinosaur of uncomfortably questionable sexuality.

~April

Your Reality is a Wonderland: Mob Wives

May 17, 2011 at 8:30 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 8 Comments
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Andrew and I are addicted (and I say that with only the healthiest of connotations) to reality television. Lest you begin to fret, I assure you that we aren’t gluttonous about this compulsion, and we only partake in the “klassiest” reality shows. For example, we don’t jones for Jersey Shore or itch for Idol, and we’ve advanced well-past our gateway dabbling in Bridezillas. These days, we yen for the more sophisticated flavor of The Real Housewives (including NY, OC, BH, Miami, and, of course, NJ), and our most recent reality indulgence, VH1’s Mob Wives.

Some photographer caught the Mob Wives at a rare moment... for a change, no one is cussing (or even talking)!

We heard tell of this magical new program from my new boss-man* (with the caveat that, to watch it, you need to be able to handle entire sentences being bleeped out). He was right: Andrew and I are hooked, and the language would make any sailor blush.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of a rendezvous with the wives, here’s a taste to whet your appetite: Mob Wives is a “docu-soap” that follows four women who are “allegedly associated” with the Mob. Basically, their fathers or husbands are in the big house and they’re busy getting into their own kind of trouble on Staten Island, to the delight of viewers like us.

According to my hubs, the only drawback is the theme song: “The Big Bang” by Rock Mafia. Andrew disliked it immediately, but I thought it was kind of catchy (and we both prefer it to the noise of Katy and Kanye’s “E.T.” any day of the week!). Unfortunately VH1 plays it approximately 47 million times each episode, so the chorus, “The big big bang/the reason I’m alive” is perpetually stuck in our heads. Sigh.

If I hear of any other big hits (Get it? Hits? A triple meaning! A hit like when the mob takes someone out, a hit like a popular TV show and a hit like our addiction to the reality format), I’ll keep you posted!

For now, as the wives say, *@#%$! %#$#^*(*@!^#.

~Sarah

* And yes, this recommendation did make me feel immediately more assured about my new gig. A man who can appreciate reality television is a man who might enjoy my decidedly silly/snarky/kooky sense of humor, which is bound to come out one way or another. Praise Charlie Sheen (our new version of Tom Cruise)!

Extreme Couponing

May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 6 Comments
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Mike and I are a little obsessed with TLC’s new show “Extreme Couponing.” Have you seen it? Sales-savvy shoppers purchase hundreds of dollars’ worth of grocery for less than $50. And have you checked out their stockpiles?

Like pretty much everyone, Mike and I could certainly stand to tighten our fiscal belts. I’ve always been a coupon user. I like to play a little game with myself to see how much I can save on my weekly grocery trip. And I used to strut when my savings was 25%. Which I thought was pretty good. But I’ve since discovered that’s bush league.

So I watch these crazy couponers in an attempt to glean as many tips and tricks as possible. And I have learned a little, like about combining coupons with sale prices for maximum savings. And how you should scrutinize and memorize the store’s coupon policy before shopping. Yes, it’s obvious. But clearly I’m a novice here.

The other night Mike declared that I should make couponing my job. With these women (and some men) spending 35 hours or more each week prepping for a “haul” and mind-blowing savings, sure, this could be a full-time job. But do I have what it takes? The thought of devoting an entire day just to clipping and sorting coupons (or “CUE-pons,” as they all say) makes me a little nauseated.

And as great as it must be to save $850 on a single shopping trip, I do have some reservations about this whole extreme couponing thing. For starters, the stockpiling is a little out of control. Who needs 347 deoderants? If your odor problem is that bad, perhaps you should seek medical device. I’ve only seen two people on the show who donate any of their inventory to charity. Doesn’t it seem a little, well, greedy to have enough food, hygiene and cleaning products to fill an entire room and keep it all to yourself?

And have you ever thought about the kinds of food and beverages these people are purchasing? A lot of the products I buy don’t go on sale or have coupons. Because I try to purchase healthier items, like fresh produce and actual ingredients. But the super savers tend to purchase a lot of junk food and ready-made meals. I saw a woman the other night with a closet full of soda. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you need it. Although, as Mike pointed out, if civil war breaks out, those people don’t have to worry about their next meal.

What do you think, Dear Reader(s)? Is extreme couponing a lifestyle worth embracing? Do you already have some great shopping strategies?

~April

Penalty: Excessive Celebration

February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 3 Comments
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I didn’t grow up in a football house – we were baseball people exclusively – but my hubs loves the game (he was a dreamy high school football team captain and even played in college) so as a good-girlfriend-then-good-fiancé-now-good-wife, I’ve been trying to get into the spirit for years (though admittedly I root for the Pats over his pick of the Giants: I have my limits). But I have a serious beef with the NFL: while I’m all for sportsman-like conduct, I think the league is making a BIG mistake with excessive celebration penalties.

Touchdown dances are more entertaining than halftime shows!

I’ll be frank here for a moment*: I find myself uninterested in games without the Patriots or Giants (although I do harbor some confusing feelings for the brothers Manning, especially Peyton!!). In a game like last night’s Super Bowl, I can enjoy watching good ads (loved little Volkswagon Darth Vader and Audi’s “luxury prison” ad with Kenny G), but I still need to root for something in order to hold my interest between commercial breaks (you know, during the actual game). And what I’ve found I like best about the game are the touchdown dances. No matter which team is playing, I can always appreciate a sweet touchdown dance. But for some reason, the NFL is all up in players’ dance space.

Those players have moves, and they’ve made it to the grandest game of the year. I say if they’re lucky enough to score those precious six points, let ’em celebrate! Flips, boogies, even a jig – bring it on!

I’m not talking about burning the other QB in effigy, cussing, doing a strip tease or anything that might be construed as inappropriate by Midwestern grandmas. I’m just talking about a little wiggle room to enjoy their big night.

Let the spandex-clad men dance, damnit!

~Sarah  

*Who do you want to be?

Hot For Teacher

June 28, 2010 at 7:56 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 9 Comments
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This post might embarrass my husband. But he has never read this blog (true story!), so he probably won’t even know about. He talks about this subject all the time anyway, so I’m not overly concerned. And I have much worse stories I could tell about him (like pretty much every Fiesta tale, for example), so he’s really getting off pretty easy.

I was wracking my brain this morning trying to think of something to write about, when Sid the Science Kid came on. For those of you without little people in your homes, Sid is a wannabe scientist who goes to this really fun preschool with three other kids. Each day they learn all about how something works. It’s actually quite enjoyable.

So why is this important? Because the hubs has a crush on Suzy, Sid’s teacher.

Sid the Science Kid's Teacher Suzy

The Other Woman?

True, Suzy looks a little saucy in this picture. And she’s a great singer. But… she’s not a real person. And even weirder than Mike thinking Suzy is hot is that one of his very good friends, who we shall refer to as “Schmohn,” agrees with Mike that Suzy is hot stuff.

I’m a little creeped out. Ladies, does your husband have an attraction to a cartoon character in a children’s television program? Anyone care to explain this to me?

And I just realized the kind of door I may have just opened. Allow me to clarify. Mike doesn’t have crazy fantasies about Suzy or try to get me to dress up like her or anything . He just comments that she’s hot whenever the show is on. I’m not looking for defenders of furries or anything  like that. And if you don’t know what a furry is, don’t go running to the goggle unless you want your entire day ruined. Trust me.

~April

The Best Jeans Ever?

June 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 5 Comments
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I was watching a rerun of the Rachael Ray Show this morning and saw an As Seen On TV product that I totally missed: Pajama Jeans. Pajama Jeans are made from some secret, magical cotton/spandex blend that makes them as comfy as pjs, but as fashionable as your regular (presumably uncomfy) jeans. And they don’t have any buttons or zippers.

But wait! There’s more! You get a free t-shirt with every pair of jeans you order. A free t-shirt!!!

How have I never seen this infomercial? Why has no one purchased me a pair of pajama jeans? I know my co-blogger would adore these. And we’d be more than happy to accept some Pajama Jeans and then blog about our experience. Just saying…

Enquiring minds want to know: are these jeans or pajamas? Maybe I watch too much tv.

~April

The End of Law & Order?

May 27, 2010 at 8:13 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 2 Comments
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Dear Reader(s), I feel your concern, even though you have the tact to not bring up the elephant in the room.  Yes, the series finale of Law & Order was Monday night.  And I never mentioned the impending demise of quite possibly the best television show in the history of tv.  I watched the finale.  I had to check that the description said “series finale” and not “season finale” multiple times.  It was a sad evening.

Schmalex and I were commiserating the other night.  She loves Jeremy Sisto, I love Anthony Anderson.  Ok, I really love everything about the show.  Hoodles, we realized that even though NBC effectively signed the show’s death warrant by moving it to Friday nights (Thanks, Jay Leno.), there is still hope for L&O.  So here are our ideas for saving Law & Order:

  • Get picked up by another network.  Remember when NBC dropped Law & Order: Criminal Intent and USA (or L&O, as I call it) picked it up?  True, the show has gotten really weird lately, especially now that Jeff Goldblum is on it.  But it’s still fantastic.  And new.
  • Add a rapper to the cast.  Ice-T on SVU?  Amazing.  LL Cool J on NCIS: Las Angeles?  Superb.  So how about Mary J Blige as a judge?  KRS-One as a detective?  Queen Latifah as a sassy defense attorney?
  • Start a movement.  Mike suggested I start a riot, but I’m thinking more like a facebook page or email campaign.

Anyone else have any ideas?  Schmalex and I are dying over here!

~April

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