Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tivo As Time Machine.

I have a bad habit of recording shows on my DVR and then not watching them for weeks, months, or even a year. I recently went through the list of recordings (half of them shows that I would never watch anyway) and I came across a documentary on Howard Hughes that I taped exactly a year ago. The documentary was fascinating and I learned a lot of things about a subject that I thought I was somewhat of an expert on. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. There was another more disturbing facet of my little screening - the commercials.

It seems that almost every car commercial these days comes with a disclaimer that says something like "If you lose your job, we make the payments for at least nine months", or "Lose your income and we'll take the car back, no questions asked." Most commercials are quite depressing and almost morose these days, but a year ago you would hear pitches like "Indulge yourself-buy a new Hummer-you deserve it." There was one car ad from last year where a guy is in a black BMW or Mercedes with three supermodel type women where he goes out to some really expensive looking club. Now, they show a guy looking sad, but sitting down to a budget family dinner, or they don't show people at all.

Now we have some pretty sad and dire ads sandwiched in between shows that have had their budget cut, at least somewhat, from last year. The saddest commercial of all is the Progressive Insurance spot where the guy had to sell his watch because he's so broke.

I'm not trying to depress anybody, just making an observation, and I hope that I won't be selling my watch a few months from now.