Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pointless TV rant time

Steven Taylor at PoliBlog doesn't much like fast-food commercials that make men look like buffoons, such as the McDonald's ad featuring the goof who keeps missing the "girls are like McGriddles" signal from his eager female friend.

Those ads are annoying, yes, but they absolutely can't compare to the worst commercial in history: the Just for Feet ad that ran once -- and only once -- during the Super Bowl in 1999. The ill-fated spot for the Birmingham-based company that filed for bankruptcy later that year involved white people in pith helmets pursuing a barefoot Kenyan runner, whom they knock out. He then wakes up, looks down at his new sneakers, and runs away screaming in horror. Somehow, it was even more offensive than it sounds.

Still, there may be some hope yet for this magical talking box that we call "television." Sometimes I'll see things like the Family Guy episode that takes the FCC to task for trigger-happy indecency fines, or things like the live West Wing debate that puts real presidential debates to shame with its meaty discussion of major issues, and I'll start to think that maybe -- just maybe -- there's a secure place for smart, incisive, well-written programming on TV.

Then I'll see Arrested Development on the brink of cancellation, and I'll wonder what I was thinking.


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