Now that we have Internet access again, I have re-discovered both its pleasures and its pains.
When Bjorn and I first got married, we agreed to not get a TV. “TV takes up so much of your time,” we reasoned, “ergo, if we don’t get a TV, we will save ourselves time.”
I did save myself time… which I then promptly used to watch TV shows on the computer.
I admit it: I like spending a portion of my day sitting like a lump being entertained. Some of you might say, “That time would be better off spent cooking/cleaning/learning a new language/exercising/feeding the homeless/reading/studying/doing anything else.” To those people I say, “Yes, you are right.”
And I don’t care.
I have no defense. I like the mindlessness that comes with watching a flickering screen. We may not have a TV, but the Internet allows me to still indulge in my favorite sport of zoning out. I especially loves me some hulu.com. TV shows and movies–for free!! (“The Queen is being offered right now. No, really.)
Plus, as mentioned in the last post, I can check my account balances with ease and look things up quickly — all without leaving my place or interacting with people. Huzzah!
While I love hulu.com, it has not escaped the bane of commercials. If anything, commercials might be worse on hulu.com than on TV as there seems to be less variety.
Of particular irritation to me is this commercial from Chase.
This commercial grates on me, perhaps irrationally so, for its attempt at being cutesy and assumption that the viewing audience has an IQ level a shade above moron.
Here’s how I think the ad execs came up with this idea:
Ad exec 1: “What sells stuff? Kids and animals!”
Ad exec 2: “Let’s use a lion. Lions are awesome. It’s pretty expensive, but we can shoot it in black and white and tell people we’re going for an arty, timeless feel.”
Ad exec 1: “We can save even more money by mostly using music from this synthesizer I got at a garage sale. Check out “Rhythm #3.”
Ad exec 2: “Super Awesome! Hey, can we put my friend Bob’s kid in this?”
Ad exec 1: “Isn’t that kid 10?? Wouldn’t it be cruel to cast her? She’ll end up looking mentally slow.”
Ad exec 2: “Naw, it’s cool. She just wants to be on TV.”
Maybe Chase wanted the subtext to be, “Look how fiscally responsible the bank is being by not spending a lot on a commercial (read: “Get off our backs, Occupy protesters)” but to me the message that’s coming through is: Chase is cheap and lazy.
AND THEY PLAY THIS COMMERCIAL ALL THE TIME. Every time I see it, I hate it more.
But perhaps the worst thing about the Internet is also its best quality (why must this always be so?): The Internet is, for better or worse, distracting.
Case in point: I had just turned on “Enchanted April” on hulu.com when I began to feel peckish. I grabbed a slice of cheese pizza and stuck it in the microwave for one minute.
Only I didn’t.
I must’ve hit an extra zero, but I didn’t realize it, so engrossed was I in catching every elegant, accented syllable (another irritation: sometimes the sound on hulu.com is not so great; I was literally hunkered over the computer, trying to catch what they were saying).
I didn’t even realize a minute had passed without a ding—or five. I didn’t even remember I had a slice of pizza in the microwave until the horrible stench of something burning invaded the room.
The pizza, of course, was a goner. But even worse than no snack was the smell. After 4 days of countless sprays of air freshener, leaving the ceiling fan on, keeping the windows open and deoderizing the microwave three times, the smell still lingers.
“Enchanted April” indeed.
Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman