Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nocturnal Infomercials

It's been awhile since I've had a commentary on late night infomercials, so here it goes.  For those of us who have insomnia, usually the only thing on TV is infomercials.  I have my favorites and then there are "the duds" in my humble opinion.

My Favorite Infomercial
I don't know about you, but I think Florence Henderson made one of the most entertaining infomercials when she was pushing crock pot-esque cookware.  She not only used the product, but she had a gaggle of "friends and neighbors" that sat around her kitchen counter watching all of the fabulous meals that her cookware would create.  There was the smoking kook who was reminiscent of Mrs. Roper on Three's Company, the couple next door who have busy lives and don't have time to make Hamburger Helper (which takes less than 10 minutes), the single woman who wants to "entertain" (meaning she wants to cook for her dates without stressing) and the meat and potatoes neighbor who doesn't like "newfangled appliances."  The infomercial is even named as a television show to give the impression that you already know these lovable characters and it's just a new episode you're watching.  Of course, Florence sings the theme song.  Ya gotta love that.

Of course, after dumping frozen, rock-hard hamburger meat, uncooked noodles and a bottle of Ragu into the contraption, the finished product became a succulent, gourmet pasta dish that the whole family loved!  That one used to crack me up.  Can you imagine how disgusting that would taste if someone really prepared that meal as she did?  Bleh.  But, Florence is always happy, happy and the infomercial does make you wonder if it really does what it claims. 

The "B" Version of Florence Henderson's Infomercial
This one isn't a TV show themed ad.  This one is an older lady with red curly hair who cooks a variety of dishes from breakfast to dessert in a George Foreman-esque appliance.  As she goes from dish to dish, she mentions what a time saver it is to simply dump batter, cutup bananas, walnuts and other seasonings into this machine and have breakfast ready to eat in minutes!  That's great, but you gotta cutup the bananas, walnuts, create the batter and so on.  You've just dirtied a bunch of dishes so you can use a little Foreman-esque appliance.  It's stupid.  I may be sleep deprived at this point, but I'm not stupid.  Jeez.  Then there is a guy with glasses on that wears a golf shirt and slacks that are a size too small.  Then, every bite he samples from this cookware, he swoons as if he's fallen in love for the first time.  He's irritating.  There's no theme music.  The lady isn't happy, happy.  There aren't any obvious marketing ploys.  I don't like this one.

The One I LOVE to HATE
You knew it was coming, right?  How many infomercials have you watched of Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley plugging "The Total Gym"?  I love to hate this one.  I think they do a good job of demonstrating the equipment and if I had money, I would be tempted to buy it.  So, they accomplish what they set out to do.  They even get the actor that is going to jail for tax evasion to demonstrate!  He's probably doing any work he can get to pay the IRS.  

Now, you not only get to watch Chuck do his workout, but his wife as well.  She doesn't want to be "beefy" like her big strong husband (gag) so she does workouts to look more lean.  It's kind of funny to watch her talk while she works out because she's so out of breath.  Does she really do this workout every day?  Really?  Chuck has learned to suck it up and talk and workout without busting a lung. BUT, you can tell he's struggling.  His wife makes me gag and when he flexes his bicep to emphasize his "beefiness" I am tempted to turn the channel.

But, here is the part I truly love to hate!  I like Christie Brinkley.  She looks great and I believe she works hard to keep her body looking that way.  She demonstrates the machine well, moving from one exercise to the other.  THEN: she does one exercise that isn't "named" where each leg is isolated by doing a semi-squat on the machine.  She flashes that modeling smile and giggles, "I think I'll call this one 'the Christie!" 

After that, I feel vindicated that I can turn the channel.  Oh wait, Ron Popeil is about to "Set it and forget it!" while he sprays paint on the back of his balding head.  Gee, that looks natural.  Why didn't I think of it?

Sleep is an elusive mistress.

More Musings Later-

1 comment:

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