I record the following shows on my DVR:
- The Office
- Flight of the Conchords
- Jon and Kate Plus 8
Jon and Kate Plus 8 is the newest addition to the lineup, and even though I was late to this bandwagon, I jumped right on like the best of them. I’m not the least bit ashamed to sit down and watch four episodes in a row, but thanks to all those who have asked with one eyebrow raised ever so slightly. When I turn on the DVR and find episodes waiting for me, I have to stop everything and check in on to see what those little kids are up to, and whether or not Mady is finally going to get what she has coming. Seriously, that is one annoying kid, and this is coming from someone whose only interactions with her are tempered by the glorious mute button.
Because I am a late comer to the Jon and Kate party, I have mostly been catching up on old episodes from the past couple of seasons. And one night when I was out with friends, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the show to my friend James. He scoffed,
“That show is just one big advertisement now.”
Which confused me. Granted, I had only been watching old episodes, but I hadn’t really noticed anything like the uncomfortably forced product placement that seems to be permeating network shows these days. Until tonight. I caught a rare NEW episode tonight, which was exciting for me at first, because as I sat down on the couch, I felt like I was finally on the same page as all my fellow fans.
And then the show started with a big white moving truck backing up into the Gosselin’s driveway. Off the truck came boxes and boxes of appliances for the new house the family has apparently just moved into. The little kids were excited by the commotion and ran through the house screaming, and everything seemed like just another day on the best little show in the world.
But then, instead of simply installing the boring appliances and getting on with the show I was here to watch, the camera cut to Jon and Kate sitting in their chair and discussing the specifics of their new washer and dryer. That discussion went pretty much like this:
Kate: “I just love our new washer and dryer from Whirlpool! They look so beautiful sitting side by side in the laundry room.”
Jon: “Yeah, aren’t those the Duets?”
Kate: “They sure are, Jon! We had some in our old house and after that amazing experience, I knew the Whirlpool Duets were the ONLY washer and dryer I’d put in the new house!”
I kid you not, as this point the camera cut to ZOOM IN on the Whirlpool Duets logo on the washing machine.
Now cut to Kate in the laundry room with her newly installed Whirlpool Duets.
Kate, talking to…nobody?: “My Whirlpool Duets are so small that they fit perfectly in the room and they’re so easy to use, but they still have tons of options! I can even wash ALL of my kids’ jeans in ONE LOAD! What other washing machine can do that? They make laundry a joy! They’re like having little friends in my laundry room!”
I swear to you that she called them her “little friends” in the laundry room. And until that point, Brittany and I had just been sitting there asking each other if this was for real. But once Kate crossed the “little friends” line, that was the last straw. We turned off the TV. I want to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8, not some thirty minute commercial for Whirlpool Duets!
Sadly, it looks like James was right. Maybe the rest of the episode was better, I don’t know. It just wasn’t worth sitting through any more of that charade to find out. I realize that companies are sticking their products into shows in order to still get their message in front of people like me who DVR my shows and fast forward my way through the commercials. But my show is only thirty minutes long, people! Does the product hawking have to go on for SO LONG? Instead of all that awkward adspeak, allow me to offer a better suggestion:
- Open the episode with the little teaser about what today’s episode is going to be about
- Roll the opening credits and theme song
- Now, before anything else happens, have Kate walk right up the camera and yell, “Buy a Whirlpool washing machine or I’ll send Mady to come live with you!”
- Proceed with show
That would improve my life because it would only take four seconds of my show, AND I bet Whirlpool would sell a lot more Duets. Think about it.