Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TV, con't.

There are a few shows on Food Network that involve handing contestants a bundle of random ingredients, then judging what these hopefuls can create from them. "Chopped" is the show that comes to mind, but I think there are others, or at least, it's also a common practice on "...Next Food Network Star". I really don't understand this. How is what one can make from, say, a tin of anchovies, maple syrup, and ground venison in any way indicative of one's culinary chops? In what real-world scenario would a chef be faced with random, mis-matched foodstuffs, and be forced to use them to feed a crowd? In real life, chefs and home cooks alike tend to plan menus ahead of time, shop for the necessaries, and keep a well-stocked pantry for any incidentals. Even if I have a raid-the-pantry-dinner night, it tends to be based on ingredients that were meant to go together. I could be a fantastic cook, and still have trouble marrying raisins to capers, or beef stock to vanilla ice cream, on the fly. I just don't see how these contests reveal a person's actual culinary abilities.

On all of the home-buying shows on HGTV, potential buyers complain about places that are way nicer than our house. This is very depressing. We have 850-ish square feet, in a very poor layout. (I think that is an adequate amount of space for two-three people, IF it has a neat, nifty floor plan. I could design a place smaller than this one, that would work better.) We have two bedrooms and a very small bathroom. It is sad to see a place twice this size, with a BIG bathroom (like, with a counter around the sink), whose residents are exclaiming that they can't wait to leave this dump. Oh, well. It also always cracks me up that they always discuss "entertaining". Seriously, are Don and I the only people who don't "entertain"? We do "have friends over". The difference is that "entertaining" seems to require a formal dining room, a big kitchen, and a big deck outside, while "having friends over" requires a sofa and delivery pizza. And yet, we are entertained, and entertaining. Huh. Maybe someday we'll grow up and suddenly need to throw a fancy dinner party? Or have cocktails on the deck, instead of beer in the kitchen?

Advertisers tend to aim their commercials at the particular demographics watching X show/channel at Y time. Hence, tons of toy commercials on Nickelodeon, none on MSNBC. I think I tend to have "old person" viewing habits, as I see a lot of commercials for prescription drugs, arthritis creams, and the AARP. Since I've been home with Robert, I've noticed that the advertisers seem to think that anybody watching TV during the day is either (a) unemployed, (b) overweight, or (c) both. So, many commercials for educational opportunities, like online university courses, tech schools, etc; and for weight-loss programs. There are also a lot of "hurt? can't work? call us!"-- type ads for law practices. I feel kind of offended by these assumptions, but then, who does watch TV in the middle of the day? If I had a bit more energy, or a son who didn't need to nurse every two hours, I'd probably not turn it on, either.

What really pisses me off-- especially when I was pregnant-- are the commercials for stuff that I can't actually get where I live. This is not something I experienced until leaving Dallas, because Dallas has everything that might be advertised, ever. But here, Sonic is always advertising their yummy drinks and smoothies. There's no Sonic here. Same for Dairy Queen and their darn blizzardy milkshake things. The Olive Garden. Ace Hardware. I could go on, but for God's sake stop teasing me with extreme closeups of a chocolate milkshake when there isn't a Dairy Queen for several towns down the highway! Bad tv, bad.

Note to self: get Netflix moving again.


ayla said...

I read a LOT of books and spent a lot of time on the internet when Mat was in this stage. We don't have a television, so my viewing choices were limited to whatever we had on DVD and whatever I'd previously downloaded off of iTunes, since at the time we had slow-ass internet with daily download limits.

Now, I watch TV shows I like on, since I upgraded to DSL. I also download seasons on iTunes. Thinking hard about a netflix subscription, though I probably shouldn't since a) I'm going back to school and b) I'm pregnant again. And I still do a lot of reading, though none of it really quality.

lucky little bird said...

SO funny. My friend and I were just talking about why in the world Sonic's ads are on every hour when there is nary a Sonic in MD. In fact, her favorite thing about having to relocate to Florida? Actually getting to eat at a Sonic!

rainey3 said...

Ever since we started shopping for our first house, we too have been flabbergasted by the idiotic dimwits who have been on the HGTV "my first house" or "house hunter" shows. Take last night for example: a couple in North Carolina were shopping for a home that was big enough for their dogs and cars. DOGS AND CARS apparently required 3,000 square feet, a natural land preserve and a drive way long enough for (get this) all 5 vehicles. The best part wasn't that these two love birds were barely out of their twenties... but the dogs that needed all that space? Chihuahuas... 2 to be exact.

Or that it's always the cranky person in the couple that whines about the paint color or the carpet when you're yelling at the t.v. that the house has good bones, a great layout and is a steal at that price! What is WRONG with these people, seriously? Why aren't we on that show so that they can document our sheer elation that the yard has a fence, the house comes with a fridge, and actually has a 3rd bedroom! Never mind it was built in the 70's and just needs some TLC - it's in a great neighborhood and is walking distance to a school.

We're totally stoked to go check out this one place that just came available on the market - it's only 1,235 square feet but is super cute and in the area we want to be in... not too mention it backs up to a wooded greenbelt and has enough room for my veggie garden and compost pile!! Time will tell what we buy - but I'm with you. Those morons make me sick... them and their 5 Mustangs, 2 Chichi puppies and walk-in closet for the wife with no taste and too much available spending money.

Bah humbug.

Mara said...

Hey, 1250 sq ft is a whole lot more than what we have! To me, it sounds roomy!

I know just what you mean about paint colors. It's like the only thing the potential buyers seem to notice on the shows. Hello, you can paint the room a new color if everything else checks out!