This post was originally published on November 18, 2009. However, this Kay ad is BACK ON THE AIR AGAIN this year, so our response is too. 12 months later, this commercial is as creepy as ever.
The holiday season is a time for reflection, love, and rampant materialism. I know this, and I expect my holiday television watching to be filled with commercials for useless items that I suddenly feel compelled to purchase for people I didn't even know I cared about. I'm never surprised to see ridiculously over-the-top ads for electronic nose hair trimmers or self-cleaning dog beds—those things are what America is all about.
HOWEVER, there is a Kay Jewelers diamond commercial airing currently that is just a bit more than this consumer can handle. Diamond commercials themselves are the worst of the holiday bunch (buy an expensive, unethical rock or you will never truly love/be loved!) but this one takes the cake by using bizarre fear tactics. Check it out:
This week on Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Yang takes a trip to the Coyote Ugly, Dr. Avery's dark past comes to the fore, Dr. Grey and Dr. Karev strike out on their own to save a patient's life, and a whole lot of people get drunk. Really drunk.
Find out what the Grand Rounds crew thought of it all, after the jump!
This week on Grey's Anatomy: Fisticuffs, fresh locks, and crying before bedtime! Dr. Bailey can't catch a break, Dr. Karev's past is bubbling up, and Dr. Yang turns to Dr. Visa for a little retail therapy.
Find out what the Grand Rounds bloggers think about it all, after the jump! (As always, expect spoilers beyond this point.)
Are you tired of reality TV stereotypes like the Desperate Bachelorette, the Angry Black Woman, and the Douchebag Dude? If you said yes, then here's another question: Have you been watching Jenn Pozner's new web series Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn? If not, you're missing out on some great media criticism (and some entertaining videos). Each episode of Reality Rehab interrogates a different reality television stereotype (good thing there are lots to choose from). Check out the trailer:
As always, it's been a pleasure blogging here at Bitch, but my time entertaining you with excessively wordy opinions on feminism and television has come to an end. There are some ways in which the end of this gig will mean an increase in my quality of life. Being a TV nerd, even being paid to be a TV nerd, has its personal costs: the cable bill, abnormally high wear-and-tear on the couch and one's sweatpants, the wiggling out of social encounters because you "really have to keep up with" Teen Mom. The endless watching of all the crappy new shows in hopes one of them will provide fodder for a blog post.
(For example: I'm never getting back the time I spent on Running Wilde or Outlaw, or pondering how to spin the Demi Lovato rehab story into a commentary on television. Those posts will just have to remain unwritten.)
(In case any of you are too young to know the reference [OH GOD AM I THIS OLD], Ally McBeal was a mid-nineties David E. Kelley show, starring Calista Flockhart as the eponymous young lawyer. Like all David E. Kelley shows I am aware of, it started out playing its narrative straight, an excellent if ordinary show about a young lawyer and an imaginary dancing baby. But within about three seasons it degenerated into Kelley's particular brand of "quirk," which made it frequently incomprehensible. I'm sure it's Netflixable.)
The creators of HBO's Big Love have just announced that the fifth season, which begins airing in January, will be the series' last. It's hard to greet this news with anything but relief; the last, abbreviated season of the show was something of a mess, with a subplots, I kid you not, about Mexican grindhouses and genetic engineering that exceeded any reasonable person's suspension of disbelief. But until that point the show was probably the all-time best case study I can think of for the phenomenon I've been trying to document in this space: the strange fact that the premise of any television show is almost irrelevant as the basis of any critique, because the key to doing a good job of depicting women is about execution, not playing to type.
Big Love after all, has pretty much the mother (ha!) of all potentially anti-feminist dramatic premises. The Henricksons' is not a world where patriarchy is implicit, or simply the product of social arrangements that have been handed down through the ages. It is one in which a very literal form of patriarchy has actually been chosen by the characters, even though other alternatives were available. The head of the family, Bill (Bill Paxton) has come actually kind of late to his firm belief in the righteousness of the Principle of plural marriage, after having been expelled from a polygamous compound as a young man. His wives, Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) are not constrained by law or social custom to agree with Bill on that point. Throughout the show, it's made clear that all three remain in the marriage willingly, although their own personal relationships to the Principle range from ambivalent (Barb) to largely emotional (Margene) to almost entirely inherited (Nicki).
Along with the rest of the ladycentric internet this week (including Bitch), I've been following the kerfuffle over Maura Kelly's post at Marie Claire about how disgusted she is by fat people. The post, ostensibly, is about the television show Mike & Molly, which is a romantic sitcom about a couple that meets in an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. The creator of the show has already fired back, noting that Molly will perhaps cancel her subscription to the magazine in an upcoming episode, and making the point we've all been thinking: the show "is just about human beings."
As to the merits Mike & Molly particularly, I have only this to say: I watched a couple of episodes at the beginning of the season, thinking I might cover it for the blog, but ultimately the show itself is very bad, and very bad shows don't tend to provide me with much meat for critique. So I let it go.