Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thoughts on TV

I didn't get a chance to watch as many Superbowl commercials as I usually like. Mostly because I was at a party with a lot of noisy kids running around, and the other grownups in the room were not nearly as interested in the little films between plays as I was.

Still, I ended up seeing most (both on TV and online) and of those I saw I was pretty unimpressed. The worst of the bunch, I felt, was the overblown, over-the-top and not-nearly -campy-enough Burger King Wopperettes commercial. You know, the one that so many others seemed to love?

Frankly, my opinions don't matter too much. But what I have found interesting in reading the post Superbowl commercial writeups (and I've read too many to even remember what I've read) is that no one seems to agree on which commercials came out on top. In this very unscientific way, I'm wondering if TV is now so fragmented that it's almost impossible to please even a solid majority of the people with a simple ad. What this means for the advertising industry is anyone's guess, but given everything else going on in the media world, it makes complete sense.

Then there is TiVo. I know, non-sequitur, but go with me on it. I've run into a number of friends recently who keep telling me to get one. It's not that I don't want one, I just can't figure out a good reason to spend money on one. They use phrases like "change your life." But if a device that lets you watch TV differently is "life changing," then our priorities are mixed up.

If the TiVo can sense intent, then we may have something. I want it to assess my viewing choices for the REASONS that I view something, then feed me shows that I may never have thought of that are intelligent, well written, insightful and cause me to think.

But my guess is that if I tell it I like Battlestar Galactica, it'll just feed me more science fiction. I like some scifi, but I don't watch the show for that reason.

So for now, I'll just stick to my current method: leaving the TV off unless something worthwhile is on. Then maybe I won't have to watch that horrid Wopperettes commercial again.

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