Watching infomercials is one of the most entertaining ways to spend time looking at a screen.
You just gotta love ‘em. The people are so pumped about the products they’re selling. They smile toothy smiles, beg, plead, and grovel for you to buy their products. You can practically see the exclamation points pouring out of their mouths. Chef Tony is so sure that his knives are superior, he’ll slice a pineapple in mid-air. If only everyone were so eager to please.
In the magical world of infomercials, it is possible for clumsy cooks to create perfectly browned pancakes every time, for the chronically overweight to shed pounds while sitting comfortably on the couch, and even for insomniacs to sleep like the newly dead (oh Tempur-Pedic Mattresses, how you’ve revolutionized the world).
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve come pretty close to dialing the toll-free numbers to make good on the deals that will only last the next 10 minutes. I absolutely cannot tear my eyes away until I’ve seen for the umpteenth time how my shirts will loose their stubborn blood, grass and iodine stains with just one spray of Oxi-Clean.
But if it’s true that “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” why are we willing to believe that magic exists in the form of infomercials?
The Magic Pill Solution (or Magic Mattress Solution if you will) is so appealing because it doesn’t require any personal responsibility to make a change. Instead of finding out why a problem exists, we are told to just throw money at it, sit back, and watch it get better. It’s comforting when someone tells us that our laziness is not actual laziness, that the society’s expectations are just too high.
When you sit on the couch with a bag of Doritos, the infomercials tell us, you aren’t being lazy. You are a contributing member of society, and this product will make all your problems disappear so you can just keep sitting on the couch.
Unfortunately, this mentality breaks through the television screen. We can buy our thesis online, pay someone to clean our home, and instead of repairing a broken watch, just buy a new one. We don’t even have to acknowledge that there is a war going on if we don’t want to, besides having to pay a bit more in taxes.
There is a Magic Pill for everything, it’s the American way. And doggone it, give me that phone. The offer is about to expire.