Wednesday, 17 October 2012
As you probably already know by now, my hatreds are many, varied, almost always unjustified and barely thought-through. But I will tell you this, some fountains of bile never seem to run dry and besides, I have genuinely managed to convince myself that I am always right, so my more enduring pet peeves I consider to occupy the same status as a Papal edict.
So yeah, adverts that have ongoing storylines. What the shit?
We've had to endure these throughout my lifetime. The Bisto family brought pathos to powdered meat, as well as dodging a major bullet when they successfully sidestepped casting Jimmy Savile as the father. The Nescafé Gold Blend couple made us all sick before Anthony Head finally got up the courage to pump Sharon Maughan in their twelfth (TWELVE!) commercial together. I remember Nescafé taking out adverts in the press advertising their advert on the day the denouement to this particular series hit our screens. I remember specifically tuning in to see it, too. In the days when there were only four television channels, this was event TV! The specific event that I was hoping to see was a asteroid striking their flat, or them getting the clap. Perhaps the failure for either of these to materialise is the root cause of my hardline aversion to commercial series? I think it's more likely to be the fact that they are fucking shit, but anything is possible.
The biggest repeat offender in this hideous sweating gonad are BT. Seemingly without any regard for my feelings, blood pressure or pursing anus, British Telecom have decided that the best way to sell their services is vignettes of family drama. We've had Beattie the meddling gossipy housewife. Beattie wasn't so bad. She was more a chance for Maureen Lipman to bring her almost inexplicable worship of Joyce Grenfell to bear. But it was a shot across the bows, a warning that should have been heeded.
Because now they're on a roll. Kris Marshall became the new young daddy to a hideous family in a seemingly unending series of adverts which successfully managed to become more mawkish, turgid and ghastly by the installment. Eventually, Marshall got himself in a pickle with a traffic violation in real life, which saw his character cast out into a gloomy, takeaway curry in a bedsit, grindingly Onanistic nightmare before the plug was finally pulled. The nation (i.e. me) rejoiced and wondered why Marshall had taken so long to make a social faux pas. I mean, I alone must have sent a hundred hookers to his house in the hope he'd get caught out.
But the horror was not over. Now BT's spokespeople are a hideous group of housemates. A snot-nosed studenty male and an avuncular landlord at least twice his age coexist in perfect harmony until the new girl, who the elder one wants to fuck, arrives. But these commercials are so half-arsed they can't really even be bothered to keep up any sort of narrative strand beyond the fact the people are the same in every new outing. Simon's need to get some filthy bingo begins as being sufficiently strong that he is willing to download the entire back catalogue of Duran Duran. But come the Olympics, he's perfectly happy to chase after a room full of Spaniards. Now, at Halloween, he's concerned only for the integrity of his carpet.
At least the Gold Blend couple had some semblance of dramatic tension. The new BT gang are completely lackadaisical. A series of seemingly unrelated events occur to them without ever really ruffling too many feathers. So dead inside are they, maybe Simon and Simon's Bit Of Fluff bump uglies every single day but they're both such profound psychopaths that it doesn't even register with them the following day?
I hate all these people. Which, sadly, must mean that I do care about them. And that is exactly what the advertisers want. The fact that the majority of my investment in their story is that I want to see them all dying of the shits is neither here nor there. At this present moment in time I rather fear that I would buy anything Simon suggested I should, and I would like to protest about this state of affairs. No-one that I actually know, whose ongoing story arc I am familiar with, could make me do anything at the drop of a hat in the same way.
Television advertising has rotted my mind in ways I had rather hoped would be reserved for the rotting of the BT housemates' private parts. When they all die, screaming, of Atomic Crabs.
Bloody bastarding hell.