Monday, November 02, 2009

Television Preview Sucks My Ass (A Not-So-Hilarious-Tale of How I Was Scammed!)

I preach and preach to my students that just showing up, butt in chair, does not lead to success. It's important to do your homework...because failing to prepare is preparing to fail! Hokie...but oh-so-true!

If I had taken my own advice, my Friday night wouldn't have sucked major balls. You see, a few weeks ago I received a seemingly innocuous piece of mail from a corporation called Television Preview claiming (I thought) to need my advice about future television shows.

HOW COOL!

Did I think about how they got my name? Why they were asking me? Investigate them even one tiny bit? Of course not...all I could think of was watching some never-before-seen pilots and giving my clearly valued opinion.

To make matters worse, I shared my excitement with a friend of mine the day of the previewing. I explained that I had "somehow" been "randomly selected" and my Friday night would be filled with Must See TV to be!

She then mentioned how a friend of hers went to something that sounded very, very similar before. Unfortunately...the TV shows were actually quite old, and this was a scam to get people to watch commercials and give input about different products.

My balloon sufficiently deflated...I of course decided to put her in the "hater" category and let Debbie Downer know that I appreciated her concern, but there were major TV companies vying for my opinion...and I was going to give it to them!

***

Well, wouldn't you know it? Tauni, a friend of hers, and I went to the screening and we were greeted by the following by Television Preview:

1997's Soulmates. Oddly, while the host claimed that the show took place in 1999, then 2003, and eventually ended up in present day...what we in fact saw was flannel, big hair, and gigantic cordless phones. Bullshit much? And OH MY GOD...not only was it old...but it SUCKED. I mean really, really sucked. Worse than any Lifetime movie made for TV type of sucking. Perhaps this was to get us to look forward to the commercials they made us sit through?

This was then followed up by 1997's Dads. The best part about this show was that C. Thomas Howell was in it...and any 30 something dude knows he was in Red Dawn...sadly...he only played "the friend" in Dads. How the mighty had fallen! This show was better than Soulmates...but 1997? Come on!!!!

But the commercials...holy mackerel! Every few minutes, the shows would stop and they would come on...one of which stands out much more than the rest. It was a TP commercial and literally talked about how other TPs SMEAR POOP while theirs is 3x more SMEAR RESISTANT....and they proved this by showing PICS of the other brand smearing poop! Clearly...this intrigued me....but still...not appropriate for a TV commercial, even in my book.

After being there for a few minutes, we started to think this seemed a little suspicious. So THEN (not before), we decided to investigate. We pulled out our phones and did our homework....just a little too late. Here is Television Preview's take on what they do:

Television Preview® events have been taking place for over 30 years with the sole purpose of testing material being considered for broadcast. By participating in the Television Preview screening event, you have the opportunity to directly influence what you may see on television in the future. You will be participating along with people from across the globe.

Our goal is to simulate your television viewing environment. You will be asked to view pre-recorded 1/2 hour segments (including programs and commercials) just as you would in your home.

It should be noted that our company does not seek to sell you anything. Your opinion on the material you will be viewing is what we want. These data will be analyzed and passed on to the producers, directors, sponsors, and other people that make decisions as to what makes it to air and what ends up on the cutting room floor.

As our way of saying thank you, there be will be approximately $250.00 in attendance prizes awarded throughout the Television Preview screening. We look forward to seeing you at the screening.


Clearly...they aren't lying...but they are TOTALLY misleading...if we just would have gone to good ol' Wikipedia we would have seen this was all BS!

But wa-wa-wa-wa-wait...it gets worse!

The host was a PAINFULLY unfunny, skeleton of a man. He made terrible joke after terrible joke...most including AWFUL sexual innuendo. Seriously...he actually said things like:

On your form, it asks for sex. Please check off yes, no, or sometimes.

I didn't know people told that "joke" after junior high. Now imagine...TWO HOURS...TWO F'IN HOURS of that!

My favorite thing this guy did had to be when he introduced his assistant...the one he deemed "exotic." Want to know why...what possibly made her so exotic???? She was Asian. Yeah...that's right. Asian. Now, don't get me wrong, her silver-skin-tight-and-too-short-dress-with-gigantic-pink-high-heels-ensemble was not what I would call "normal," but this isn't 1960. You don't call someone exotic because she happens not to be white, jackass. I was waiting for him to say "oriental," and I know he would have if he could have stopped making a buffoon of himself for five seconds.

Another thing they did that was completely shoddy was to put signs on EVERY DOOR...EVERY DOOR...that said "This door is for emergency exit only" to try to keep people from leaving or perceiving a way out. I took one of these signs as a keepsake...and then we turned it into the hotel's manager when we tattled on them!

But BY FAR...the cherry on top of the cake had to be the couple sitting in front of us. First of all, at one point, the wife said "this was so much better the last time I came." HUH...WHAT?...You see...she didn't know it was a scam...and went back for more...and brought her husband! As soon as we let them know this was all BS...the husband took out his phone, turned to a fart program he had previously installed (Never know when THAT would come in handy, I guess), and proceeded to create different types and lengths of fart sounds while the Host was talking. This guy made long fart sounds, short fart sounds, wet ones, loud ones, airy ones...you name it...he did it. Again. And again...and after he and his wife almost rolled out of their chairs with laughter...Tauni, her friend, and I bidded Television Preview adieu...with visions of farts, smeared poop, exotic Asians, and terrible late 90's TV dancing in our heads.

And this is exactly why doing your homework is important.

_

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can I say I told you so? What a way to spend a Friday night. Smear resistant. Wow.

Shasta said...

I like how you brought it back around to homework in the end. Nice work!

Tauni said...

You didn't mention that skelator was wearing tennis shoes with his suit. I found that very amusing

I hope I am never tried for a crime because based on the sample Friday night, these people are not my peers....

Manasse said...

You mean we are superior to people who rated Soulmates as an excellent show?

Betsy R said...

Just admit it. Secretly, you only went to this "event" because it had blog topic potential.

Tauni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manasse said...

My life is a blog topic...waiting to happen.

Maccerz said...

Pussy. Get a gun.