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NBC Product Placement Stoops to Another Egregious Low
November 13, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 

my-name-is-early-joy-watchi.jpgHow low will NBC stoop in its enthusiasm for in-program scripted product placement? As low as Knight Rider and its ubiquitous Mustang, we all know that. But last week on My Name Is Earl, NBC sank even deeper into the bottom of the barrel...

The episode, called "Sold a Guy a Lemon Car," had a subplot involving Earl's ex-wife, Joy, and her enthusiasm for something she'd seen in an ad on TV. It was an ad for the "Open Hearts" necklace from Kay Jewelers, designed by actress Jane Seymour.

my-name-is-earl-jane-in-joy.jpg

First we saw Joy watching the ad, and Jane Seymour selling the necklace, on her TV. (See image above.) Joy declared it the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen in her life.

Shortly thereafter, Seymour appeared in Joy's bathroom mirror, replacing Joy's reflection, to call her by name and tempt her with the necklace.

 

my-name-is-earl-jewelry-clo.jpgmy-name-is-early-joy-with-j.jpgAt the end of the show, Joy's current hubby, Crab Man, presented her with a special surprise gift. It was the "Open Hearts" necklace, shown in loving closeup, after which Joy fastened it around her neck and walked away, beaming.

my-name-is-earl-ad-seymour.jpg

Bad enough? Because none of it was remotely funny, yes. And what made it worse was that in between those scenes, during a commercial break, was the actual Jane Seymour ad for her necklace -- the very same ad watched by Joy during My Name Is Earl.

Watching it in that context, though, there was no Joy whatsoever.

Just the overwhelming stench of tacky overkill.

 

1 Comment

 

T said:

I was hoping someone would call the network on the move to sell ad time within a program. This went way beyond product placement for pay -- a practice that get appropriately jabbed on "Studio 60" a few years ago.
As the recession gets worse and the "anything for a price" people get more footing at the networks, please keep burning their feet with public attention.
The medium has sunk so low within the context of a relatively stable economy, it makes you wonder what will make it on the air in a real recession. Forget the F word on "Morning Joe." Things could get really obscene in another, more offensive way if the network philistines grab more power.

Comment posted on November 13, 2008 10:46 AM
 
 
 
 
 
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