I Love Television 

Profit

You know what? I was just going through my finances and my "profit margin" stinks!! Oh, sure I know what you're thinking: "What does Wm.™ Steven Humphrey care about 'profit margin'? The only thing he worries about is where his next juicy slice of boo-tay is coming from!" That's what you think, huh? Well, I've had enough insults from YOU. As it just so happens, I am VERY interested in things other than the "juicy boo-tay," and they are as follows:

OKAY, GODDAMMIT!! I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING!! Wait there's the "profit margin" thingy! That's what I care about--especially when it's MY margin! See, ordinarily I wouldn't give a toot about stupid accounting words like "profit" and "margin." However, I was reading this article in Daily Variety magazine about how the television networks are scrambling for their lives, and the executives (who are used to wiping their bums with platinum TP) are now watching "profit margins" swirl down the toilet (along with regular, soiled paper TP).

And you know what? That's FUNNY. I like it when people who are richer than myself suffer. However, the unfortunate thing we've learned about rich people is that when they suffer, they also make us suffer. For example, in order to make some extra dough, the studio executives aren't going to simply can all the shitty shows, or stop paying the cast of Friends a king's ransom. What they do is start chopping away at the final product. Which is why you've been seeing Buffy the Vampire Slayer fighting sock puppets with sharp paper teeth, instead of a million-dollar computer-generated monster.

One particularly egregious example of this network belt-tightening is on my favorite summer show, American Idol. Sure, it's hard enough to endure the pinhead hosts, the fakey fights between the judges, and (pa-tooey!) Jim Verraros, the four-eyed geek who boo-hoos every week about his deaf parents. But what really gnaws my nuggets are the overbearing product placements for Coke and the Ford Focus!

On every show, contestants drive around town (actually being pulled by a camera truck) in a Ford Focus, talking about how very lucky they are to be on American Idol. Then, they dash off to the Coca-Cola "Red Room" where they suck down bottles of Coke while waiting to be told they're an embarrassment to the entertainment industry (which, by the way, they are).

See, I don't mind commercials within a show, or even the odd Tombstone pizza showing up in the background during Bernie Mac. But when the product becomes part of the show? That's when they start marginalizing MY profit--my entertainment profit! That's why from now on, I'm going to videotape all my shows, and edit in some shots of juicy boo-tay instead of commercials! If anybody is gonna inflate my "profit margin," it's gonna be ME.

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