Friday, July 30, 2010

Real Housewives

Last summer, for reasons I am not sure of, I got sucked in to watching the Real Housewives of NY. That lead to me being sucked in to watch the show Real Housewives of NJ, which I got to admit had characters that were more fun than the NY crew.

This year I was not as interested to watch either show but found myself looking over the top of my book to catch a peek here and there as my wife watched. The ladies of Big Apple show were entertaining and intriguing. On the other hand the Garden State broads (I think the word broad to describe a woman is so underused these days) were no longer interesting. The characters become caricatures of themselves. They became the stereotype of a Northern New Jersey gangster woman/wife. They seem very trashy.

When I watch television I am very aware of the commercials that come on. Commercials are a way of finding out what advertisers and television networks think of their consumer/audience. Advertisers try to push their product to a demographic. A particular show may have a particular stronger demographic which is desired by an advertiser. Sometimes the commercials are national ads which are polished and crisp. Then there are local ads that get squeezed in that are often the local car dealer or flooring company, which are not so polished. Now it is here where the AD people tell you what they think of you and the shows you watch, depending on their skill and level of magic making. I like to rate their commercials. I think I am immune to their pitches and I try to figure out who they are targeting; what makes the commercial tick.

Why are there so many erectile dysfunction cure commercials during an NFL game? Well because the marketers know that men between the ages of 35 and 50 are watching. Why are those commercials always showing a man and a woman strolling on a beach, holding hands and being all romantic? Because they know that there are women in those same households that may be watching the same game because they want to spend time with their significant others and damn it if he is going to sit there and check his fantasy football scores every 10 minutes, while the garage needs to get cleaned and leaves need to be raked and oh, what is that commercial? Look at that couple holding hands on the beach, they look so happy and romantic and oh look at that handsome silver haired man helping his wife paint the living room, and that is a lovely color yellow, wait a minute did they just say that this medicine could make him paint the living room for up to four hours, wow I need to remember the name of that drug.

Anyway you get the point smoke and mirrors and all that.

Shows have a demographic, the network sells their shows ad space based on the demo to advertisers that want to target those people. I like to watch commercials to see if I fit that demo.

The other night I was reading in bed and Lauren was watching Real Housewives of NJ. After hearing the wretch Danielle (the villain of the show) talking about being a great mom to her girls, while she is learning how to fight from some thugs because "you just never know", then listening to the other women with their "youse guys and deese guys" lingo. I begged Lauren to switch the channel. She said no and laughed at the fact that I still sit there and watch the show. Which I do, you know, train wreck and all that.

Then a commercial comes on. It is a local commercial for a dentist that does teeth whitening. The woman on the commercial has the worst Philly accent I have ever heard. The commercial is horrible. This is followed by an ad for the movie Charlie St. Cloud starring Zac Efron, which is followed by a promo for another Bravo TV show. I, uhm, go back to reading my book.

Joe ends up telling some guy that money is tight and that he is not sure what he is going to get his wife Teresa for their 10th wedding anniversary. He ends up going cheap and buying a Helicopter ride and some huge diamond. I know from various blogs that Joe and Teresa have filed for bankruptcy because they are 11 million dollars in debt. The show is really getting on my nerves. I ask Lauren to change the channel. She says no.

During the commercial break some people were signing a catchy jingle about getting cash right now with no effort. That was followed by a commercial for the movie Charlie St. Cloud. Then the owner of a local car dealer, who was clearly reading from a cue card, told me "no credit, no problem" I could still drive away in a brand new car for only $199. A Jell-O ad runs next followed by a Top Chef promo.

I turn a page in my book. Albie, the red head's son, who flunked out of law school is now in the police academy. He had to shave his head. His siblings mock him. Meanwhile Jackie's daughter is getting served legal papers for assaulting one of the other broads. I can't take it anymore. I ask Lauren to switch the channel but another set of commercials comes on.

Charlie St. Cloud is coming out on Friday. Then a very loud lawyer comes on the TV and tells me he can get me money for any lawsuit. He can also get me out of any DUIs. He will not rest until my case is won. Pledge is great for wood. Another Real Housewives show is going to be in DC. I should watch Top Chef. Charlie St. Cloud.

I make my assesment of the RHONJ demographics, which has to be criminals with bad teeth and with bad credit, who need money now and who like to eat Jell-O and have clean furniture. I then realize that the commercials that are airing are not only for the demographic of the audience watching the RHONJ but that they also could be targeting the actual people on the show. The Real Housewives of NJ could use all of the services these commercials are offering.

I go back to my book. Some sweet 16 birthday party is going on that looks like it is more expensive than my house. Someone named Kim G gets on my nerves. This show is so bad. I beg Lauren to turn it off. I close my eyes and try to go to sleep.

Then a commercial comes on for some intro-uterine device and the side effects listed say something to the affect of the "Mirena may attach to or go through the wall of the uterus and cause other problems. Ovarian cysts may occur and usually disappear. Bleeding and spotting may increase in the first few months and continue to be irregular." Then they talk more about blood and uterus-es (uteri?) and thickening and bleeding and more blood flow.

During that commercial I was begging for the Real Housewives to come back on.

I realize that I am not the target demographic for the companies that advertise on the show Real Housewives. But by the same way the ED pill commercials make women take notice I really think that shows on Bravo should take into account that, maybe, a man may be in the room while the TV is on. Now if the women in theMirena ad were cooking bacon or mowing the yard I may not have been so offended by the commerical.

Anyway RHoNJ no longer interests me, which is fine, I am not their target audience. Actually when I think about all the ads that were run , they have a very diverse demographic. Just not me, although I have a strange urge to goe see Zac Efron movies. He is dreamy.


Susie said...

I like to watch Real Housewives (not as much as I once did) and I like to talk about them. "Morons with Money," is how I think of them. (Or in Joe and T's case, morons who used to think they had money). I like Bethenny's new show. It's warm and sweet and no one's seriously pathological. I became very uncomfy, watching Kellamity melt down on RHNYC. Felt unethical to watch serious mental illness as entertainment. (Hey, I told you I like to talk about them.)
Hey, you know who else I like to watch? Billy the Exterminator. Dude LOVES his job, and I love to see that. I'll bet he was this ADHD, pain-in-the-ass kid in school, but he found his true calling, God bless 'im.

Josh said...

I prefer the Nuvaring commercial.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Everyday....

And it fits with the concept you have with them cross targeting the opposite sex by having the ladies all jumping into a hot tub in bikinis.

Unknown said...

Last season I liked RHONJ. Now it is beyond trashy. After a sermon from my pastor about watching garbage television I felt guilty and have not watched it quite as much. It's like watching a train wreck though, so hard to look away.

Melinda said...

The programmes I like to watch seem to have a lot of repeated adverts for stress incontinence, constipation, and Stanna Chair Lifts.
Oh dear Bill, you are right! They got their demographics spot on. Damn them!

Charity Donovan said...

I, like Lauren am shamefully addicted to the train wreck that is the Housewives of NJ...I can't help's almost as good as some chocolate (or a shot of Mirena!)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I've never watched a "Real Housewives" show, but I did enjoy watching Stephen Colbert interviewing the producer guy from Bravo. He was funny. I'm not so sure I want to watch a train wreck, though.

Anonymous said...

Put on home movies instead

Lori said...

I was laughing all the way through this post because it's just so true! Commercials are a lot more detailed than the 'good old days.'

I used to watch RHOOC for the gasp factor. Like you said, the helicopter ride and diamond...someone's really slacking. Ahem.

(I was going through some of my very old posts and found a comment from you and thought I'd come on over. Glad I did!)

SciFi Dad said...

Real Housewives?

Suddenly, I'm not so embarrassed to say I watch Gilmore Girls on DVD with my wife.

Papa K said...

Dude. I HATE those "Real Housewive" show with an ever-loving passion. My wife likes to watch them and I accidentally get sucked in from time to time. Makes me want to shoot myself.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Dude, when you saw the commercial for the movie with Z Efron in it, you should know what the demographics are... 70 year old pedophiles. LOL