Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pre-Olympic overload

I have a friend in Vancouver whose hatred for the Winter Olympics is so thick and rich I could drizzle it on my pancakes (totally robbed that line from Patton Oswalt, by the way). And I can understand that. The Olympics coming to town is never a straightforward thing and a lot of people, with very just reasons, get very pissed off. Because, let's face it, the people on the Winter Olympics committee can redefine anal retentive. Little thing like banning protest signs or going after anyone using their logos incorrectly like God's own Spirit of Vengeance does tend to get people annoyed.

Not to mention the crowds, the traffic, the budget which has been completely tossed out the window and the general madness. There's going to be a lot of cool things come out of these games. Lots of great stories and hopefully a good legacy. But yeah, I can understand people wishing it would just hurry up and be over already.

I'm not quite that way, but then again, I have the benefit of being really, really far away from it. However, there is one thing I can't escape from and that's driving me nuts. And it's CTV's constant, never-ending barrage of Olympics commercials. And they're stupid commercials, for the most part. Yes, they're introducing a few of the athletes taking part, but they're not giving any times on when we can see them compete. Instead, it's all vague, partiotic "Believe" crap. And it's relentless. I was in a grumpy enough mood during the Super Bowl that I couldn't see the US commercials, but then CTV had not one, but usually two or three Winter Olympic ads during each break. My god, is there anyone in Canada who doesn't know the games are starting this Friday? Is there anyone not cheering for our athletes? Is this level of carpet bombing advertising really necessary.

And the less said about Donald Sutherland's appearance the better. I like Sutherland quite a bit, but man, there's something very creepy about his appearance in those ads. The voice overs are alright, but when see him at the end of the ads, trying to smile (and not succeeding overly well) it gives me a weird feeling. A friend of Facebook said he looked like a child molester. And yeah, that's the vibe. It's your creepy uncle inviting you to come over to his house to watch the Olympics with him. And hey, why don't you sit next to him. Not, not all the way over there, come closer. Yes, right there.

Gah. No thanks.

I don't even mind the companies shilling their stuff. If you've paid good money to be the official Olympic sponsor, and probably contributed money to help athletes, yeah, sure, let me know about. So I don't mind the McDonald's ads (although Cathy hates the one with the girl talking to the speed skater) or the that Coors is the official beer, or someone else is the official cell phone. Whatever.

But Jesus, CTV, cut me a bit of slack will you? Enough already, I get the point.

Last Five
1. Let us down - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals*
2. Lupe Brown - The Fratellis
3. Terrified - The Pursuit of Happiness
4. Boots or Hearts - The Tragically Hip
5. I want to hold your hand - The Beatles


Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for you regarding CTV commercials. Follow me. I dropped TV in 2002.

Yes. That's right. No cable, no satellite, no rabbit ears.

It's got to the point where I am completely in the dark about such cultural "must see" events such as "Idol", "Lost", "Who the hell watches this crap", etc.

Amazingly you find you are still alive and have an interesting existance thereafter. As for the Olympics? Well, we all know we will quickly hear about when (not if) the boys and girls uphold our collective (read: tax payer) dignity.


Anonymous said...

Time to watch the CBC! ;-)

Kirsten said...

Hahahaha!! While I am being drowned in advertising here in Vancouver (***EVERY*** billboard is for an Olympic sponsor) and you've already listed off the other bazillion problems... I don't have a TV! It hadn't even occurred to me how horrible the commercials must be right now. I haven't seen a single one.


WJM said...

My personal Ol-mp-c peeve this Ol-mp-c season is Clara Hughe's terrible delivery of a nine-word line.

"Guess it's not a secret.



towniebastard said...

Here's the thing...I like TV. I don't have it on all the time, and I'm more likely to be found on the computer than watching TV. But I like it. And I understand some people give it up, but I really do get enjoyment out of the few shows I watch - House, Castle, Chuck, Fringe, Bones (apparently, your show must only one word for me to like it...oh wait, Republic of Doyle).

So no, I'm not about to give it up. But I certainly don't watch as much as I used to. Chalk up one more for the internet...

Cathy Olliffe said...

I am SO with you on the CTV thing... but they're annoying whatever they do. The way they carry on about the Olympics, though, you'd think they evented it.
Love your blog. Your writing has so much personality.

Morena said...

Should it be a surprise that CTV is over run by Olympic commercials? They did the same thing every year with the lead up to Canadian Idol and this event is slightly bigger and more important than that one.

I LOVE the Olympics but even I can agree that they could advertise a little less.

The Perfect Storm said...

"I like TV."

It's not all bad. Well, 20% "ok" and 5% "that's pretty damn amazing" is still a small reason for hope.

I've loved the HBO Deadwood series (well until you get to the end of the third and final season and go NOOOOOOOOOooo!!!). I buy the boxed sets a year or more afterwards. I have the entire (yes I am a geek) Futurama. Great swaths of others ...oh and Fawlty Towers (the greatest sitcom in history).

That plus downloading Top Gear and I'm pretty much through what TV has to offer me.

I guess the point is well taken that TV has something to offer but having shut it off now for nearly 8 years I am surprized at what passes for prime time now.

Call me an old codger I suppose.