Or maybe I should say commercials I hate, though I think you'll agree with me on some of these. They run the gamut from silly to ineffective, from dumb to just plain jaw-dropping. Let's start with jaw-dropping.
1. DirecTV's Poltergeist ad. This is...creepy and tasteless. Do the makers of this ad really not know that young Poltergeist star Heather O'Rourke died at a really young age? Even if they didn't (I'm kidding, of course they did), the star of the ad, Craig T. Nelson, is aware of it. So why use footage of her in the ad? It's just bizarre to me. Then again I'm not a DirecTV exec. They must know that what they're doing by using footage of a deceased child star (and a stand-in) to sell satellite TV service.
As longtime readers of TV Squad probably know, I'm a tennis fanatic. I hate summer with a passion, but I'm happy for the season during four weeks: the two weeks of Wimbledon (late June/early July) and the two weeks of the U.S. Open (late August/early September). If you need me those two weeks, I'll be in front of my TV and a fan, drinking cold liquids.
Of course, it's not all popcorn and roses. There's something that really irritates me about ESPN's coverage of Wimbledon that's going on right now, and I see it every single time I look at the screen (which I find you have to do if you want to watch the matches). It's that damn scoreboard at the top of the screen.
If you really think about it, the U.S. Open tennis tournament is a weird television event. Everyone talks about the Super Bowl and it's massive coverage, but it's really amazing that a network actually gives up its entire schedule and devotes all day, every single day, for almost two weeks to a tennis tournament.
But that's what's happening starting today on USA at 11am. The network will have coverage all day until 5pm, then there's a break for dinner or to shower or to run errands or whatever. And then coverage starts up again at 7pm and runs til 11pm (or whenever matches are over). Nice! This continues for the next two weeks. CBS will have daytime coverage on the weekends, including the men's and women's finals.
If you need me for the next weeks, I'll be in front of my TV in my U.S. Open Underoos.
- At 8, CBS has the women's final of the U.S. Open, Maria Sharapova vs. Justine Henin-Hardenne.
- FOX has two new episodes of Cops at 8, then a new episode of America's Most Wanted.
- ABC has college football at 8, Ohio State vs. Texas.
- NBC has two 9/11 specials starting at 8: Tom Brokaw Reports, about the air traffic controllers, and then a special Dateline.
- HGTV has a new reDesign at 8.
- FLIX has Donnie Darko at 8.
- At 9, Lifetime has the new movie The Mermaid Chair, with Kim Basinger.
- At 11, IFC has Ripley's Game, with John Malkovich.
So I'm watching NBC's live coverage of the Maria Sharapova/Elena Dementieva match, and halfway through the second set, a guy runs on the court naked! Right on Sharapova's side!
I guess it was a stunt that someone paid the guy to do for publicity, and the police quickly covered the guy up and got him off the court. But I watched the replay of the match just now on ESPN2 - on tape, mind you - and ESPN2 showed the entire thing again, without blocking anything out! And, well, let's just say that the shot really left nothing to the imagination, even if it wasn't a closeup.
I'm just wondering why - especially in this day and age of stupid FCC fines and controversy - would ESPN2 just show this again on tape when they know it happened live on NBC?