Home > Uncategorized > A few quickies, with links

A few quickies, with links

October 10th, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

1. Where Can Hillary Go Next?Ben Grossman poses an interesting question in a column for Broadcasting and Cable: with the political campaigning beginning so early, and with all the early primaries, how will candidates keep people interested? Grossman wonders if the key candidates will simply run out of shows on which to appear as guests. Translated, can one’s brand run out of extratextual outlets? Come May, will we see guests challenging Chef Cat Cora on Iron Chef, having a scripted spat with Vince McMahon on WWE Smackdown, or appearing as Jack Bauer’s grandparents on 24?


2. Dual Purpose AdvertisingA new trailer has been released for The Golden Compass, the first of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books to be made into a film, due out this Christmas. This time, the trailer lacks the egregious fastframe spoiler that was in the teaser. Interestingly, though, it dedicates a fair amount of screen time to the Panserbjørn (speaking polar bear) Iorek Byrnison, no doubt to help advertise the Panserbjørn-riding computer game as much as the film.

3. Gossip Lives EternalThe first of the fall shows to be picked up till the end of the season is Gossip Girl. Despite ho-hum ratings, The CW is sticking by their rich waifs, so it seems.

4. “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”A quick visit to DVDtalk.com proved wholly unsettling. Apparently, there is a porno Brady Bunch film called Not the Bradys XXX, and to celebrate the launch of its DVD, Xcritic.com “will be giving away pieces of the wardrobe worn in the film including [...] Marcia’s yellow and red panties [worn] during [the] car wash scene.” This in the wake of the original Marcia Brady’s recent tell-all revelations of a trist with sister Jan, and suddenly The Brady Bunch has way more edge than I ever thought possible: all in a good day’s work for two extratextuals

                                         5. Earl and Office Web PresenceRandy.jpgNBC has set up a blog for Randy, the fantastic, Homeresque sidekick in My Name is Earl. Very misguided. First, the site is covered with ads for Earl, and thus doesn’t keep within diegetic frame. Are NBC stupid enough to think someone’s going to stumble into this site without already knowing when the show is on? Second, Randy doesn’t even have a computer in the show, and so it’s nonsensical to give him a blog. Third, it’s simply not that funny. In short, it neither extends the world of Earl in a feasible manner, nor is it entertaining unto itself. Strike One.

Strike Two comes from NBC’s Dunder Mifflin Infinity website for The Office. It starts off well, with an overdone flashy intro. But, like Randy’s blog, it can’t resist breaking frame, by putting an NBC logo in the top corner, and by allowing one to list one’s favorite Office character and episode. One can earn “Shrute Bucks” (also possible as an application on Facebook) and buy decoration for one’s desk. And one can in theory work one’s way up the corporate ladder with better jobs and so forth. It’s all quite tedious, though, and while The Office finds considerable humor in everyday tedium, there’s nothing really to be gained or learnt here. As with Randy’s blog, it’s as if someone told NBC they need to create a “funky” website, yet very little thought went into why.

I’m on a mission to find really good websites now, so please point me in the direction if you know of any.

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  1. October 12th, 2007 at 20:24 | #1

    I didn’t even click on Randy’s blog as I was perusing the nbc website, but I can tell you how it could work; if it was scanned. what NBC needs to know is that Randy’s Blog could be an advertisement without being an “advertisement” for the show. I would love to read Randy’s musings on life and I don’t see him as Homeresque as I see him “Gumpesque.”

    People would suspend their disbelief to Randy’s “blog” if it was rustic looking even on a technologically driven website in a way similar that Laura Palmer’s diary helped with the mystique of Twin Peaks even though I doubt the real Laura Palmer, dead or alive, would have sanctioned the duplication of her private thoughts.

  2. October 12th, 2007 at 21:21 | #2

    The problem is that the musings are clearly by a lesser writer. Either that or they show that Randy is really a better sidekick than he is star.

    Meanwhile, I agree with you that suspension of disbelief is often important with such extratextuals. Excellent point. But I guess what I’m driving it is that since Randy’s blog isn’t particularly well done, it’s not enough to warrant suspension of my disbelief. Laura Palmer’s diary opened up the Twin Peaks world, but what’s on Randy’s blog right now doesn’t really offer much.

    However, I’m glad to hear the cult of Randy has another member ;-)

  3. December 11th, 2008 at 15:42 | #3

    Wow- they did a remarkable job with “the Office” site. It’s a dead ringer for a bland, corporate website. The NBC logo in the corner does spoil the illusion, though.

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