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« May 2003 | Main | July 2003 »

June 23, 2003
i won't get fooled again

Things that have happened since the last update:

I got into a car accident. It wasn’t my fault, but no one stopped to be a witness. Maybe some day, I will stop to be a witness for someone in an accident instead of drive by callously. That was about twenty days ago. I still don’t have my car back, but allegedly it will be fixed soon. I’m hoping my new insurance company will come through with a relatively prompt check as they curse my name.

Steve May visited, and we had a nice time eating Indian food outside on a warm spring Friday evening, and then walking around Eastern State Penitentiary on a very rainy Saturday afternoon. We also spent a couple of hours looking at, and ultimately buying, lots of records. And we drank at Doobie’s with Litza. It was a successful visit. Oh, also, check out my survey popnirvana.com.

Finally, I’m officially moving back in with my parents at the end of July, unless an opportunity to work for my aunt in New York at summer’s close turns into a reality.

So last night Stephen and I went to the Cherry Hill Hilton to be scammed by a market research company called Television Preview. They had sent me free tickets so I could help “change the future of television.” They said I’d get to preview two pilots and give my opinion about them. I was skeptical when I looked at their crappy web site (you can guess what their domain is if you want to visit it), but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to watch two new TV shows. I know panels like these have to exist somewhere, and why wouldn’t random selection find me?

Well, first thing we did was fill out “prize packs,” where we each picked our favorite brands from among pages filled with pictures of pickles, chips, shaving cream, and cholesterol medication. There were drawings later in the evening for the audience to win their prize pack. Cholesterol seemed to be the theme of the evening, and looking around, it did seem that the majority of people there were in the over-sixty set. I wonder how they got my name. I read someone else’s account of their experience with Television Preview, and they put it this way: “We were the hippest people there. It looks like if you had a life, you weren’t invited.” That’s sort of harsh, though; maybe it’s more like if you weren’t easily roped in by scams, you didn’t go.

Funny, I just realized I’ve been getting scammed a lot lately. Twice in two months seems pretty high, doesn’t it? At least this one was free and entertaining.

The first show was called “Soulmates,” and it was pretty much entirely incoherent. Shot on cheap video, it had a strange Euro look to it. It also had terrible dialogue, terrible editing, and questionable casting. But it was at least probably only three or four years old. And it was so ridiculous that it was relatively entertaining. It was about a psychotherapist who has dreams and flashbacks about a creepy new patient who keeps telling her they're soul mates. For some reason she believes him, because she's been having dreams about him killing her fiancee in WWII. So they're in love, and then she doesn't trust him, and she sees some Italian past lives specialist, and she goes to Hawaii and meets her fiancee in the past life, etc.

I wonder if the people at Television Preview read our comments on the shows just for fun. Maybe someone my age who has to record all of the other data they collected from us would, but then she’d probably just be depressed that we spent so much time filling out something that only she would read. What most amuses me is that the Television Preview staff has had to watch “Soulmates” countless times. I really think watching an episode of that show repeatedly could mess with your head after awhile.

The second show was a Valerie Harper sitcom called “City” that aired in 1990 for thirteen episodes. Of course, they didn’t tell us this. We were evaluating it as a sitcom that might air in an upcoming season. All the women wore outfits with big shoulder pads, and the one guy had a mullet, but the show wasn’t bad.

What we were really there for was the commercials. They told us they’d made our viewing experience “more like home” by inserting commercials into the shows. Never mind that we were sitting in a conference room with chandeliers, crammed up against our neighbors. What raised my eyebrow was that they added commercials to the end of the shows, too.

Anyway, don’t fall for this. It was funny, but it wasn’t worth three hours.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM