The Biggest Loser: pack a lunch!

Last night on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” they showed O’Neal sweating it out as he was about to join the blue team, but did not know which blue team member was eliminated until they walked through the door one by one, with his daughter Sunshine being the last to enter the room. Of course, it makes you wonder why he didn’t ask one of the other blue teamers who was eliminated rather than to be left hanging like that. Naturally, O’Neal was thrilled that it was Miggy who was sent home and not Sunshine.

Host Allison Sweeney then told the teams that they would be working real jobs this week. They had limited workout time because they would be bused to the Feed America food bank to work, having to pack their lunch and everything, to simulate what it would be like once they get home.

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The Biggest Loser: are they ready to rumble?

It’s getting testy on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” After last week’s challenges and weigh in, it’s clear that Michael is watching his back, as are Miggy and Migdalia. Meanwhile, Lance and Melissa are still liars, and nobody likes a liar.

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The Biggest Loser: evil gameplay returns

If you watch NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” regularly, you know that a few seasons ago, Vicky and Brady — well, mostly Vicky — were doing all they could to win the game, at times with no regard for teammates and housemates. It was all gameplay all the time. Last season big Ron did the same thing while appearing to be the gentle father figure. Well, the new season has its game-player, and it’s Tracy from the purple team. Yeah, the same Tracy who started the season in a hospital because she couldn’t breathe on her own after jogging a mile. We’ll get into all that soon..but meanwhile, here is your recap….

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When product placement goes too far…

Movies and television have been using product placement for years. For a kickback from the manufacturer, the product appears onscreen and usually fits within the context of the scene. For example, someone might be working in an office, and there’s a FedEx envelope or a can of Coke sitting on his desk. This type of product placement makes sense and can even add to the realism of the scene. (It’s less distracting to have a can of “Coke” than a can of “Cola” that is made to look like a can of “Coke.”)

Anyway, with DVRs creeping into more and more households, advertisers (and television producers) are getting more and more aggressive with their product placement since they know many of their viewers are simply skipping the commercials. It’s a fine line between having reasonable and distracting product placement. If the CSI unit pulls up in a Toyota truck, that’s okay, but what the folks on “Eureka” are doing is ridiculous.

This season, “Eureka” started a joint campaign with Degree deodorant to shoehorn its logo into (seemingly) every episode. Most recently, there was the episode where Sheriff Carter kept living the same day over and over and, you guessed it, he kept pulling a stick of Degree out of his medicine cabinet. And it’s not like the stick is just sitting there in the background. The first time he pulled it out, we were treated to a two- or three-second closeup… of a stick of deodorant! Then there was the episode where Zane was working in his lab and Fargo came to him with a favor. Mysteriously, there was a stick of Degree sitting on Zane’s desk. Once again, we were treated to an inexplicable closeup. Later in the same episode, there was a scene in a larger room and in the background there were metal crates with the Degree logo on the side.

When does it stop? The shoehorning of the Degree logo into every episode has become a joke between me and my wife, and we’re seriously considering dropping the show from our watchlist because the product placement is so cheesy and distracting. Moreover, I’m actually less likely to buy Degree deodorant because the product is ruining a good show.

And I’m not alone in this. TV Guide’s website posted a jeer from one of its readers.

Jeer to Eureka, one of my favorite shows, for indulging in product placement. This season, the producers apparently came to an agreement with the makers of Degree deodorant to display their logo at every opportunity. Not only is it disappointing, but it is annoying, and distracting to deal with in an otherwise quality show.

In the associated poll, 45% agreed with the jeer, 15% disagreed, while 40% said it was a “Jump the Shark” moment.

In total, 85% of respondents find the product placement distracting. So is it worth those extra advertising dollars if you’re irritating 85% of your audience?

Doubtful.

  

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