My Big Fat Obnoxious and Very Cruel Reality Show With a Happy Ending

More Important: Money or Love?

When I first started watching FOX's "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," I new it would be funny and at the same time very very cruel. It was both in spades. Steve did a hilarious job doing whatever he could to make it very difficult for Randi to prove to her family that this wedding was real. And he did it all while pretending not to be in on the joke and an actor to boot, but a willing participant with an entirely fake family of his own to convince this wedding was real.

Tonight's finale was some of the cruelest television and cruelest human behavior I've ever seen. To put a family through a wedding, the most stressful event in anyone's life, and play it as fake while lying that it is real was horrific. I must say though, the end of the final episode made for some of the best 15 minutes of reality television I've ever seen. Sweet as she is, it felt very dirty that Randi would put her family through all of this just for money. It was sickening. Even when all the jokes where out and FOX gave Randi and the Coy family $500,000 each (more than originally planned), it still felt dirty. Sure they all made light of it once the truth was out and everyone hugged and kissed and cried and understood but that didn't remove the cruelty of it.

In the end, Steve, speaking for FOX, tried to pass the outcome off as some sort of display of love for family when it was still really all about money. I can't imagine what must have been going through Randi's mind during this show as it moved closer and closer to wedding day and the lie grew bigger and bigger as did the cruelty of it all. The show really dug into the gut of human emotion and the things people will put themselves and their families through for money.

All that said, I thought it was one of the better reality series and yes, I'd watch something like it again.

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-04    

LeBron James Adds Another Five Million to His Sponsorship Deals

LeBron James, just 19 years old, has scored another sponsorship deal with Bubblicious bubble gum worth $5 million bringing his sponsorship pot to $135 million. This deal follows his $90 million deal with Nike, a $16 million deal with Coke, an $8 million deal with Juice Batteries and others.

This isn't obscene. Not at all. It's only insane when you realize that this sum, rather than being used for over-priced marketing, could be used to fund several third world companies for years. Here's an idea. Why doesn't Nike sponsor, say, Ethiopia. Or any other suffering country in the world. Why couldn't an ad campaign based on that sort of good will be as successful as you standard, run-of-the-mill sports figure campaign?

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-04    

Nutri-Grain Makes You Feel Great

In this really weird commercial spoof for Nutri-Grain, which looks like a cross between the Howard Dean Scream and a Clint Eastwood movie, an office worker takes a taste, quits his job and makes others do and say really weird things.

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-04    

Ad Age's Scott Donaton Calls For Change

In his Ad Age column this week, Scott Donaton calls for the re-definition of advertising, the acknowledgement that it's about consumer touch points - not about above the line or below the line tactics, and for an end to the reliance on the :30 commercial and the restrictive measurement system that has been built up around it.

I think many people would agree with Scott's line of thinking including myself. The hard part is breaking old habits and the huge industry those habits have built and make a determined effort to act rather than just talk.

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-04    

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