Thursday, April 27, 2006

'Tis the Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I'm starting to get DVD's of all the TV shows that want me to vote for them for the Emmys. I look forward to this season, because there's only so much TV one man can watch -- even me -- so this is a great chance to catch up on stuff I missed.

But it can also lead to certain frustrations. (And let me just say, I recognize up front that at a time of war in Iraq and $4.00-a-gallon gas, Emmy-DVD-related frustrations are petty, indeed.)

Now maybe it's me. And I'd be curious to know if any other Academy members had the same experience with TNT's packaging for The Closer...

It came in a handsome red folio, with "AS HARD AS A SECRET IS TO UNCOVER" embossed in gold on the front...

...and inside was a cast photo with "...IT'S EVEN HARDER TO KEEP."

Now how to get the DVD's out? There were thumbholes, but the drawers wouldn't slide out. Okay... It seemed to have a tab to open the flap like a book, just like the folio opened... but the tab wouldn't give. Not on top... Not on the bottom... Was it perforated? Hmmm... I'll just tear it. Son of a bitch, it won't tear. Okay, maybe the... No, that won't tear either. Maybe it opens backwards... No....

Now cut to me, like one of the apes in Kubrick's 2001, clawing and pawing at this thing, trying to free the DVD's from its impenetrable grasp.

By the time I was done, I felt like either the world's biggest spaz, the world's biggest idiot...

...or maybe ...the package was designed to be hard to open. It does, after all, say on the front, in big gold letters, "AS HARD AS A SECRET IS TO UNCOVER"... I suddenly hated people I'd never met.

At any rate -- and perhaps through no fault of theirs -- I was no longer in the mood to "consider"
The Closer.


Russell Arch said...

When the billboard can turn me off... I KNOW it's a show I MUST avoid.

norm said...

RE: your frustration,
I'm so familiar with that feeling, (when filling out corporate paperwork especially)
I've started to refer to it as "Slow Monkey Syndrome"
...As in the poor little lab monkey that can't even get the round peg near the square hole...he just sticks it up his nose .
That's even the title of my sketchbook.

Michael Markowitz said...

Russ, I know... I am still not compelled to watch it. The packaging didn't help.

Norm, well put. But assuming this is not a case of me being stupid -- and I never assume that -- this could be a case of a design department too clever by half. "What if the pegs and holes don't actually fit? Wouldn't that be cool???"

It's why I don't own a gun.

norm said...

I wasn't trying to say anything about you there...though after I read my comment, I saw how it could seem that way.
I've just been going off on this "Slow Monkey" thing a lot recently.
"It's me...not you."
I hate the little arbitrary "intelligence tests" people throw at me.
So what if I can't figure out EA's expense reporting system, I have better things to do with my life.
I get frustrated when people set up these arbitrary "tests" and if you don't think the way they do, you've failed somehow.

Sorry...I'm going way off topic here and this probably wasn't an appropriate place for me to vent, but it's a pet peeve of mine.