If there was one anomaly on TV last year, it was this commercial:
A photogenic man and woman get caught up in a romance fit for any mainstream movie or TV show. They go through all the proper motions (being attractive; longing looks; um, being attractive), and then, somehow, they’re separated . . . Gasp! Will true love win the day? In the ensuing rush to reunite with each other, they run–and our hearts are usually supposed to be with them–straight into the side of a refrigerator.
Of course, this is just my interpretation, but, whatever that is, it’s kind of against the curve. If something like that can get into the shuffle, then there’s cause for a bit of optimism. Usually, even if we don’t look anything like the standard torchbearers, those are the people we’re supposed to root for–without any need on their part to show us that they’re worth rooting for. Some people probably root more for the ideas of such characters more than they do themselves.
That commercial seemed like a little block to that.
Maybe not everything on a TV screen is invested with the tropes of storybooks, modern as they may be.
The worlds portrayed visually in pharmaceutical commercials are almost always idyllic: big, wide open spaces tempered by the reach of long branches with the greenest leaves; a starlit night above the open window of a large home in a valley full of other large homes, with just enough space between them so that they collectively make up a nice view (for the panning shot); a sunny day at a pier where fishing is the natural, picturesque thing to do. And wouldn’t you know it? The only thing preventing people from enjoying these surroundings is an ailment or condition that a calm, dull voice relays a possible remedy for, followed by the listing of lots of potential side effects with images of people not experiencing any of them. By the end of the commercial, they’re enjoying life where it’s beautiful again.
Sometimes it seems like the handful of people in these commercials are the only folks around for miles. And the people themselves–they’re usually the kind of people associated as a given for idyllic places. Maybe, every once in a while, there’s an old, black couple whose passing presence in such places probably wouldn’t be too bothersome.
I guess that’s a presiding kind of idyllic, anyway.
For some interesting history about pharmaceutical advertising (apparently most prominent in the US and New Zealand), see this piece at io9.