For some reason I keep watching the CBS show Jericho, even though it has an implausible plot, a Love Boat-like cast and continuity problems. As I’ve read on others’ blog, it’s the idea of Jericho that’s interesting (what happens to a remote American town when the rest of the country is destroyed by nuclear bombs?); I simply keep hoping for the execution to catch up.
There are a couple of saving graces: the Jericho Wiki is an interesting experiment by CBS in “user-contributed content.” They’ve got a nice wiki engine and what seems to be an engaged fan-based. And, mercifully, there’s no trace of product placement on the show (I suppose nuclear bomb affiliation isn’t an attractive candidate for advertisers?).
Produce placement, which used to be limited to a can of Pepsi on the counter, or an Apple logo on the Sex in the City laptop, has reached new lows this season: we now have “witty and ironic” product placement. Both Studio 60 and 30 Rock have had plot threads that have revolved around the “evil network” wanting to introduce product placement into their “shows with shows.” The brash iconoclasts running the shows resist this, of course. But along the way lots of product mentions get dropped in, and in our ironic rebel “stick it to the man” haze, we slurp them all in while thinking that we’re watching edgy rebellious TV.