December 22, 2014

Her Magic Bullet- Infomercials

I think infomercials are unbearably annoying, but somehow I find myself pausing on the way to my show of the moment to see the latest gadget being hawked.  Sarah Aycock at Louisiana State University has discovered that she is drawn to appliance infomercials.

You flip to your favorite channel, but instead of the familiar lineup, there’s a friendly woman reminiscent of your mother, grandmother or aunt with neatly manicured nails and a kitchen full of the same peculiar appliance.

Suddenly you find yourself sucked in to this infomercial, watching this woman make steak roll-ups, garlic bread and strawberry shortcake with ease in this magical appliance. It’s complete with dual cooking chambers and a sleek, compact design that would fit in any kitchen.

You begin to think, “Hey, I really could use this. The kitchen in my apartment is really small, and this could come in handy. I would make these breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and for dinner it would be so simple to make a stuffed chicken breast.”
 am proud to admit that I get a huge amount of pleasure from watching infomercials. Sometimes, if the infomercial is a really good one, I’ll watch it instead of regular television.

And I’m not alone. Many people share my view that infomercials are the comfort food of the television world.

When I saw that the Magic Bullet – yes, the personal, versatile countertop magician – had come out with a brand new infomercial, I rushed to call two friends, and they were both as excited as I was to find that chain-smoking Hazel and grumpy Berman, two characters from the original infomercial, had returned and were joined by Tina, who may or may not be a recovering alcoholic, and Betty, who loves garlic.

All infomercial fans seem to have their favorite genre. I’ll watch anything hawking a kitchen appliance, but many people prefer beauty products, workout equipment or music compilations.

And these fans can watch the same infomercials again and again, never purchasing a single product. Viewers keep tuning in to see the overzealous hosts, the delicious food or the compelling demonstrations. Something about the infomercials draws them in. But they can’t exactly explain why.

Some viewers eventually succumb to the pleadings of the hosts and invest in the product they’ve been secretly wanting for months. I’ve personally fallen prey twice. I am the proud owner of the Magic Bullet and the Bare Minerals makeup kit.