As you can imagine, a big-time blogger such as myself gets inundated with marketing pitches day in and day out … because, when it comes to setting trends and moving product, there’s no better place to reach
the world a few people than right here.
OK, so maybe “inundated” is a bit of an overstatement. More like “occasionally sent a form letter that starts with ‘Dear Mr.,’ but then the part after ‘Mr.’ where my name should be is blank, and nothing makes me want to keep reading about your product more than that type of heartfelt correspondence. Unfortunately, however, no, I don’t really want to help sell your chewing-gum remover anyway, regardless of the salutation you’ve employed.”
And then, along came the lovely woman at YouCast who sent me an email that not only began with my name, but also included a reference to one of my blog entries that she had actually read. (You had me at “Hello,” Mary Ann.)
In addition to her letter being an attention-getter, she was actually promoting something in which I already had an interest: the new TBS show “Men of a Certain Age.” I had seen the commercials for the series (over and over (and over) again) during the MLB playoffs this fall, and as a man who is only slightly more than a month away from 40, a male-centric program about three middle-aged friends taking stock of their lives is right in my wheelhouse, so to speak.
So I took the bait, and, soon after, received this box:
which contained this unbelievably clever little 2GB memory stick:
which housed a 20-minute preview of the show.
So here I am, shilling for The Man. Or Woman. Or YouCast. Actually, Ray Romano is the co-creator and executive producer, so I guess you could kinda say that I’m working for Ray. Doing him a favor, really. Basically, Ray fucking owes me.
And now to the show, which stars Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher.
A 20-minute preview isn’t enough for me to say “This show will knock your socks off,” but it’s enough for me to say that I definitely plan to watch the full premiere episode.
If you’re looking for non-stop, heart-pounding action, you won’t find it here. This show feels much more like real life (except for an unfortunate visual punchline involving a possum, but I’m spotting them that one). The interaction between the friends is the most engaging element, and their individual foibles create plenty of opportunities for a good mix of poignancy and humor when they all get together. (PS: For my money, Braugher is the most convincing, compelling and charismatic; he’s the kind of actor who I’d watch read the phonebook.) If they can continue to develop the characters as well as they’ve started off doing, and can keep things from getting overly shticky, I’d say they have a winning formula here … at least with viewers who prefer nuance and intellect to pyrotechnics and cat fights (always a tough sell in a country that worships the so-called “real life” drama of “reality” television *gag*).
There’s plenty more info about the show (which debuts tonight, Monday, December 7th, at 10/9c on TBS) here, including some preview clips.
So there you have it: my first-ever melding of my beautiful little blog and the insidious world of corporate marketing. I hope I’ve done a good job of selling out. And don’t worry: I won’t be making a habit of it. (That is, unless there are more marketers out there who want to send me some really cool shit … or cash … or a gift certificate for a neck rub. Some candy might work, actually.)