December 28, 2005

Sucker (Born Every Minute)

I've long thought that home shopping channels constitute not only the first reality television but some of the more entertaining programming on television. It could be a personal quirk, but I could sit and watch for hours. Some things are more interesting and entertaining than others, of course. Watching people try to sell sheets and pillows is really boring. But when they break out a ladder that can be arranged 2,947 different ways, that's good stuff. We have one channel that sells nothing but the most horrendous pieces of jewelry and loose gemstones. Each piece literally goes for thousands of dollars. And people buy them. I'm convinced, due to the lame production quality, that the whole operation is being broadcast from a double-wide in Tennessee (don't get me wrong - Tennessee is a lovely state). We've also got a channel that does nothing but auction "fine art" (notice the quotes). The auctions are hosted by men who look and sound like used car salesmen, complete with high-pressure sales tactics that make you really feel as though you need that masterpiece from some previously unknown, one-named Chinese genius.

If you got a bunch of writers to script the most outrageous, silly stuff, you wouldn't come up with anything better than what's already being broadcast. As big as a fan as I've been these many years, I've never crossed the line between fan and customer. Until this week.

That's right kids...I've got an HSN account and a high pressure steam cleaner thingy winging its way to my place. You know you're jealous.

Posted by Chris at December 28, 2005 10:01 AM

For my Dad's birthday we got him a badass pressure washer off QVC. I have to admit though, I love the southerners that call and are like "Oh I love those *whatchamacallits*!! This is my fourth one and I have the others in blue, black, and red!" Somehow it always seems like someone from down south is calling and so excited about what they bought. It cracks me up everytime! (And I'm not saying that there's anything bad about southerners, it just seems like you people have a *thing* for home shopping more than us new englanders!) Enjoy your steamer!!

Posted by: Michelle at December 28, 2005 11:25 AM

okay...I admit I watch these shows just for the wacky callers and the over the top hosts. One of my favorite things to watch are the "gourmet" lines of food. I think they have the best callers and I swear those hosts will try and eat anything to hock a piece of animal flesh coated in something on 4 eazy pays.

Posted by: linda at December 28, 2005 11:55 AM

LMK if you come across a product that rids your body of trace nicotine in o.4 seconds, fits easily into your average overnight bag, comes in 4 designer flavors and is guaranteed to work or triple your money back. Free shipping would be great and flex-pay? If you can pull that off, go ahead and order two for me.
Hope you like the steamer thing. Mia's toys will be sterile (which is why you bought it, I know) and your shirts will never need ironing. Good thing Beth gave up her job, she will be steaming every waking hour.

Posted by: JuJu's Mom at December 28, 2005 12:29 PM

welcome to the dark side. steam, and steam well.

Posted by: steph at December 28, 2005 12:38 PM

damn, you found us out.

You might as well know...I actually work in one of those double-wides in Tennessee. We all do. Us Tennesseans.

But seriously, I was once ON a shopping network. Becuase there really is one here in TN - Shop At Home is in Nashville. And when I did PR for that charity org, I once appeared on SAH on Christmas Day, talking about the hospital and its good works and encouraging people to call in & make a donation. The regular ladies would then show & tell on the fabulous thank you gifts the donors would recieve.

It was all great fun. I would totally change careers and do that full time if I could be assured that I'd only have to sell stuff I liked - shoes, and make up and stuff.

Posted by: kalisah at December 28, 2005 12:40 PM

I don't even think we have QVC on our cable. I haven't seen a home shopping channel in a long time. I used to love the way they would describe the merchandise, as if it were the prize on a game show or something.

Posted by: TB at December 28, 2005 12:52 PM

ooooohhhhh noooooooo! I know (and have known) some addicts. They didn't start out that way. They bought one item. Then they said, oh, one more won't hurt. Before you knew it, they had a package arriving everyday. And they say, I can stop whenever I want. I don't have a problem! Seriously. Get to a detox center right away!

hehehe. They actually sell high quality stuff. And how convenient to shop in your pjs? If you do develop a "problem", at least buy me something good!

Posted by: Ms. Q at December 28, 2005 12:59 PM

As someone who used to produce programming for home shopping's bastard cousin, infomercials, I can only say: I see the "call to action" worked (on you). ;) Enjoy your thing-y.

Posted by: Marilyn at December 28, 2005 01:37 PM

Welcome to my world. Am a card-carrying QVC member AND have made a few genius purchases of my own. And just so you know:

1. The locking tupperware-like set really works. And has better sizes.
2. Nolan Miller makes amazing faux jewelry and I could (and did) sit and watch an entire show.
3. The Junior's cheesecakes rock. The KC meat? Notsomuch.

And now back to our regularly scheduled medication...

Posted by: Pammer at December 28, 2005 02:10 PM

The only thing I've ever bought off the TV was the Time Life Treasury of Christmas Music CDs, and that was after about two years of thought and consideration. I think the home shopping channels are a bit scary to me - you are very brave. Glad to hear you had a wonderful Christmas!

Posted by: Beth in StL at December 28, 2005 02:34 PM

I love infomercials! I'm embarrassed to admit this but years ago during the whole "Tony Little" hype I bought those awful tapes. OMG! Off to go hang my head in shame now...

A steam cleaner report will be due soon. Have fun with that little ditty!

Posted by: VirgoJen at December 28, 2005 03:03 PM

Just adding to the mass coming-out as a fan of shopping channels - they are like crack! I could watch the steam cleaner shows all day because it's just so damn satisfying watching them obliterate all the crap from really dirty household items. Mesmerising, I think. So I expect a report or photo essay from you :)

I still haven't crossed the line to customer yet, though - you're a braver person than I am!

Posted by: Zoe Molyneux at December 28, 2005 03:17 PM

It's the glamour of home shopping.
One of my customers is a large home shopping network. I've been there many times and it's even better in person than on tv!

Posted by: clemiewynn at December 28, 2005 06:35 PM

I wonder what the next step is? Maybe buying all those home exercise equipment.

I can't wait to hear more...

Posted by: Isabel at December 28, 2005 07:33 PM

I don't have the home shopping network, but being an insomniac I've seen a lot of those late-night infomercials. I really want the ladder that rearranges itself a million ways, and the Magic Bullet (Which sounds like a vibrator, but is actually more like a blender) and the inflatable bed and and and. Too funny. My friend D and I stayed up late a few times watching infomercials too...ah the memories.

Posted by: Heather at December 28, 2005 08:10 PM


that's funny. i've never purchased anything from a home shopping network. i have from an infomercial i confess. tae bo tapes. which i enjoyed watching, very much, while sitting on my ass eating snacks.

Posted by: jodi at December 28, 2005 08:21 PM will have to let us know if it works on all the yucky grimey stuff...and I MAY have to buy one too! That is one thing that always seems to suck me in...easy to deep clean...hum tempting!

Posted by: Gypsy at December 28, 2005 08:50 PM

You sucker. Are you going to start playing the Publishers Clearinghouse too?


Posted by: Queen Of Ass at December 28, 2005 10:21 PM

hehe I woke up in the middle of the night last night and "the bullet chopper thingy" infomercial was the only thing on. Sadly, I find them entertaining.. and if nothing else, I was back asleep rather quick! Have fun with the steamer ...*

Posted by: Starlite at December 28, 2005 11:15 PM

Ha, I am so jealous! You know me too well! :) Actually I almost got one of those thingys at one of those "As Seen on TV" stores. They are actually very cool. Let me know if it really works and maybe I'll join you in the wide world of steam cleaning!

Posted by: Kate at December 29, 2005 12:51 AM

I have fallen victim (or sucker) to the infomercial a couple times in the past. And the products were so freaking ridiculous that I am too embarrassed to even name them. No, really.

Posted by: DeAnn at December 29, 2005 04:24 AM

Okay, yes. I AM jealous. I almost got a job working for QVC, but it was waaaaay out in West Hell, PA.

Posted by: Fraulein N at December 29, 2005 08:40 AM

I don't normally make a habit of watching QVC or HSN, but every once in a while, I will flash past those channels, and they crack me up. They take the sale SO seriously. Except for when Tony Little is on plugging his exercise equipment...then it's a free-for-all and quite a hoot!

Posted by: Michelle at December 29, 2005 11:08 AM

i have the magic bullet and it totally rocks... i swear i use it at least once every day.

i have the super power steamer cleaner (sitting next to it right now) and if you have realistic expectations, it too rocks. it's great for getting things out from around the hinges on the commode. and it gets cat barf stains out of carpet, as well as ground in play-doh and starbursts. i love steaming my mirrors and faucets... they look so fresh afterwards.

i own and have used GS-27 and the dent-king bought from i've gotten the super chamois, mega-mops, orange-glo sets and other assorted cleaning items from that sight too.

oh, and i have space bags.

i love infomercials... the world would be a darker place without them. congratulations on your jump into the world of 30 minute sales pitches.

Posted by: monique at December 29, 2005 11:57 AM