Merry Muting

I understand that commercials are a necessary part of TV programming, but I have to think my grandma had it right when I was younger, as she would mute the TV every time a commercial came on.

She would often get distracted and forget to unmute which meant I never found out the first Jeopardy answer after commercial break, but creating those three or so minutes of silence makes much more sense now that I’m older.

Don’t get me wrong in that there are a lot of good commercials out there—I have been and always will be in love with the Slowskys—but the majority of ads that run are horribly annoying.

Now I don’t know if I’m just getting old and Scroogey, but this year it seems the holiday commercials are the worst.

Exhibit A—the Target Woman.


I tweeted a couple weeks ago how I wouldn’t be sad if this Amy Sedaris lookalike who screeches and pulls a variety of rubber faces as she gets in shape for Target’s doorbuster sales was hit by a bus. Although the sentiment might have seemed harsh at the time, I feel it’s fitting after having been exposed to her for the past two weeks.

I’m sure she’s a nice person, but her character is insane and she makes me slightly stabby, as did the Kohls Rebecca Black-ish version of their Black Friday jingle.  While I’m sure creating conversation was the point—well played Tar-jay—visions of violence dance through my head when exposed to her antics.

Exhibit B—Jewelry ads

Cue cheesy background music and a setting that involves a fireplace and gently falling snow, with two people casually huddled around the tree with hot cocoa as he pulls out a small box to surprise her with a rock of some sort.


They kiss, hopefully enticing the viewer into going out and making an expensive purchase to complete their own holiday scene. 


What they don’t show you is that later he poses under the mistletoe wearing nothing but a well-placed Santa hat, thinking that small little box with the bow has earned him  at least a few nights of appreciation. She will be too busy putting a picture of the ring on Facebook to show off to her friends to notice him—or care when she does—meaning the ornaments on the tree won’t be the only blue balls in the room.

Exhibit C—Car Commercials

Now let me ask you this. How many people do you know that received a Lexus giftwrapped with a giant bow out in their driveway on Christmas morning? If you answered more than zero, I will feel like I hardly know you anymore.


Between the the Lexus December to Remember campaign and Honda’s “Holiday oh-ah Holiday” ads, it makes me want to run people over with my Blazer (complete with new fuel pump, Merry Christmas to me.)


And while I have no solid evidence, I swear that commercials for dating sites ramp it up for the holidays. It’s like they want to either a) remind you that you’re alone and no one will ever leave you a Lexus outside or b) prepare you emotionally for the relatives who will soon remind you that you’re alone and no one will ever leave you a Lexus outside. 

‘Tis the season for Merry Muting.

I don’t want to seem like a total commercial Grinch, so I’ll leave you with the Best of the Slowskys. It’s not holiday commercial related, but darn it, it’s a commercial and I love them.


Is there a particular holiday commercial you love or you hate?

Need a gift that gives back? Buy the Book. Save a Kitten.

38 responses to “Merry Muting

  1. OMG…so funny. I have to admit…I like some commercials. Most I hate and thank god for my DVR and it’s forward button since I wanted NOTHING in real time.

    I love those ALLSTATE commercials..the ones with the guy that is “mayhem”. I love the Etrade Baby, I love Hallmark (even though they mAke me cry) but that Target lady (please someone strangle her with her pearls) and that Friday song ws stuck in my head (I wanted to strangle myself)

    You make me giggle!!!!

    • I don’t have a DVR, so I’m exposed to all the commercials. There are a lot of good ones out there, but good lord, can car salesmen and lawyers spend more than $50 if they insist on making their own ads?

  2. the Target lady is a great comedian named Maria Bamford. Those commercials are intentionally annoying to make fun of suburban “supermom” types. I still find them annoying.

    I cringe when jewelry ads come on. Bobina is the least materialistic woman I;ve ever known but I still see her eyeball those commercials and know that she wishes for something shiny in a small box. don’t tell her…but she’s getting something’

    I’m a sucker

  3. My husband mutes all commercials. Since we only watch hulu and they give you a countdown as to how long the commercial lasts it really works out. Unless of course you realize you don’t have the remote and the commercial starts, you can actually feel his anxiety rising until it’s muted. To his defense, those geico commercials are the worst.

  4. There is a Hallmark commercial out right now that irks me every time I see it.

    It shows several people receiving Hallmark cards in the mail,opening them, enjoying them.

    Than it says “Hallmark cards aren’t for sending, they are for bringing people together.”

    What does that even mean? Obviously they all just got sent!

  5. Oh my gosh, I feel the EXACT same way. Boyfriend and I were complaining about this last night when we were watching the episode of Rudolph I dvred. The women are all materialistic bitches, and you can only tell people you love them with diamonds, apparently. It’s freaking awful. What about the whole “Season of Reason” movement from a few years back? Did the recession end and no one tell me? Because, I’m still poor.

  6. I remember the good ol’ days when no one even talked about erectile dysfunction. Now we have to be subjected to Cialis commercials “so you’ll always be ready.” And during the dinner hour, no less. “Mom, what’s an erection?”

    I’ll take annoying Target woman any day.

  7. One Christmas when it was time to open my gifts my dad dangled his car keys at me. I jumped up and was screaming etc but when I calmed down he told me that my present was still in his trunk. Ugh! Seriously?!

  8. We watch very little live TV and so can fast forward through the commercials. I’m with you on holiday ads- they make me want to barf EXCEPT (and now we’re going to have our first fight) the Target ads. That whack job is Maria Bamford and as you know from my blog I love her. So they make me laugh because she is such a gruesome parody of what today’s holiday consumer is like. Can we still be friends?

    • I didn’t even realize that was Maria Manford until Lance pointed it out, and I’ll admit, it made me hate the commercials a tiny bit less. However, then one came on and I didn’t care who she was anymore. Stabby. And I think we’ve already had our first fight, but I think it was about food. We’re still friends.

  9. Good lord, that target lady! Ugh, I dont just mute the tv, I change the channel. I just can’t even watch her.

    Being a Jew (albeit not a very good one), I’m a little sad there’s no crazy mockery of hanukkah. I think I could deal with a car dressed up as a dreidel or something.

  10. I HATE THE TARGET LADY. I hardly ever really *watch* the tv, and most times, even if I am, I’m interneting the whole tine, anyway. I’d certainly find the car ads less annoying if someone actually bought me a car. Until then, those huge ribbons can go to hell.

  11. lynnkelleyauthor

    LOL! Your take on what really happens after the jewelry commercial is a crackup! Love your humor!

  12. I loved the Target commercials last year. This year, not so much.

    Jewelry ads are the worst because they make me super depressed, wah 😦

  13. I hate commericials.

    I solved this situation by getting rid of my tv.

    Well, it was actually my ex who solved the problem by claiming it when we split up.

    All’s fair in love, war and irritating Christmas commericals.

  14. Okay,
    I must be weird… but that Target chick Cracks me up! X

  15. I love the E-trade commercials and the Geiko commercials with the gecko. I hate the black friday lady, too. Just visiting from Best Posts of the Week. I’m afraid you have a new stalker.

  16. Melanie The Spork Lover

    First off, if someone bought me a Lexus I would use it to run over the Target lady. Secondly, I laughed so hard ’cause we had the holiday commercial discussion yesterday at work (I shit you not) and I brought up both the Target lady and the jewelry commercials. My least favorite is the little boy dressed as Santa handing his mom a box as he *cutely* says, “Mom, I mean Terry (or whatever he name is)…” blah blah blah I don’t remember the rest.

    If a man ever buys me expensive jewelry it will make me extremely uncomfortable. Luckily, I always date broke guys so I don’t have to worry about it. Pretty sure that’s not an accident.

    My favorite commercials are still Jack In The Box, with my favorite of all time being the one where he goes to the market and can’t say “chipotle.” His mouth gets drawn more and more tangled up as he slaughters the pronunciation. I would link but youtube is blocked here.

  17. I have a hard time with the Lexus ad. First the family is playing “Guitar Hero” all together then superficial mom notices that the tune she’s fake rocking out to is the theme for Lexus. I had to watch it serveral times to get that because 1) I had no idea Lexus had theme music, and 2) how would she catch on that it was Lexus’ theme music so quickly? It can only be that Mom is so superficial that she’s been pestering the poor husband for months to buy her a new luxury car and they have so much disposable income that he can get an Xbox or whatever reprogramed with the theme music for the stupid car.

    The whole thing makes me think a Yuletide drive-by is in order. Nothing says Christmas like an automatic weapon.

  18. I only watch tv online so I haven’t seen some of these, but it sounds like the marketing is working. You’re remembering the ad campaign 🙂

  19. If I see ONE MORE Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman/Jane Seymour Kay Jewelers commerical I am going to lose. my. shit.

    I must not be watching the right channels because I have yet to see the crazy Target lady. And I’m not the least bit sad about that.

  20. Oh, the holidays and the endless marketing. If I see ONE MORE Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman/Jane Seymour Kay Jewelers commerical I am going to lose. my. shit. As for the crazy Target lady, I must not be watching the right channels because I have yet to seen her grace my screen yet. And I’m not the least bit sad about that.

  21. Abby obviously you’re not living the high life. My husband proposed to me with a ring bought at Target, in our brand new Lexus, on Christmas morning (all sponsored by Kay Jewelers). What, that doesn’t happen for everyone?

    I still love this BMW commercial

  22. I seriously am thankful for DVRs at this time, but I still keep catching those damn Lexus commercials, and this year’s are based around the thought that if someone heard the music from it, they’d instantly know they were being gifted a Lexus. Uhh what.the.fuckity.fuck?! I half want to play it for someone, and if they say “OMG am I getting a Lexus?” slap em across the head for being a fool. Talk about unrealistic!

    Also did you see the Kohl’s commercial for Black Friday? They were playing a “black Friday” version of that stupid Rebecca Black song. So so so bad. Ugh.

  23. What a great idea! I always mute the ads for scary movies, they give me nightmares. Lol. I never thought to just mute them all! Thank you for this gift! 🙂

  24. That obnoxious Lexus with a Bow commercial — it’s irritated me for YEARS. Please, someone, tell them to stop.

    But I do like the Slowskys … one reminds me of someone I know well ….

    Fun post.

  25. OMG. The Crazy-Target-Lady scares the crap out of me. Not just because she’s so insane, but because I actually know people who get THAT NUTS when it comes to Holiday Shopping.

    The turtles are the cutest thing. EVAH.

  26. “Okay, honey, now take a picture of me wearing the engagement ring at this angle…. Make sure you get my tanned calves….Is there a setting on the camera that makes diamonds look bigger? ….Sex? What do you mean, sex? I have at least a month’s worth of pics to upload and insincere comments to “like”…

  27. Oh Dear GOD – I have always hated commercials. Recently, like seven or so years ago, I turned it off. For good. Or pretty much. We moved, cancelled cable, never updated our seven year old TV or got rabbit ears or an HD converter, and now our fourteen year old TV only works with many extra boxes and the oldold DVD player. I only miss cable sometimes. And it’s not during the commercials. I don’t miss network at all.

    NB: This should not be taken as some superior attitude. I freely admit to my internet addiction, which surely substitutes for the tube.

  28. I have to say that I thank god that I have a DVR box and very rarely watch live TV. I fast forward through all the commercials. It drives me nuts to have to sit and watch them. And yes the Target lady is the most annoying, creepy woman on TV.

  29. It’s fitting that I should read this now, while watching a project runway marathon on slice with my sister in law and stepmum. . . because when i get my paws on the remote, the commercials are muted. Not so much because they annoy me… but because they are FIVE TIMES LOUDER THAN THE SHOW. it’s irritating as fuck. I can barely hear the show, and then I can barely hear myself think.

    . . . and there’s a dating site ad playing RIGHT NOW. (on mute)

    Most obnoxious holiday ad I’ve seen this year, hands down, is a McDonald’s ad. . . couple has moved into new apartment on Christmas, and are sitting down amongst their unpacked boxes and charlie brown Christmas tree to enjoy a candlelit feast of. . . McDonald’s? Really? That happens? Somehow I doubt it.

    Pizza is the unofficial official food of moving. Seriously.

  30. What happened to the target women? I always welcomed a commercial with her in it.

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