Wednesday, December 3, 2003
This column was written on an Apple iMac computer using Microsoft Word. How dumb does that sound? If there's anything that annoys me more than the sound of Trista Rehn's voice it's the cancerous growth of product placement on primetime shows. Not satisfied to saddle us with regular commercials, we now must endure plugs within the programs themselves. Did you ever notice how often Jack hops into a Ford F150 truck on "24," the show brought to you by the Ford F150 truck? "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" offers an hour-long celebration of name-brand skin creams, hair products and even tea shops.
As it did last week, tonight's "Trista and Ryan's Wedding: Part 2" (8 p.m., ABC) continues the onslaught of obnoxious label name-dropping and vulgar hype. In fact, the entire series is an excuse for the bride-to-be to drool over china patterns, caterers, florists, bakers and other services that few of us can afford. And if we did have the moola to blow on such loot, would we really waste it on products associated with a show this torturous and tacky?
- Al Roker and Ann Curry host "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" (7 p.m., NBC), featuring musical performances by Harry Connick Jr., Ashanti, Enrique Iglesias, "American Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Plenty of network stars will be on hand as well, including Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing and Elisabeth Moss from NBC's "The West Wing," and Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay from NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Nothing says "ho ho ho" like a visit from the sex crimes unit. Tracy Morgan will also show up to promote his brand-new NBC sitcom, "The Tracy Morgan Show." Now that's product placement.
Tonight's other highlights
- Scheduled on "60 Minutes II" (7 p.m., CBS): Soldiers seriously wounded in Iraq recover at home; actor Sean Penn is interviewed.
- A hostage-taking in an Islamic state dims the White House tree-lighting festivities on "The West Wing" (8 p.m., NBC).
- Seth creates his own holiday, a blend of Christmas and Hanukkah, on "The O.C." (8 p.m., Fox).
- A paternity dispute turns deadly on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).
Keanu Reeves and sex therapist Sue Johanson are on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Elijah Wood and music by Counting Crows on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).