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Only $19.95! But Wait! There's More!....

by Neena Louise
I'm appalled by the number of TV stations (mostly cable) that squish a show's ending credits to announce "You can own the program you just saw for only $19.95!!" The same question runs through my mind: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would pay $19.95 (or even 95 cents!) for a show they just saw for FREE?!? Squishing credits is a deplorable practice to begin with, but to shrink or squeeze them just to hawk merchandise is outrageous.

A&E and TLC are the worst offenders for this practice. Considering that both cable channels are notorious for airing re-runs of re-runs of re-runs, why would anyone consider shelling out any amount of money for a show you know will be on again (and again)? Who buys these things? I'm curious as to what kind of fool spends money for something they can have for free. Doesn't everyone have a VCR that, for less than 2 bucks for a blank tape, can tape whatever they want? Sure, commercial-free would be nice, but, well, there's a little button on all VCRs marked FST FWD. For the morons that don't know what this button is (and those that the video-hawkers seem to be targeting), it will speed over commercials at the touch of the button! Duh. Do they think we'll actually spend twenty bucks just so we won't have to exercise our finger?!?

Cable stations aren't the only ones trying to sell you videos of their programs. NBC, with their wretched Olympics 2000 programming, actually advertised an Olympic "highlight" tape for sale mid-way into the Olympics. Like we really want to memorialize NBC's dreadful schlock forever (I, myself, would prefer to forget it forever). And how much you wanna bet that there will be an Oscar video for sale before the end of the upcoming Academy Awards broadcast? And Survivor II already has spin off videos...Sheesh!

The most ridiculous cash grab I've ever seen was A&E's "offer" of a Columbo video set - 5 episodes for "just" $99.95. Excuse me? One hundred dollars for episodes that were repeated over and over again and that will still be airing somewhere long after I'm dead and gone? I have to wonder how many impulsive shoppers fell for that. Yet, while I am wondering what kind of idiot makes the rich richer, I realize with amazement that SOMEBODY must be buying them. If no one was, they wouldn't continue to be advertised. What's wrong with you people? I'm sure you could find something equally frivolous to throw your money away on without making TV's Fat Cats any fatter. Maybe Pez dispensers. Or deluxe toilet paper.  
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