Monday, March 17, 2008

Things that are Comcastic!

When Comcast launched its new ad campaign, wherein they attempted to convert their corporate name into an adjective, the first ad I saw was a takeoff on the old game show "$25,000 Pyramid." In case you don't recall, in $25,000 Pyramid, contestants work with a celebrity as a 2-person team. One is facing a pyramid-shaped board. One by one, from bottom to top, the cards reveal a word or phrase. The team member facing the board would give clues for their teammate guess. If you got them all right you won $25,000, presumably stacked in the shape of a pyramid. (Wouldn't a check have been easier? I guess "The $25,000 Check" doesn't have much of a ring to it.)















Why don't game shows have awesome answers like this anymore? More proof that the 70s were a Magical Time.

So the Comcast ad went like this:

Clue-giver: "Butterflies...Santa Claus...freshly baked cookies..."
Clue-receiver: "Things that are Comcastic!" dingdingdingding!!!!

So the message was: Comcastic is a synonym of awesome.

Except.

Except this has not been my experience at all.

I appreciate some of the things Comcast does for me. Like bringing me broadband access - I appreciate that. Or the best reality show on television, Deadliest Catch. Thanks, Comcast.

My real issue is with the digital video recorder. My question to you, Comcast: if Comcast is so awesome that its very name is synonymous with awesomeness, why is the Comcast DVR such a piece of crap?

But Ish! The DVR is chock-full of features that make it awesome! Did I say awesome? I mean Comcastic!

I hear you, italicized rhetorical device, but I'm not buying it. Here's how the "features" work on my DVR:

Fast forward. Hit fast forward once- fast forwards for about three seconds and then freezes. Hit it again - nothing. Hit it a third time - it races forward 2 minutes past the commercials you were skipping, and right into the middle of the next scene, spoiling the suspenseful conclusion of whatever you were watching. Bonus: if you are in the last ten minutes of the program, automatically deletes the program.

Rewind. Hit rewind once- rewinds ten seconds and then freezes. Hit it again - nothing. Hit it a third time - it rewinds so fast you actually get younger, the show you were watching doesn't exist yet, and your younger siblings start to fade out of old family photos. ("We've got to get back to the DeLorean, Marty!")

Record Season Pass. I'm told that this is the feature that allows me to record every episode of a favorite show. But I must have missed the secret setting that says "record every episode of "Family Guy," as long as it's one of the same six episodes from 1999. Whatever you do, do not record any of the newer episodes."

Memory full - 100%. This is the message you get when you've used about 60% of the recording space. You delete one of the episodes of Family Guy from 1999, and suddenly, voila, you're only using 20% of the recording capacity. (It's okay, the DVR will record that Family Guy episode four more times tomorrow.)

Stop. Has no features.

I think "Comcastic" should more properly be defined as follows:

Com-cas-tic adj. Characterized by the absence of awesomeness; the exact opposite of awesome. Ex. "The bubonic plague's symptoms were comcastic."
I want to spread my definition - because I believe that, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, you have to be the change you want to see in the world. (Yes, I'm still talking about cable TV.)

So allow me to demonstrate the new, proper usage of "Comcastic:"

Me: Did you see that accident on the freeway last night?
You: Why, no, I didn't! Why don't you describe it for me.

Me: Oh it was bad, awful. Blocked all four lanes. The traffic was Comcastic!

Another:

Me: So then I dropped the cinder clock on my bare foot. The pain was Comcastic.
You: (Nod sympathetically.)
One more:

Me (yelling at DVR, frantically stabbing at stop button): STOP! Stop fast forwarding, stop- NO! DON'T delete! DON'T delete! You Comcastic piece of crap!
I don't know if my one lone, cranky voice can make a difference. But maybe, if we all work together, we can. (Still talking about cable TV.)

4 Comments:

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Green said...

I think it's cute that you write a little tiny bit like your girlfriend. :) There's a clear influence.

Anyway. I suggest forwarding your blogpost to their PR people. See what kind of response you get, if any. Tell them you'll be happy to blog the response they give you.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Miss Thystle said...

Cox (Comcasts rival) is not Comcastic either. It's not a coincidence at all that they're called "COX"....

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger chris said...

I have the Comcast DVR as well, and my service is so comcastic that I've been thinking about switching to the dish. My friends all have one, and they are completely unsympathetic to my complaints about my service. I might as well be telling them I keep hitting my thumb with a hammer, and it hurts. The nod with sympathetic condesention, probably thinking I'm an idiot, because they heard the same complaint a few months back. Maybe I am an idiot, the clarity of my thinking has been a bit comcastic lately.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Shannon said...

Um.

Ok, I have to point this out because I just do. "Comcastic" just sounds a little too close to "bombastic" which a) makes me think of that STUPID SONG which in turn makes me wish I had ice picks to shove through my ears and b) bombastic means "marked by or given to bombast." Bombast means "pompous, overblown."

Hmm.

 

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