On television, the world is inhabited by people who don’t remotely need the products they demonstrate. Hair dye is sold by models in their twenties, for whom gray hair is unheard of. Wrinkle cream is touted by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz. 

The people in advertising must think that if they actually showed individuals who look as if they need the goods, the consumer would be scared off. Imagine showing a woman with a paunch in a Spanx ad! In the world of television, all women in commercials for denture adhesives are in their forties. Retired people in ads for supplementary insurance look like triathletes with a few white hairs. 

In the actual television shows, the banter is snappy, and everyone throws one liners around. The people in the cop shows are way smarter than most of us. And the doctors on the medical shows never miss a diagnosis, save lives without breaking a sweat, and seem to have sex in all the utility rooms in the hospital. I am very sure that my doctor has never had sex in a closet, but I might ask him at my next physical. 

I have a gripe with even the cooking shows. None of those women chefs ever wears an apron. And Paula Deen uses at least five sticks of butter in every one of her recipes. So where are the grease spots? If I even try to open a can without an apron on, I get at least one splotch on my bosom. 

Have you noticed that everyone on television goes to sleep on their pillow shams, basically sitting up? Why is this? And they all sleep perfectly straight, on their backs. And when the alarm goes off, they hit the button and jump right out of bed with their hair not even slightly mussy. We all know this is totally ridiculous. And by the way, who drapes their bathrobe artfully along the bottom of the bed? Actually, who even wears a bathrobe these days? 

Why is the truth so unsavory? I think it would be refreshing to see a TV doctor with bags under his eyes. I would find Paula Deen much less intimidating with a big grease spot on her silk blouse. I would be thrilled if a woman would loom onto the screen, with enlarged pores and a few facial hairs, and declare “Boy, I really look awful. I wonder if this cream from Olay can even make a dent?” 

Don’t even get me started on those cleaning products. I am furious at anybody who would believe that you can smear grass, blood, mud, and grape juice on a white T shirt and then just spray it with Shout or dab it with some sort of stain stick and magically remove everything. IT’S A DIFFERENT SHIRT. I know from personal experience that if you spill cherry tart on your blazer right before a speaking engagement, that little stain-removing towelette will NOT do the trick. You will have to rearrange your scarf to cover the spot. And hope that your audience is very non-judgmental. Perhaps this is too much information on a personal level, but I think I make my point. 

I guess those who produce television shows think that we just can’t handle the truth.

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