Chuck

TV’s Most Embarrassingly Over-the-Top Product Placement

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There’s product placement. And then there’s product placement. As viewers, we understand that television is a business, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to lose ourselves in the illusion of a more glamorous and entertaining fantasy — which is why advertisements that are inelegantly shoved into a TV show’s plot can be a little jarring. Naturally, a company that throws money at a television series in oversized novelty check amounts deserves a shout out now and then. But some of the episodes we’ve rounded up below appear to have been wholly written by their sponsors.
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. According to the terms of a real estate agreement that’s currently in the works, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will take over the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Marcel Breuer-designed building in 2015, when the Whitney opens its new museum downtown, for a minimum of eight years. [via NYT]

2. In case… Read More

This Morning’s Top 5 Cultural Stories

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1. Fox’s Sarah Connor Chronicles has been officially canceled. Ditto for CBS’s Without a Trace and ABC’s The Unusuals. On a positive note, Chuck lives. [via ABC]

2. “Robert Draper’s GQ piece on Donald Rumsfeld being called out by former colleagues, they’re running covers of his White House morning defense briefings. You have to see these.” Yes, you do. [via… Read More

Is NBC the 50 Cent of Network TV?

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The buzz on Vulture last week regarding 30 Rock‘s McFlurrygate — Tina, for the record, insists that they received no money from the McDonald’s Corporation — got us thinking about over-the-top product placement in our favorite TV shows. Or maybe it was this depressing article in The Atlantic about how we’re spiraling toward a future where Procter & Gamble will lease prime time space on network TV, just like in olden times. Either way, we’ve had the future of network television on the brain, and while we’re willing to take Tina for her word, we’ve noticed that NBC seems to be dealing with economic uncertainty by blurring the lines between church and state.

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Michael Ausiello’s Favorite TV Shows of 2008

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In case you haven’t noticed, it has been an extremely slow day in an extremely slow week for cultural news (blame it on the fact that most publicists get Christmas to New Year’s Day off). Luckily, we just stumbled upon an exciting gem — Michael Ausiello’s last-minute best of TV 2008 list on EW.com. It’s just in time and it’s chock full of surprises! And shout outs to The Shield! And Ugly Betty! And there’s no Tina Fey anywhere! It’s crazy! (Sorry, too much caffeinating in preparation for tonight’s festivities.)

Before we spoil all the fun, check out his expert picks, along with our common man commentary in bold, after the jump.
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