Nothing to watch over summer?
Summer holiday programming in Australia is usually a televisual wasteland dotted with the remains of aging series and the promises of new programming that amount to little more than mirages. Consequently, scanning the guide each week can be a depressing activity. But every now and again a program appears on the horizon like a cool drink of water. Commercial Kings is that sort of welcome refreshment.
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are two former engineers who became best friends in primary school and have gone on to become Internet sensations. The key to their success? Low budget commercials. Their television series shows them going around mom-and-pop level businesses desperately in need of a boost, and making cheap TVCs for them. Clients include Ojai Valley Taxidermy and Los Angele’s Holiday Hotel for Cats. The approach in each case is to use the proprietors and local talent to put together a quirky but convincing commercial that will drive new business. Don’t tune in expecting a lesson in cinematography, though. Rhett and Link employ a pet psychic at the Cat Hotel to help its feline patrons contribute to the script. This is off-the-wall television at it’s best.
Commercial Kings sounds ridiculous, and it would be, if it weren’t so sincere. Rhett and Link never mock the owners of their small businesses. However crazy their personalities, the pair make room for them in the production and seek to both understand and bring out their best qualities. It’s a lesson in acceptance that many Christian congregations could stand to learn. Too often we welcome people into the family of God, then set about seeking to change the non-essentials so they look and sound more like us. Rhett and Link are more concerned with finding those things their clients do best, then connecting those talents with the communities they want to serve. Amen! From a Christian perspective, handling people this way has a lot to do with a proper understanding of the sovereignty of God. Do we really believe that there is no such thing as a chance meeting, and that God might bring people to us not only to help them, but to help ourselves?
One final warning
It’s worth noting that Rhett and Link are Internet legends that seem to have made a successful transition to the world of television. If you visit their web site you’ll discover incredible amounts of similar entertainment, including other TVCs, songs and films. This writer personally wasted two hours researching this review :o) Please note that the online content is likely to contain material that falls outside of TV’s PG rating.