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Your analysis, please.

June 26th, 2008 by · 56 Comments

(For a free Rifftrax of your choice:)

Please analyse* the following early 1980s TV commercial in terms of a longer view of American culture: the various socioeconomic crosscurrents working at the time, the prevailing middle-class family dynamics at play, deviations from the above, and perhaps even the sexual politics underpinning it all.

Put all this in the context of early 1980s America, but follow all logical threads of your argument to suggest how we got where we are today, a.k.a. “here” / “now.”

But most importantly, tie in the fact that the young son is none other than TV’s JOEY LAWRENCE, as a smaller being. (Trace dynamics, origins, and uses of phrase “whoa,” pre- K. Reeves.)

Possible issues to be addressed:

    — Why is the mother promoting the sugary, abeit delicious cookies to her young son, and with such wide-eyed relentlessness?

    — Why is the son so angered and nauseated by a girl’s affection earlier that day? N.B.: the word “cooties” is not even mentioned!!!

    Why did Joey Lawrence not become the international, decades-spanning superstar we all hoped? (Or DID he?)

    — Extra points for connecting all of the above to recent advances in radial keratotomy.

Your essay should be 100 words absolute maximum, because:

1) I have the attention span of a gnat, and it fades fast after the first 20 words. By the time we’re rounding 70, it’s all just annoying squiggles keeping me from my next sandwich.

2) You really shouldn’t have to work that hard to get a free Rifftrax. Hell, you can buy a free Rifftrax for a few bucks.

Best essay will be submitted to the New York Review of Books, which has already pre-rejected the idea.


(* Yes, I went with the more pretentious British spelling. I did. Please don’t criticise me for that — I was merely trying to add some colour. Whilst in the parlour.)


[UPDATE: Oh yeah, some sort of deadline would probably be good here, eh? Let’s say Sunday night, 6/29, 11:59 EST.

And yes, this counts towards your final grade. (In Heaven.) Thanks.]

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