October 15, 2013

Allure Fail

A channel called WealthTV recently popped up on our cable menu. Among its many awful shows is a travel show called "Travel in Style," which features luxury hotels from around the world. The production is super cheesy: The narrator talks in a stilted manner with a touch of Stephen Hawking. The video is subpar. And the whole thing conveys a horrible sense of insulation and privilege. But Jay likes to watch it because he likes travel shows.

The episode we watched last night was on a safari outfit in Botswana. As with other episodes, the narration emphasizes how truly happy the natives are to serve you. The viewers are reassured time and again that, sincerely, the employees' only interest is in making you happy. The Botswana episode showed the wealthy young couple being driven around in a Jeep and making a stop at a little building where the local residents sing them traditional songs. They are actually called something like "these happy, simple people."

But my favorite part of the show was when they were describing the rooms at this safari hotel. After showing several luxurious features, they show a woman paddling around in a small pool, like an oversized Jacuzzi attached to her room. The narration explains: "And after a long day, you can slip into the plunge pool and look out over the hippopotamus-infested marshland."

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