McDonald's has long tried to smooth the rough, garish plastic edges of its restaurants to make them nicer places to hang out. The burger giant's latest gambit to get customers to while the day away under the Golden Arches? A new television network that will be beamed to widescreen HD screens visible to almost all dine-in customers. Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett, BBC America, and ABC are on board to provide locally tailored news and entertainment programming. The McDonald's Channel is being tested in California, with a national rollout in the works. Of course, the idea of mixing unhealthy Big Macs and brain-numbing TV hasn't escaped the notice of the commentariat. Here, some of the best zingers:
First Oprah, now Ronald?
Between this and the Oprah Winfrey Network, "the reprogramming of America just keeps getting scarier," says Amy Scattergood at LA Weekly. "Maybe soon we can simultaneously watch television and eat fast food every single waking moment."
Speaking of odd bedfellows
McDonald's TV is the brainchild of "the man who brought us Survivor and the people responsible for the Chicken McNugget"? says Tim Kenneally at The Wrap. "I'm watchin' it"!
Call it suicidal synergy!
Arguably, "anyone who is in a McDonald's has already given up on life, so they might as well be forced to watch more company propaganda," says Chris O'Shea at Mediabistro. Maybe they'll have a show called Guess What? I'm Stupid! where contestants explain to their loved ones why "eating three Filet-O-Fishes for lunch is fine even if their hearts do stop beating 'sometimes.'"
What else will be on McTV?
"You know, besides Super Size Me"? says Aly Semigran at Entertainment Weekly. How about a crime-buster show starring the Hamburgler, or "campaign commercials with Mayor McCheese against Herman Cain. Pizza vs. cheeseburgers: Make your vote count!"
Only the lonely
For me, says Jessica Grabert at Television Blend, this TV station is "just another reason to hightail it through the drive-through and eat my fast food in shame."