Comedic Artistry In Amazon Reviews

from the new-artforms dept

One of the more interesting things about the rise of the internet is how it inspires creativity and artwork in unexpected places. For example: the rise of Amazon reviews as a work of art. This "artform" probably really kicked off with the now infamous three wolf moon t-shirt, and a wacky comment left by Brian Govern almost exactly five years ago that inspired thousands of other wacky comments and, voila, virality.

I'm reminded of this as people are talking about another set of wacky reviews on Amazon, this time for a massive and insanely expensive Samsung 85" LED TV which normally runs $44,999.99, but is "discounted" to merely $39,997.99 (a bargain!) and somewhat amusingly notes that only 3 are left in stock. People have been having a field day in the comments, mocking the price, the features (free batteries with the remote!) and just the general idea that people are buying $40,000 TVs off of Amazon.

A few samples: There's Cheryl Gustafson's explanation of what pushes this over the edge:
At first I hesitated to make the purchase, but then I saw the two AA batteries were free with the remote, and I was all in! Having this really fills in that empty space we called a bathroom!
There's Hans Summers' play on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Scott Robertson's Star Trek reference. But, by far the one that most people are focusing on is the one from James Thach, which starts off innocently enough:
My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It's missing the remote, but oh well-- for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I've never seen the world with such clarity.

Amanda, if you're reading this, hang in there, honey! We'll see you in a year.
The story goes on from there, including multiple updates and responses to "concerned" commenters. Comedy is subjective, but it's pretty damn amusing. That led me to check out Thach's other reviews, and while there are only a few, it appears that since reviewing that Samsung TV, he's really jumped headfirst into this new comedic art form, though most don't come off quite as clever as the Samsung TV (he focuses more on what might be called... "toilet humor" in quite a few of them).

Still, while the humor may be a mixed bag at times, there's something kind of amazing when you begin to realize that this is even a thing now. The ability to allow people to be creative in all sorts of new and interesting ways leads to creativity and entertainment in totally unexpected places. This is one of the reasons why we tend to think it's so important to allow for open forums for communications whenever and wherever possible, rather than focusing on top-down broadcast-style models of content production that were dominant last century. No, silly Amazon reviews aren't any form of "high art," and many people will dismiss them entirely, but there's something kind of special in seeing creativity spring up in odd places, and it's the kind of thing that the internet does so well.


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