5 March 2019 | VHSdynamite
Hyper-commercialized circus and welfare-tainment
The Ellen show is an important cog in the Hollywood machinery, combining lottery, tv shop, talkshow and gameshow. I like the talkshow and gameshow parts, but every spare moment is used to promote Ellenshop, Ellentube, Ellenworld or whatever. It starts to seem a bit like a person cult, and the crowds go wild whenever she buys their trust with gifts hidden under their seats.
Isolated from the hyper-commercialized circus that is the show, Ellen the comedian has a rude kind of humor that I like. But I'm not a fan of how she for comedy's sake exposes and humiliates her staff, goes through her guests' purses, and confronts people who try to sell the goodies they get on the show. It's borderline abusive, and Ellen is so powerful that one has no other option than to play along. Her motto, "Be kind to one another", feels a bit hollow after all the mean things she makes a living from doing.
Lastly, I'm deeply troubled by the show's self-appointed role as welfare system. Unfortunate people are carefully selected and awarded screen time and a check - all in calculated order to promote Ellen the brand and the company which provides the check. It's frightening to see such welfare-tainment, with people's futures in the hands of a powerful individual instead of a functional state.