The last time I wrote about television commercials, I was commending the ones that were really entertaining. Really nice.

Those days are over, I guess.

Everyone I’ve talked with lately is so sick of the offers for health insurance upgrades that they’re practically throwing things at their TV sets.

I’ve been grateful every day that I have not only “mute” but “fast forward” on my remote.

It allows me, when Joe Namath starts announcing that he’s going to tell me about a wonderful new plan that will add all kinds of plusses to my health care coverage that I can push a button and say, loudly, “Oh, no you’re not.”

We all have to hang on all the way to Dec. 5, which I think is the deadline for signing up for new coverage. When the deadline passes, the commercials will stop.

At least I hope that’s true.

One day I called to see what I could find out about the new insurance. The first thing the woman on the other end of the line asked was “Do you have COPD?”

I said “yes” and that was the end of that conversation. I’ve also heard that if you report a case of diabetes you’re kicked off the expanded coverage list. So much for preexisting conditions. Thank God for Medicare.

Along with the health care commercials, I’m finding myself appalled by the increasing number of TV ads that feature characters other than real people.

I’m talking about all those people who aren’t really people, but drawings of people. Caricatures, sort of.

There are several different ones. In particular, there’s one for a grocery chain that plays over and over on my TV.

The main reason I don’t like these paper doll people is they’re putting real people out of a job.

There are lots and lots of actors who used to make a good living doing commercials. Now these cartoons are taking their place.

Corny as they may be, I want to see real people buying their groceries or stocking those shelves.

Other commercials that irritate me are those that assume we’re all as dumb as a box of rocks.

The first one I think of involves the elderly couple who testify happily they use their dishwasher every night, with appropriate detergent. This is done no matter how many or few dishes are needing to be washed, apparently.

The daily action is taken in order to save water.

Has it occurred to either of them that the water is dirt cheap compared to the detergent? Apparently not.

I think it has occurred to most of us. We’re not simple-minded, like those who write these dumb commercials.

The last bunch of complaints involve these talk shows and news shows that have suddenly decided to join the ranks of merchants, selling all kinds of items and usually advertising that they’re discounted.

The news people don’t need to be hucksters.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at


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