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The Men Who Made Us Spend 

Todays newest is tomorrows trash. Jacques Peretti investigates planned obsolescing made to things not to last, and how we are made to buy the newest, though we really don't need it. Meet the men behind our urge to consume.
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2014  

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Jacques Peretti Jacques Peretti 3 episodes, 2014
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Todays newest is tomorrows trash. Jacques Peretti investigates planned obsolescing made to things not to last, and how we are made to buy the newest, though we really don't need it. Meet the people planning to shape our taste, how they catch us, and how we might break out of this pattern. Written by OJT

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Documentary

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lurt i forbruksfella See more »

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Color
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User Reviews

Interesting because the subject is, but the tone is too soft, and the material is often too "well, d'uh"
16 November 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I do like to think that I am reasonably unaffected by consumerism since I still do not own a smart phone, and my car continues to be a functional, low-cost item that I use to go from A to B; however of course in other areas that do matter to me, I am as driven to have nice things as anyone else. This 3-part show sets out to explore the roots of consumerism, looking at the development of fashion, changes in spending patterns, expansion of markets to include wider audiences, and the gamification of spending.

In doing so it must be said that it is mostly interesting and engaging, but mainly because the subject itself is this way – not really the series in and of itself. This is never not a problem and it is a shame because this topic deserved much more than it got here. The series is not really an investigation, but nor is it a polemic against our culture of spending and wanting things instantly; instead it is almost naïve in how it approaches the subject, like writer/presenter Peretti sounds like this is all news to him and he is bemused by all of it. Although some contributors are good and provide specific examples, generally the discussions are held at a broad level. This makes the show accessible but it also makes it rather obvious – so the news that children's programming is selling us things, or that we are encouraged to spend in ways that are less painful, and that "need" is down the list of reasons people buy things – all of this is hardly earth-shattering.

This shouldn't have been an issue though, but because the series discusses them all in this broad way, there is nothing else but this discussion of things that the majority of people are aware of already. The series badly needed some indignation, passion, opinion or some energy as opposed to the rather bland wandering of Peretti. It doesn't come and while it is still interesting on the basis that the subject is interesting, it is a series that really doesn't do a great deal beyond the basics. I wanted the series to shake the world I live in, to challenge me as to why I live how I live, to force me to think about things after the series finished – but instead mostly I spent the time thinking "well, yeah – of course this is how things are". An interesting topic, but the series is a real missed opportunity to do something better.


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