“Think of almost any television commercial: A person gets in terrible trouble, the product gets her out. A girl gets a pimple before the prom. She tries all sorts of things to get rid of it, making matters worse. Just when it looks like all is lost, she finds the miracle cream. It works, boyfriend shows up, happy prom girl. The continuous narrative arc is used to draw the audience into a state of tension. Only the storyteller—the advertiser—has the way out. To be released from tension, we must accept the storyteller’s answer—meaning the advertiser’s product. We may have understood that the people making us anxious were not our friends—that the stuff on television is called 'programming' for a reason. But we were relatively powerless to do anything about it other than not watch at all.”

Explore more quotes:

About the author

This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.

Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.

Kendra Syrdal is a writer, editor, partner, and senior publisher for The Thought & Expression Company. Over the last few years she has been personally responsible for writing, editing, and producing over 30+ million pageviews on Thought Catalog.