The Emotional Toll of Sarah McLachlan Commercials

For years, we as a society have been plagued with the major buzz-kill of the infamous Sarah McLachlan commercial.

You know the one. The one they slide in between a Snuggie commercial and Friends reruns and makes you want to cover your ears and sing "LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" like you did when you were 5?

Can we all just agree this commercial accomplishes nothing but making us hate our lives for approximately a minute and a half? Never do I feel the unique combination of anger and guilt more strongly than when that fateful song begins to play:

In the aaaaaarms of the a-a-angels...

I've also never met someone who's said that commercial moved them enough to donate money. I don't even remember what charity it's for and I've seen it about 400 times. (If you are the exception to this, please let me know. I want to know what you know.)

The worst part is there are now TWO.

The second features Alyssa Milano (of...something fame...early 90's, I wanna say?) and is essentially the same commercial only without the haunting melody, and change the puppies to children.

Sarah. Alyssa. Stop making me feel like a jerk because I automatically mute the TV or change the channel any time your commercials come on. Don't look at me that way. It's like your eyes are boring into my soul saying, "WHY DO YOU HATE THE CHILDREN? WHY, LAURA? DON'T YOU SEE THIS PUPPY'S SAD EYES? THEY'RE AS BIG AS SAUCERS AND WELLING WITH TEARS AND INNOCENCE! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GIVE UP 50 CENTS A DAY TO HELP THESE SAD CHILDREN AND PUPPIES LIVE? Fine, just go drink your Starbucks in front of your Macbook and try not to think about your material abundance in the midst of such poverty. Go ahead."

You see? You see why I change the channel? I'm sorry! Okay? But bumming me out in the middle of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe is not the way to get my money, Alyssa. And a "beautiful T-shirt" or "specially designed tote bag" is not going to win me over either. I'm not a sellout. (Throw in a commemorative coin and we'll talk.)

As a side note, what are the requirements to be the spokesperson for one of these commercials? Does it just have to be a person who has faded enough from celebrity status that they are available, but not so much that no one will recognize them? Full disclosure, I would have never been able to identify Alyssa Milano just by looking at her. The name caption is definitely necessary.

[Breaking: GUYS. I just googled Alyssa Milano to figure out what the heck she did with her life to make her famous and found out she played a character named "Nurse Mindy" in the 2011 blockbuster New Year's Eve. NURSE MINDY. I can't even add anything to that to make it more amusing. It stands alone. If you need more proof as to why that movie was the worst idea ever, please refer to my post on the Law of Diminishing Celebrity Utility.]

Anyway, here are the audition requirements I imagine are advertised for these commercials:

1) The ability to display two quarters between your thumb and index finger like a wheel of fortune model without dropping them or giving in to the temptation to rub them together like an old-timey mobster trying to decide which table to gamble on. 2) The ability to hold a very concerned facial expression for the duration of at least 1:30 straight--not many people can do that. it's a very underestimated skill. Apparently Alyssa and Sarah can do it. 3) Super dramatic acting skills, and in this case, the pets in the commercial are no exception. I have reason to believe they must all be graduates of the Guilt-trip School of Dramatic Tricks (For Pets and Other Fuzzy Animals), sponsored by PETA.

And the aforementioned C-list celebrity status, of course.

Do you hate these commercials as much as I do? It's ok, this is a safe place. No one will judge you. (Any Jesus Jukes will be promptly reprimanded.)