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Walmart is doing a Cyber Monday live stream, and I can't look away

Walmart is doing a Cyber Monday live stream, and I can't look away


This is a cry for help

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Walmart is promoting its Cyber Monday deals today with a QVC-style, four-hour stream. If you missed its live run from 9AM to 1PM ET today, good news! It’s looping all day. Yes, you too can partake in this bizarre collection of corny jokes, caroling, holiday beats, and sales online.

The infomercial-style of hawking products is probably familiar to late-night-TV watchers, but it’s jarring to watch from your work computer. In the cold hard light of day, this level of camp feels forced, or perhaps self-aware as it all unfolds in real-time. The loop features a rotating cast of excitable salespeople promoting everything from tablets to dog food. There are also caroling segments, mini cooking shows, a hunky elf, and a guy I think is supposed to be a TV anchor of sorts for the entire program. Honestly, I’m watching the second loop now, and I’m still just as conflicted as I was the first time.

If you have questions about specific products, there’s also a sidebar where you can chat or ask questions. Queries are vetted by a moderator. I know this, because after a while, mine stopped showing up. Apparently someone got sick of me wondering about toothbrushes and commenting on tablet screen size.

I won’t be buying anything from this stream, but I’m strangely captivated by its close-up shots that linger just a few seconds too long, and its hosts, whose goofing appears to cover up a great and underlying sadness. As one woman modeled a phone for the camera, she lamented having the “ugly” hands of her deceased mother. Those Cyber Monday sads are hitting me hard right now.

Real hard.