A group of young adults in California have their own video game review show called "Game Beat", however executives at the network want to pull the plug on it. Sponsors aren't fond of it and it isn't receiving as many views as the executives would prefer. However, this could all change with an upcoming review of the hit new Sega 32X... Yes, the 32X. Why that add-on all of things? Well, because the entire film is actually an infomercial for it.
Absolutely Rose Street is an obscure but unusual piece of Sega history. Produced by agency Patrico-Sinare and Impulse Productions for Sega, it's essentially a 1994 infomercial for the Sega 32X add-on of the Sega Genesis, but it pretends as if it's a pilot for a new show. It clearly states that it's a paid advertisement at the start of the short, but the rest of the film seems suspiciously like an actual show. There are even "commercial breaks" in the actual film itself.
Sega of America had wanted to make sure the 32X was successful (which it ultimately wasn't), so they made a half-hour informercial for it. It was advertised extensively but was only shown for a month before being lost. Luckily, in 2015 a copy was found and uploaded online. The special can be viewed here. in all its 90s glory.
Absolutely Rose Street provides examples of:
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Sprinked throughout Absolutely Rose Street are PSA ads about things such as environmentalism and car safety.
- Censor Box: One appears during a clip of one of the infamously brutal even by genre standards finishing moves from Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side, showing an opponent being shot to death with a shotgun... which disappears when the victim's mangled corpse collapses to the ground.Max: Eternal Champions on the [Sega] CD is for mature audiences only.Christina: Guess you won't be playing it then.
- Dumb Blonde: Stella is a ditzy, fashion-focused blonde woman who the main antagonist dates.
- Fake Interactivity: Despite all the focus on viewer participation, it doesn't matter if the viewers vote for Styling With Stella or Game Beat. Game Beat automatically wins at the end of the film.
- The Fashionista: Stella's goal is to have her own fashion-themed show called Styling with Stella.
- Five-Token Band: Game Beats consists of Max (white male), Christina (white female), Jim (black male), and Cody (Asian male). Max and Christina are the two who are given the most focus.
- Infomercial: It aired on Thanksgiving weekend in 1994. It was aired on major networks like E!, MTV, and Comedy Central. Absolutely Rose Street aired over 50 times late at night before being discontinued. Sega, however, didn't call it an outright infomercial. It was called a "tv show" or just an "ad".
- Take That!:
- There's an unsubtle one at the start. There's a video of a girl saying she's going to review a Nintendo product next week, but she's cut off before she can finish her sentence.
- One of the "commercials" shows a bored guy playing Super Mario Land on the Game Boy. It's a Game Gear ad about how the Game Gear is better because it's in full colour. Another shows a Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a dead body in a morgue, with a boy suggesting it be cremated.
- The Cameo: Surgical Strike producer Sam Nicholson and Doom level designer American McGee appear on camera and answer questions from the Game Beat crew.
- Totally Radical: A rare example of this applying to an infomercial rather than a short-form commercial. Max himself looks like the embodiment of what was considered cool in the nineties, with his hot-shot attitude, slicked hair, and earrings.
- Writing Around Trademarks: There's an awkward line "Doom is coming to video game". Not "the Sega Genesis", "the Super Nintendo", or even "video game consoles". Just a vague "video game".