Sunday, February 5

Less-Than-Super (Bowl) commercials this year

I like to watch the Super Bowl each year, mostly for the commercials. Matter of fact, three of the front page stories on today’s Los Angeles Times’ online page were about the upcoming commercials, so I’m not unusual in that respect. I had already seen the VW commercial, a takeoff on last year’s masterpiece featuring a little kid in a Darth Vader costume trying to cast a hex on various things without success till he went out on the driveway and got the Volkswagen’s engine to start (his dad had seen what the kid was doing and started the car remotely). This year’s commercial featured a dog who was too fat to fit through the doggie door to chase a passing VW, so he exercised to lose weight and was finally able to dash through the door and chase the car. The scene then shifted to the Star Wars Cantina where various creatures debated whether the new commercial was on par with the Vader kid commercial. Of course, Darth Vader showed up and put a stop to the argument and got the protagonist to agree that the kid-in-the-Darth-Vader-costume commercial was the better of the two.

For production value, Chevrolet won in my estimation with its armageddon spot. The world was being destroyed by the wrath of the Mayan prediction’s 2012 end of the world. A few guys jumped into their Chevy trucks and managed to punch through the collapsing buildings and widespread fires and destruction and got out of the mess to meet at a pre-arranged spot. One of their buddies was missing. Turns out he was driving a Ford.

Coca-Cola’s polar bear commercials left me flat. Kinda dopey.

 Madonna is just amazing
The halftime show starring Madonna was amazing. She puts on a performance that is hard to match. At least two decades ago when we had a huge ten-plus-foot-diameter satellite dish to pick up television broadcasts, I was searching the skies one afternoon for something interesting. Encryption didn’t exist, so you could watch feeds from around the world. I happened across a live feed from France where Madonna was putting on a performance that was to be made into an HBO special. It was two solid hours of the most vigorous singing and dancing I had ever seen. She was relentless and untiring. I couldn’t believe that anyone could maintain such intensity for so long without collapsing. My respect for her soared as a result. So her performance this afternoon seemed almost routine, even though she was at least 20 years older.

And to tie all this wonderful entertainment together, the broadcasters filled the intervals with a kinda interesting football game. I can’t remember who played or who won, but some of the plays were pretty good. Karla managed to stay awake through most of it, while I kept refilling my glass with cold beer.

Oh yeah—the Audi vampire commercial was absolutely wonderful, a masterpiece! I almost forgot. (Must be the beer.) I hope it’s replayed later on.

Overall, though, the commercials weren't up to par compared to years past. Must be the malaise of our overall economy.

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