(S02E12) "The cell is mightier than the sword, or the very large knife." -- Chuck
There were some funny bits in this episode of Chuck. There were also some good bits of plot development. Still, for what was being promoted as a spotlight show, including the novelty of 3-D, it's hard for me to sing the praises of tonight's episode. It just left a lot to be desired. What it did leave me with is a headache.
Before getting into the particulars, let's get the 3-D thing out of the way. It was terrible. Joel wrote about this a few days ago, and he was right. The 3-D glasses were cumbersome and lame. They also seemed too dark because instead of the effects popping, they just seemed murky and dim. I give NBC credit for trying to think outside the box, but 3-D is not the answer for how to make TV viewing more exciting. Compared to high-def, 3-D is not awesome, just annoying.
There weren't any Super Bowl ads that made me want to kick in my television set this year, but I think that says more about the dullness of the ads rather than any brilliance. There weren't many memorable ads. I asked a friend of mine about the ads, and she said, "I think there was a cute one, I don't remember what it was."
Below are the five ads I chose as the worst of the night (not including the movie ads - those are in a different category and shouldn't be counted when you're judging the commercials). They range from confusing to lame to downright sad.
(NOTE: The following post talks about my favorite commercials of this past Super Bowl. There are absolutely no spoilers in this post. That is, unless you didn't watch the Super Bowl, recorded it for future viewing, and have decided to ignore every single other media outlet, as well as friends and family so no one tells you who won. If that's the case, don't blame us for your extremely poor time management skills.)
Well, it's all over except for the pack-up, the clean-up and the over-analyzing of the analyzing of the game that was actually played in Tampa. Super Bowl XLIII is now in the history books and so are its commercials. This year featured some returning companies, some new ones, plenty of NBC promos, and a koala puppet being punched in the face. In other words, a bit of everything. Out of all of them, here are some of my favorites.
(NOTE 2: The embedded videos come courtesy of Hulu. If you cannot view these videos I have linked the commercial titles to another site that you should be able to view.)
Thanks to the Arizona Cardinals' first appearance this weekend, my hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, will now be one of only five left in the NFL that have never made a Super Bowl appearance. Three if you don't count the expansion clubs.
So if you're a Cardinals fan and don't have the stomach to endure their slow, agonizing and inevitable defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, here are some alternative shows you can watch instead of the Super Bowl.
Lingerie Bowl VI, that pay-per-view hotbed of halftime entertainment for lonely fantasy football players with too much time and money on their hands, lost their first venue in Florida awhile back. Then, the doomed franchise rose from the ashes like a mighty phoenix when the league's owners found a new venue at a nudist colony in Tampa.
But just as that majestic phoenix spread its flaming wings and took to the skies once again, someone blasted it with a fire extinguisher. The game has been canceled for the second straight year because of a dispute with their new venue.
NBC is airing the Super Bowl this year. Sunday's all-day telecast (several hours of pre-game and probably another four or so for the game itself) will feature a wide variety of guests. Which of these guests are not going to be seen during the broadcast?
Top Chef's Tom Colicchio
According to Levy and Katzenberg, this version of 3D is supposed to work, no matter what the delivery method. Well, NBC was kind enough to send me a preview copy of Monday's Chuck (which I sent on to Allison for her episode review), complete with glasses. I've got to tell you... it doesn't work. At least not on TV. At least not for me.
NBC has pulled a PETA ad that was going to run during the Super Bowl, because it "depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." Hey, what about subjecting viewers to those people on The Biggest Loser? And they usually have their tops completely off. This particular commercial shows various lingerie models getting all frisky with broccoli and pumpkins (pumpkins??). I guess it is pretty sexual, though I've seen edgier things on daytime soaps.
Funny how there is always a few controversies when it comes to these Super Bowl ads, either before they run or after the fact.
PETA says that they don't understand why the ad was pulled when ads for chicken and burgers are OK even though they make you "fat" and "boring in bed." As an eater of chicken and burgers, I resent that.
- That it aired for the first and only time (at least as an ad, not a cultural icon) 25 years ago today, during the broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII (when the Los Angeles Raiders crushed the Washington Redskins, for you sports fans); and
- That the Super Bowl was once played as early as January 22.
The NFL season has slowly gotten longer and longer, hasn't it? Anyway, Rovell has an interesting interview with Mike Murray, Apple's marketing manager for the then-brand-new Mac. The best thing to come out of the interview was the fact that Apple's board of directors hated the completed ad, which was inspired by George Orwell's novel 1984, and never wanted it to air. But they couldn't sell back their 60-second spot and had nothing else to put there.
So, basically, a lack of productivity on the part of Apple's marketing department allowed us to see what became the most famous Super Bowl ad ever. You can see the ad after the jump.
The commercial features a robot that drops a screw. Because of GM's high quality controls, it's forced to leave the plant, take up several other part time jobs, and finally it jumps off a bridge, only to wake up in the plant and reveal that the whole thing was a dream sequence.
The game itself got a 32.8 rating, while the average commercial got a rating of 32.1, meaning that 92.8 million people were watching those horribly overpriced ads. Does that mean they were worth the money advertisers were spending on them? Probably not, but that's a lot of eyeballs (roughly 185.6 million of them, in fact).
Anyway, now that you're up to date, you won't be seeing that commercial on television anymore. Snickers got complaints from the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Apparently they thought the ad was homophobic. Who knew, I thought it was just anti-gay. Oh, right.
Decide for yourself. You can check out both videos after the jump.
These same viewers also giggle at the word "dooty," think a man using a microphone resembles an act of fellatio and that, from the air, Dolphin Stadium looks like a vagina. Folks, you can't rock out without your cock out so get over it already. You're just lucky this was Prince circa 2007 and not Prince circa 1984 when the guitar he took on tour would ejaculate water at the climax of "Let's Go Crazy." He kept his ass covered. What more do you want?
Is that a disappointment? Last year, the post Super Bowl episode of Grey's Anatomy drew a considerably larger 38.1 million viewers. We can chalk part of that difference up to the fact that Grey's was more of a hit show going in, but I think more of it has to do with the subject matter.
Criminal Minds is never a touchy-feely, happy bunnies on clouds kind of show, but the post Super Bowl episode was dark even by their standards. Come on, Dawson chaining up a woman and setting the dogs loose on her? That's asking a lot from the family friendly Super Bowl audience.