So, like a lot of people, I watch the Super Bowl primarily for the spectacle. Yeah, living New York-adjacent, I was happy the Giants won and all, but I was much more amped about Madonna playing "Like a Prayer" in the half-time show than I was about anything that happened in the game (side note -- so M.I.A. made an obscene gesture during the show? How did I miss that???!).
Anyway, the big draw for Super Bowl viewers like me is usually the commercials. Sadly, this year's crop was kind of weak, though I did have few favorite. I also found the commercials fairly educational in a way. Below is my list of seven things I learned from this year's crop of commercials. Enjoy.
7. We might need to be worried about Taylor Kitsch's post-"Friday Night Lights" movie career: So, two of the commercials aired during the game were ads for the movies "Battleship" and "John Carter," both starring "FNL" vet Taylor Kitsch, aka Tim Riggins. Is it just me, or do they both look like utter garbage? I'd seen ads for "John Carter" before, and initially thought it was some sort of parody ad poking fun at ridiculous big budget sci-fi movies. Nope. It's a real movie. With sand monsters and nubile princesses saying things like "Are you John Carter of earth?" Oof. "Battleship" looks even worse, turning the beloved game into some sort of action thriller where we're under attack by aliens and the battleships must save us. Or something. Sigh. Of all the FNL players, Kitsch's charisma and good looks made him the best bet for movie stardom. But, um, maybe he needs to change his approach a little?
6. Elton John is less important than a reality-show-winning diva:My least favorite commercial of the night was that awful Pepsi thing in which "X-Factor" winner Melanie Amaro sings a weak version of "Respect," winning the approval of tyrannical king Elton John. He offers her a coveted Pepsi and she banishes him to the dungeon with Flavor Flav. What? Why would Elton John agree to that? This ad is essentially saying he's less relevant than a reality show winner. No. He's Elton Freakin' John! He's eternal! He's an icon! He doesn't deserve that! And, despite his egregious VH1 show, neither does Flav. Looks like it's Pepsi that needs to learn some respect.
5. Dogs are awesome. Except for when we force them to be our beer slaves: Lots of cute commercials featuring dogs this year, including those for Dortios, Volkswagen, and Sketcher. But that Budweise commercial featuring WeGo the rescue dog made me a little sad. I don't know who WeGo's previous owners were, but they had to be better than that band of beer-swilling douchebags.
(Note: I tried to link to that commercial, but YouTube said I wasn't the right age to view it. ??? Anyway, here's that cute Volkswagen one with the chubby dog.)
4. The Darkness is back! The Darkness is back!: That Samsung ad seemed like yet another ad in which people wait pointlessly in line for a product (presumably from Apple) only to find out the Samsung product is WAY more awesome. And then, suddenly, the ad morphed into a video for the awesome "Thing Called Love," by the rockin' band The Darkness! What happened to those guys? I missed them! Why isn't there a commercial featuring every one of there songs? When will there be a commercial featuring "Growing on Me?" And why am I so excited about a band that was briefly popular several years ago? Who cares! I'm too busy dancing!
3. Someone at Honda hates Alan Ruck:Yes, that Honda-Ferris Bueller commercial was pretty funny. But where was Alan Ruck? Are we supposed to believe that Ferris would take a day off without Cam? No! I won't believe that! I won't!
2. Jay Leno ruins everything for other comics: That Jerry Seinfeld/Acura commercial was kind of a dud until Jay Leno showed up in that flying squirrel suit to steal his Acura. This proves that Jay Leno has finally decided to stop pretending he's a nice guy and admit that he takes things away from other comedians. Or maybe not. Anyway, flying squirrel suit!
1. Clint Eastwood will save us all:OK, if I may get real for a minute -- I grew up in Michigan, and it's been incredibly painful watching that state's economy struggle these past few years. Thus, I love those Chrysler "Imported from Detroit" commercial. They make me want to buy a Chrysler. They make me want to buy 12 Chryslers. They make me want to listen to Motown, stare at a picture of the Joe Louis fist and weep. And the half-time commercial where Clint Eastwood tells us things will be OK and a new day is dawning? Um, it's a little dusty in here. That's why my eyes are welling up. Because of the dust.