Tuesday, December 30, 2014
The NFL: Stop focusing on the celebrations, please. Watching a multimillionaire pose and flex his muscles every time he does what he was paid to do isn't entertaining. I swear that fifty percent of the replays are of pomping and posing rather than actually playing.
NBC: Your intro to "Football Night in America" (WTF-ever) redefines the term "overblown." First of all, all the fireworks and crowd reactions and laser shows and appearences by Carrie Underwood in the world will never be enough to convince anyone that whatever game you were handed this week is the freaking Superbowl. Second, nobody in the history of the universe has ever uttered the phrase "I just can't wait till Sunday Night." Never. Ever. Ever.
MLB.com; Two things. First, stop it with the horrible-pun headlines. Seriously, they suck and aren't even forehead-slapping entertainment. They are usually so painfully bad that I can imagine the writer groaning but being forced to go with it because MLB.com demands that every headline have a pun. We aren't children. We don't need puns. Yours are just rank. Stop. Please.
Second- Derek Jeter is retired. That means you really need to stop inserting him into stories which have no logical connection to Derek Jeter. That six month sloppy Valentine you gave him in 2014 was a painful experience that you insisted we share, but we got through it, and now it's time to move on. So the next time someone bumps into Derek Jeter in a restaurant and wins $2 on a scratch-off ticket a week later, don't try to sell us another Magic of Jeter story, ok? It's over. Done. MOVE ON.
Wendy's: Time to retire Red. Seriously, enough already. Let's move on to the next marketing idea. In real life, Red would be fifty pounds overweight and be on meds for severe high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, not a cute, slim, energetic little hottie.
Progressive: Time to retire Flo. She was never interesting as the ghostly-pale (she makes vampires look like they just got back from Bermuda) spokeschoad inhabiting a windowless, glowing-white virtual world insurance store. Now that you've got her out and about- fishing, riding motorcycles, and (good lord whose idea was this) singing I can say you've jumped the shark with her, turned the boat around, and jumped it again. Put her on the unemployment line behind Red, please.
Verizon: Wow, where to start? First, I know I complain about cellphone ads which show people obsessed with texting and talking and streaming. But I'd rather have those than your stupid still shots of people jumping around with face-absorbing smiles because you offer them a way out of their contracts if they SWITCH FOR NO GOOD REASON RIGHT NOW. It's bad enough that every phone ad suggests that Our Phones Are Our Lives. Showing people throwing confetti around because they switched data plans- come on. We aren't that sad.
Lexus, Audi, and BMW: I know the economy is getting better, but 99 percent of us will never be in the market for one of your cars, and the one percent who are don't need these commercials to convince them to purchase a LookAtMeMobile. Which means that the only reason you even make these commercials is to piss us off. Why? What did we ever do to you?
McDonalds: If you are going to show people hoisting enormous hamburgers on tv, you should start actually selling enormous hamburgers in your restaurants. The food in your ads bear no resemblence to anything one can buy at a McDonalds. Not that I would buy food at a McDonalds anyway. McDonalds is good for one thing- coffee.
Geico: A whole lot, and I'm not even going to snark on the lizard because he's actually the least offensive thing you've got going. I don't see the moron tag team with their "happier than a camel on hump day" bit anymore, but that ad with seriously brain-damaged "adults" yelling "what day is it" at camels in the zoo? That's a thousand times more horrible because I can totally see people doing that (because most people are rock-stupid hicks.) Please stop making ads which suggest that people who are already vapid morons act like even bigger vapid morons for our viewing pleasure in the real world. Because I swear I am going to hurt someone in 2015, and it's going to be your fault.
Every Company on the Planet: For the love of G-d please please please make 2015 the year you stop trying to convince us that everyone in the United States lives in a palace. This year, show us families living in modest homes rather vast, cavernous mansions. Show us single people living in apartments instead of million-dollar suburban spreads. Stop showing us people with bathrooms and rec rooms twice the size of my apartment. And most of all, get over the idea that the interior of every house is supposed to glow white as if it's scrubbed every few hours by a cleaning crew larger than the average college football bench. My irises can't take another year of that, seriously.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Actually, if you're Salt-N-Pepa, you recognize that you haven't had a hit since the mid-90s, you just got one of those dreaded "Icon" awards (which, like an "Achievement" award on Oscar night, is basically an acknowledgement that your time has come and gone and we don't really expect to ever hear from you again,) and royalties don't pay the mortgage like you thought they would.
So if you're Salt-N-Pepa, you pick up a few extra dollars making total asses of yourself, making fun of your stupid theme song (whose popularity is a great symbol of the bloated crapfest that was Music in the 1990s) for the insurance company that simply can not stop bombarding us with rock-stupid advertising.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
The guy in this ad has a fricking MacBook, but it takes him all of 20 seconds to get sold on a crummy SurfaceProWTF-Ever-- "I think I like the SurfacePro3....no really, where can I get one?"
Tell you what, buddy- I'll hop on over to BestBuy, pick up a SurfacePro3, and trade it to you for your Suddenly Not Good Enough For You MacBook. Jagoff.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Dan needs a diamond that will convince Julie to have sex with him and only him for the rest of her life- or until Dan finds someone younger, prettier and even more insecure and vulnerable than Julie, at which time Dan will dump Julie for that younger, prettier and even more insecure and vulnerable girl- and Jared is the place to go for that kind of flypaper. I mean, just check out the larger than life diamond!
Once Jared has helped Dan pick out just the right ancient rock with which to guilt/bribe Julie into giving up her personality and last name to become Dan's dishwasher, handmaiden and babymaker, Dan takes Julie out to a nice restaurant and lets her know that if she wants the dinners out and dancing and weekend trips to the beach and jewelry to keep coming, she's going to have to ditch everything that makes her Julie and become Mrs. Dan. Because this is a jewelry commercial, of course Julie says Yes, because hey she's almost 25 and being your own person is Really Hard and Dan isn't all that repulsive and gotta marry someone after all.
Dan gave her the ring with all his heart but with a little less money in the bank than before he went to Jared, but that's ok because Julie has accepted the Token That Says She's Taken. This is supposed to be sweet or something. I'm way too bitter to get it.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
If I see just one more commercial featuring a guy who lives in a house featuring a living room twice the size of my apartment, I'm going to have to hurt someone.
Seriously, you'd think that just once television would take a break from convincing me that the average American makes $300,000 a year and lives in a palace with a seperate garage for the family Lexus. I get it, television. I'M POOR! Now stop reminding me, please!
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
...but this little snot with a direct line to Santa can ask for video games and freaking CARS and get virtual guarantees that hey, no problem, you've been a good kid for a number of years in a row so...., you want computer-assisted parallel parking with that?
What the hell universe am I living in, and where's the freaking exit?
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
It's kind of refreshing to see a commercial featuring Deranged Lunatic Mom rather than Clueless Doofus Dad for a change. Still, while Clueless Doofus Dad is generally a harmless character we expect to see in every other ad, the occassional appearance of Deranged Lunatic Mom is always a little jarring. I mean, she's always so....deranged.
This woman is supposed to be so sadly techno-addled that she has to "direct" Christmas morning, letting her family know that they aren't showing enough emotion, or need to turn their head this way or that, etc.--- in real life, the kids would just agree to plug their ears while Dad told Mom what she could do with her suffocating micromanagement of the present-opening ritual. We are finally let in on the "joke" when she actually brings in a double for her husband ( I guess, I'm not really sure I know what's going on here.)
Lost in all this bs is the fact that the family is opening one expensive electronic toy after another (including a tricked-out watch that was wrapped turned on, without it's box) revealing it to be yet another super-priveleged, overindulged collection of one-percenters we really can't relate to. Maybe I should be grateful that Lunatic Mom distracts me from this just a little. I'm not.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
(Before I begin- please, again, note that at the end of the commercial, the bucket of fried crap is completely full despite the fact that this family of four is eating chicken and has more on their plates....KFC has never been good at logic or continuity....)
Somehow this guy got himself a wife, a family, and the kind of gigantic house everyone in tv land lives in, but he's too stupid to know that you don't drag a tree through a door top first ( I mean, seriously, what kind of brain damage do you have to even TRY to do it that way? Has anyone involved in writing tv commercials ever brought a tree into their own house? What the hell?)
Naturally wife moans "oh no" before he even tries to bring the tree in- hell, before she even gets a chance to see it. Because that "oh no" means "my husband's a brainless jackass who does stupid things, a black Clark Griswold if you will, so if he says he's found 'the one' and is beaming with delight, this means trouble...."
And yet, when the family sits down to consume their bucket of greasy, life-shortening, artery-clogging crud, the tree is decorated and looks awesome, which makes me kind of wonder what the "oh no" was all about- except that it's a commercial and Dad has to look stupid, it's the law after all. WTF-ever, television.
1. The Valet Monkey is trying way too hard to find this fricking car. He's running up and down the parking lot muttering "Buick...Buick....Buick...." as if his life depends on getting it to the douchenozzle Eurotrash couple waiting for it inside of thirty seconds. I guess his entire salary is tips?
2. Why doesn't he just use the freaking carfinder on the keys right away? Seems to me that they'd teach this in Valet Monkey 101.
3. Why does Eurotrash Dickwad need to ask for his Buick anyway? The way he and TrophyWife are sneering at Valet Monkey, it looks like it must be an entire twenty feet away. Is it a We Ate at a Restaurant With Valet Service so Damn It We're Going To Use It?
4. If you don't want to punch Unshaven Eurotrash "It's the Buick" scumbucket in his self-satisfied face, you are a far better person than I am. He and TrophyWife both. Assholes.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
"Ahh, the bold new Camry..." Oh shut up, Jan. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for you wax nostalgic over a brand new freaking car.
"So you've driven it?" Um, no, jackass, "it's a blast to drive" is just something salespeople say to get you to buy the car. They think it's "a blast to drive" because that's what it says in the sales manual. Like when I managed a video rental store and told people that Weekend At Bernies was a light-hearted, laugh-filled avalanche of wackiness. It's just something we sales-liars say.
Anyone else think that Jan enjoys her gig at the Toyota dealership way, way too much? I mean, I bet she wasn't even asked by management to wear that stupid hat. I bet she just slapped it on the day after Thanksgiving.
I appreciate people who like their jobs. But I don't appreciate people who act as if they'd respond to being laid off by going home, assembling an arsenal of automatic weapons, and returning to shoot up their former place of employment. Jan looks like she really can't imagine Life After Being a Chirpy Shill for Toyota.
Same goes for Flo, by the way. At this point, I doubt Progressive would dare to fire her. At best, she'd become Bartelby, responding to requests to leave with "I would prefer not to." At worst- well, I think we've already covered the Worst Case Scenerio, haven't we?
(oh, and BTW- anyone else seriously doubt that this dealership really let Jan take this car "out for a spin" in the desert like that? Why would they do such a thing? I think Jan needs to break away from her sad, Toyota-centered dream world, don't you?)
Friday, December 19, 2014
These are the toys that come from "Santa's Other Workshop"- because cheap Chinese junk is fine for the masses, but Santa knows what the one percent wants this Christmas. It's the same thing they want every Christmas: Everything.
Because Santa can't actually deliver Everything, he'll drop by with a brand new BMW for the Last People On Earth Who Actually Deserve Stuff Like This right after he leaves Johnny Almost The Bike He Asked For and a note explaining to Suzie why he couldn't quite manage to fit those Boots Without Holes she really, really wanted into his magic sack.
Have I ever told you how much I really, really hate this time of year on television?
Thursday, December 18, 2014
"When you're a pampered, self-centered Eurotrash douchenozzle with a model trophy wife, it can be hard to find the true spirit of Christmas from the warmed seat of your Jeep. Even looking down your nose at the Not Nearly Good As You masses as they hussle about trying to make a buck- the pathetic little peons, some of them even try to get by with part-time gigs as Santa Claus, makes you think about what it's like not to be among the one percent- for a few moments, anyway."
"Best thing to do is just get away from it all- because you can. Take your disgusting selves out of the city and it's huddled masses of People Who Are Not You and find a convenient mountain right next door with a Christmas tree which has been placed there and decorated Just For You and take in the Northern Lights which whip and flicker for no other reason except You Want Them Too and after all It's All About You Jackasses."
"Then stand there looking at the tree and the lights and each other and remind yourselves how awesome it is to be So Very Much Better Than Pretty Much Everyone Else on the Planet. As if that's necessary."
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I'm sure there have been enough incidents to convince Mommy to fire her....maybe she's a little too cute for Daddy to let go of? Just a thought.....
I mean, this smoke/carbon monoxide detector doesn't do EVERYTHING- if the obnoxious brats this girl is supposed to be watching are drowning each other in the bathtub, it won't yell clueless teen girl into getting off the couch, will it? One of the kids is "really into fireworks"- but she figures as long as no smoke is being detected, she can continue watching tv and doing a YouTube video about the awesomeness of Nest Detectors? Does she have an explanation for the parents and the police when Trevor blows his fingers off or fires one of his little rockets into his sister's face, blinding her for life?
I suppose this is a fairly useful product for the average tv family which of course is living in a vast, gleaming-white suburban mansion (it wouldn't do anything for me- if there's a fire in my apartment, chances are I'll know it before the detector does.) But if I lived in one of these houses and installed one of these systems, I don't think I'd let the babysitter know about it. Especially this babysitter, who sees it as a "oh good I can just ignore the kids if anything happens this thing will let me know before the damage gets TOO bad" excuse to nap while earning $10 an hour.*
*I have no idea how much babysitters make these days. I suppose I could have asked a few of my students, but that would be doing research, and as I've mentioned many times in the past, I'm not getting paid for this gig. So $10 an hour it is.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
So let me see if I understand this ad:
Infantile rich jackass lusts over black Infiniti. Being Infantile, he notices a guy volunteering for the Salvation Army and decides "hey, maybe if I'm nice to this old man, somehow that will translate into me getting my childish, selfish wants fulfilled. Worth a shot!"
So this guy blows an entire $1.86 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks and hands it to the Salvation Army guy. There's no dialogue, so we can't know if he shared his Stunningly Self-Absorbed Christmas Wish with the guy (maybe "so.....I did something nice for you, can I have a $40,000 car now?") But that doesn't matter- the guy believes this man is Santa, and if Santa sees us when we're sleeping and knows when we're awake, he doesn't need to be told that we are fantasizing about owning a new car.
We do know is that he notes a tear in "Santa's" jacket and proceeds to follow "Santa" to "Santa's" luxury apartment and spend all of five minutes sewing it up.
At this point, let's remember that this guy's actions are all clearly being dictated by "If I'm nice to this guy, he'll get me that car." Very important that we keep that in mind.
Next thing we know, rich guy is running out of his multi-million dollar suburban palace to find his Christmas present- sure enough, "Santa" was REAL and decided to reward a few dollars of charity and a few minutes of attention with a $40,000 car. Because Santa is every bit as big a dickwad as rich guy.
I mean, think about it- people all over the world perform random acts of kindness every single day, without any thought of immediate or future reward, Just Because. Then there are the people who struggle with illness or poverty of their own, or that of a loved one, who want nothing more than for that illness or poverty to go away. For pretty much all of them, Christmas will come and go with no obvious reward. But this manipulative dicktard basically bribes Santa for an hour or so, and gets an intensely juvenile Want fulfilled. Just like that. Heartwarming, huh?
BTW, the only way this whole mess results in actual Karma is if the jackass unsatisfied with his gilded life and multimillion-dollar house who managed to buy Santa gets into a horrible accident the very first time he takes his LookAtMeMobile out for a spin. A horrible accident that leaves him disfigured, crippled, dead broke- and in desperate need for the prayers and best wishes of people who are nowhere near as loathsomely juvenile as he is. THAT'S Karma, Infiniti. Glad I could help.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
See, this ad is "funny" because Neighbor #1 just got back from Black Friday shopping and somehow got a black eye for his troubles. What we are supposed to gather from this is that another customer didn't like the way Neighbor #1 was reaching for that particular object at Best Buy, punched him in the face, and took it instead. Because it's the season to be jolly, and all that, I guess.
Neighbor #2 has so much empathy for Neighbor #1 that he responds by showing off HIS Black Friday purchase- a new Buick. At which point, I'm going to snap out of my "how sad is it that the violence associated with Black Friday Hysteria Shopping is being celebrated here" mood and switch to "I would be perfectly ok if Neighbor #1 gave Neighbor #2 a black eye of his own because jeesh, what a pompous jerk...."
I won't even comment that most car commercials regularly show people acting as if every day is Black Friday at the dealership- rushing in to "claim" cars, practically knocking people out of the way to get the "best" ones, as if there's a limited quality available. I'm too busy going back into Depressed that the period between Thanksgiving afternoon and the following Saturday has become a kind of Hunger Games for consumers is now considered normal. Yet really wishing that Neighbor #1 would leave Neighbor #2 flattened in front of his suburban palace, sprawled grotesquely beside his beautiful new Buick. I guess I'm kind of conflicted about this one.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Judging from this ad, Raleigh is some magical place where everyone makes $500,000 a year, lives in a suburban mansion, and drives a massive LookAtMeMobile to Very Important Places which are Very Important because they are pretty people with pretty cars who have places to go (casually, of course.)
As far as I am concerned, it's a magical place which can't be obliterated by a meteor quickly enough. Hell, I'd take a fast-moving plague if a meteor isn't available. We could even agree to bury these pigs in their f---ing cars.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
"Let me tell you something you already know"- ummm, why, exactly?
"Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows"- is that really what you wanted to tell me? If the answer is "yes," then you're right- I already knew that. Everyone over the age of two already knows that.
"It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit," blah blah blah already horribly cliche'd clips from Rocky Balboa which has nothing to do with this ad since nobody sitting their fat butts down and playing stupid video games is either hitting or taking hits.....
"This is what winning is" -- or something like that, I'm not watching this awfulness any more times than I actually have to. Winning is playing XBox? Um, whatever- I don't see a whole lot of "winning" going on here, unless being an adult and spending money on a stupid, time-consuming toy is what "winning" means nowadays ( I actually don't doubt it.)
Sunday, December 7, 2014
I get that ramping up the electricity usage is just something that gets done this time of year- December is "to hell with the bill, to hell with the planet, let's just wrap miles of bulbs around everything and crank up the juice" month. It's "we won't be satisfied until our house can be seen from space" month. It's "let's see if we can use so much electricity that we crash the grid or at least melt every bit of snow off our lawns" month.
But this family- good lord, they actually created a sign screaming CHEER for their living room? What the HELL for? What kind of lunatic actually does something which screams "Be Happy Dammit, Or Else," let alone does it exclusively for his own family?
Reminds me of that blinking billboard in the classic film Flash Gordon- "All Citizens Will Make Merry Upon Pain of Death." Jeesh, people- it's bad enough that you are going to consume more fossil fuels in one month than the average not-insane-with-conspicious-consumption-fever uses in a decade. You have to burn out your eyeballs with gaudy, silent demands INSIDE as well as outside?
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Once this woman finished explaining to the stupid knob customer how easy it will be for him to waste his life fooling around on his new phone with it's awesome gigs plan (WTF-ever, 21st century) it was really time for this commercial to be over. Buy this phone and this deal, and you never have to have a conversation with an organic life form ever again. Message received. Over and Out.
Naturally, AT&T could not let it go before adding an Exclamation Point of Dumb, however. So we get this other jackass who hasn't noticed that there are fifteen people waiting to be pandered to and told where to sign hundreds of dollars a month away on a stupid toy and instead decides to try to steal Cute AT&T Girl's sale away from her with a little attempt at levity which- I don't want to be overly harsh here- really ought to get him bludgeoned to death in an alley on Christmas Eve.*
New Year's Resolution AT&T- let's move on from this. This girl is easy to look at but you've run out of plausible things for her to say. Do something revolutionary and actually end an ad campaign before we are tearing our hair out with bored despair whenever one of your stupid commercials comes on, and a girl who went from being a Very Pleasant Break from Flo to Oh Her Again finishes up at Oh God I Never Want To See This Person Where's the Damn Remote Make It Stop. Please.
I commented on this ad produced for My First Crush* way back in 2009- I don't think I was even embedding at the time- but I thought it deserved another go-around (and since I'm not being paid to do this blog, I don't mind repeating myself from time to time. I mean, I'm not ripping off anyone. And based on the hit counter, it's hard to imagine anyone noticing anyway. So maybe I shouldn't have even mentioned that I've done this commercial already...
Anyway, this poor woman has apparently accepted the idea that her husband's father is going to be moving in- she's got the chilling family portait (featuring the Patriarch Hovering Over All) out of storage to be displayed so that when he shows up, he'll think it's always been there. She's got this resigned "well, maybe he won't live very long" look on her face. She makes some odd comment about their daughter needing a new pair of headphones- five years later I still don't know what that means- does Grampa shout a lot? Does he play the television too loud? Did Mom just discover Grampa's collection of Dean Martin CDs? What?
"Thanks for making our home, His Home" says her husband, who deep down probably wishes that his wife had put her foot down and said No because he couldn't.
"This IS his home" she replies. Well, I guess that's supposed to be sweet. Again, all I hear is resignation, perhaps mixed with despair and sherry. At least it's not 1955 and Mom probably works outside the home so she doesn't have to vacuum around the old guy's splayed-on-the-living-room-couch snoring (is THAT why daughter needs headphones?)
And then she gets the payoff- a piece of crap jewelry. If I were her, I'd make sure that jewelry kept coming- or better yet, was eventually upgraded to an Audi. A "diamond" pennant from Kay Jewelers for turning your perfectly-sized home over to Grampa? Jeesh, what's next- a night out at the Olive Garden?
*Jane Seymour wasn't actually my first crush. That would be Linda Kaye from Petticoat Junction. And when Seymour's character got killed off after the pilot for Battlestar Galactica, I didn't have much problem moving on to Phoebe Cates. My heart was more flexible back then.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
If you are a pretty white person who has the time and money to wax poetic about how "great" today is while some black guy sings about it, yeah, today is pretty great.
My day was pretty great too, until you jackanapes invaded my tv screen. Please stop making me wish for a Santa Claus And His Choice of Audis commercial. Please.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
About half a dozen of these horrible Honda "remember when you were a kid and a simple toy could make you happy- you know, before you became an entitled douchebag who thinks CARS make good Christmas presents" commercials popped out of nowhere and on to my television a few days ago. They are all very depressing, but this one is probably the worst, because it includes a really cool toy from the mid-1980s, otherwise known as the Decade When Everything That Makes Life Worth Living Peaked.
I mean, when you think about it, the 80s were the decade of The Cars and R.E.M. and Michael Jackson and Madonna in her cute Material Girl stage and the last decade until rap music invaded the airwaves and dumbed down music, apparently forever. It was the last decade in which pretty much nobody had a cellphone- which meant you could be legitimately out of touch and have a conversation with someone without being interrupted by Someone More Interesting On Their iPhone. It was the last decade without the internet, the last decade without 24/7 "news," and the last decade in which we didn't fight a single war for no clear reason in the Middle East. It was the decade in which the real Star Wars Trilogy wrapped up and we had no idea that Lucas would go insane and ruin it with CGI recuts and three god-awful crap "prequels" later. It was the decade in which Democrats and Republicans could get together to fix Social Security and grant amnesty to undocumented workers.
It was the decade of Danger Mouse and miniature GI Joe Action Figures and Zelda II (if you had an inside girl at Waxie Maxie's- and I did.) And it was the decade of He Man and Skeletor as toys, not as lame-ass spokesjokes for Honda. (From almost ruling Eternia to this- man have you fallen far, Skeletor!)
"Remember when you wanted me for Christmas?" Well, no- but I remember when my nephew did. Neither he nor I grew up to imagine getting Hondas for Christmas, but I bet we'd both appreciate a cool He-Man toy in our stockings.